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Saturday, August 9, 2014


Thanks again to Jeff Gallup at Barefoot Inclined for these. I won them on a giveaway from his site. They retail for about $110.00. I have done some running in them and have even tried them in some other venues (tennis to be exact). These are well-made shoes, for certain. Some recent modifications over the previous version have, it seems, improved their comfort. A minimal drop (4mm), the feel of them is nice and flat. They have a pretty aggressive tread which grips well on all surfaces that I have tried, and the toe box is certainly substantial. I have to admit that I am a true dyed-in-the-wool sandal runner, but these are some shoes that I can run in without my feet feeling boxed-in. Having a shoe actually shaped like a foot seems like a great idea to me, and these come pretty close. While sandals are (and no doubt will remain) my preferred running footwear, I have no qualms about running in these. They are extremely flexible, and let your foot move naturally without binding or rubbing. These shoes have a nice, smooth interior that allows you to wear them barefoot. Not having to use socks in a running shoe, to me is a great plus. They claim on the NB website to be "odor resistant". I have worn them exclusively without socks and, so far, they have not developed any substantial odor. This has been a problem for many "barefoot shoes", VFFs in particular, but so far, so good with these. I find that putting them on, perhaps because of the shape of my feet, has a little issue. Putting my foot in initially is a little bothersome. It feels as though the foot has to go through a narrow part of the shoe before being "released" into the roomy toe box. This is, to me a very minor problem, and as I said, may be a bit unique to me. Once they are on, they are extremely comfortable to wear. I minimize the problem by making sure the laces are really loose before putting them on. As I mentioned at the beginning, I tried these for something for which they really weren't designed. I have worn them on the tennis court a few times. One benefit is that the Vibram outsoles seem to be non-marking, and the lugs on the bottom grip really well on the hard court surface. I am not recommending them for tennis, and don't play enough to feel qualified to give a thumbs-up or down on that issue. I am only making the point that they seem to be quite versatile. This is a very light weight shoe. I have referred to this in a previous post in which I compared a number of shoe weights. It is on a par with my lightweight sandals, including Xeros and Earth Runners Alphas, so its weight has presented no issue for me. I got the shoe in black/silver, but it comes in a number of colors, so you should be able to find one that fits your preferences. It does well for relatively big feet (I have, in this shoe, a 13 EE). This is bigger than I wear in a sandal, but is just right for me in an enclosed shoe. I opted for the bigger size, as I was concerned about toe-box size. In all, I like this shoe. It stays minimalist, but provides a "real shoe" look for situations where you might need it.

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