Specs (from their website):
- RunLite cushioning features a High Abrasion Injection EVA, designed to provide a responsive yet flexible ride as well as optimal ground feel.
- Torsion Efficiency Unit is a transparent TPU unit that creates a responsive ride optimal for maximal running efficiency.
- TGS 62/75° design provides the heel through the ball of the foot with extra stability and ends with a 75° line which promotes greater flexibility.
- Blown Rubber is lightweight and offers grip for increased traction.
- 3 Layer upper construction creates comfort and stability, while also adding durability.
- Exo Skeleton design helps stabilize the foot while relieving pressure on the MTP joints.
- Heel cup design provides a adaptive heel fit in a lightweight package.
Let me start with my disclaimer that I usually stick to stability shoes since I have really high arches, supinate like crazy and since I’m not in my early twenties, I’m pretty protective of my feet. With that in the open, I hesitated at first when Matt asked me to give these a try, but eventually caved and decided to give them a test run.
As with most gear and shoe reviews that Run Oregon receives, I just gave my size and waited with anticipation as to what color would end up on my front porch. Opening them up, I paused a second to soak them in. I do not shy away from bright or bold colors, I just don’t usually have so many all together at the same time. After the initial surprise, I decided I love rainbows and there’s no reason I shouldn’t wear them on my feet. The colors make me smile and that’s a good thing. While not everyone loved the style of these, the majority of the comments I received were actually quite complimentary. One friend asked if they were my clown shoes and another jokingly noted they looked like TRIX cerea. However, I had several ladies ask me where to get them, so they must have liked them.
When it comes to a shoe, I don’t care nearly as much about the appearance as I do the performance. The first run I headed out in these without a proper warm up, going from a stability shoe and running way too fast. I could feel my achilles on both sides and was nervous I made a bad decision changing shoes. Just in case it was the shoe, I gave it a couple of days before I tried them again. Fortunately, that first run is the only one that I felt and I can happily say it wasn’t from the shoes. The initial fit was perfect with thinner socks, but the toe box would be snug if I had thicker socks on. They fit close to perfect and I love that you can feel more of the run with them. It isn’t all just the padding of the shoe, but you have more grip and ability to maneuver better in these with the sole being flexible. I refuse to go minimal, but these are a great compromise.
The majority of my runs with these were between 5 and 10 miles, and with a little over 50 miles on them they look barely worn. There are no signs of wear on the outer part of my heel, no peeling or fraying from the material and, best of all, they don’t smell. I think this ‘natural’ running shoe, might be promoting more of a mid-foot strike versus a heel strike, but we’ll see with the next 50 miles. They breathe well, which I think is why I think they don’t smell. My next challenge will be to take these over 10 miles on the road.
I’m picky with shoes because feet are so important, but also because the body is a chain and I’ve had knee and hip pain in the past that was related to my shoe choice or wearing shoes with too many miles on them. Fortunately, these have kept my feet, knees, hips and back all happy. I know the color combination isn’t for everyone, but there are other options. I have to say, though, I feel safer running in bright shoes since drivers are more likely to notice the flashy feet. Still, if style is important to you, check out the other color choices.
For a road shoe or even a shoe to wear to the gym, I would definitely recommend these. I think they are a good option for anyone trying to get away from too much stability and wanting some flexibility and movement in the sole. I think they are very true to size, no wiggle room there. I like that they don’t have stitching or stuff across the toes to rub or irritate.
Overall, these are a good quality shoe and I’m glad I decided that before checking out their website and discovering Mark Allen (the Triathlon God) is one of their Salming’s athletes. I don’t like to pick my shoes or gear because of a celebrity endorsement, but I might have been swayed a little. With or without Mr. Allen, I’ll say these shoes did their job. They were comfortable and performed well with mostly dry runs. I will have to see how they hold up with the next 50 miles, on some longer runs and with the liquid sunshine.