I was recently introduced to BRANDBLACK, a collection of shoes I’ve never heard of. They aren’t really a running shoe company (they mostly fill the fashion lane), but they do have a few pairs of shoes that fill the in their arsenal – one of which is the Tarantula.
Even though they aren’t a brand you have heard of, their founders do hail from the Skechers Performance line, so they aren’t entirely foreign to the concept. There is also a connection to Vibram, as can be seen on the shoes themselves in both print and on the outsole. I will go a little into the fit, feel, and function, but here are the specs first off:
- Features include Jetlon SuperCritical , high-rebound foam
- A Vibram light , high-abrasion, 4 part rubber outsole
- A breathable, monofilament upper with fused TPU structural support “web”
- 7mm Drop,18mm forefoot and 25mm heel stack
- Sits low in ankle with an ultra soft tongue and interior
I was excited to get my feet into these puppies upon opening up the box. Not that it generally maters, but these are beautiful shoes that look great from afar, but also have a fun look up close – a black tarantula on the tongue! I loved the look. I first started putting miles on these shoes during the month of October, so I simply thought it was fitting leading up to Halloween.
There are three colorways to the Tarantulas – a black, uber-bring white/lime/pink, and the off white – which I tested. Even though I expected these to be even more off-white after my first run or two (i.e. filthy), I found that they held up pretty well and have seemed to collect minimal stains, even as I ran on the track, road and paved paths, and even a little bark chip running. Basically, I was pleased with how well they resisted the harsh Fall weather.
As far as fit, these have a pretty wide base. While not billed as wide foot shoe, I feel this would accommodate some wider shapes. They were structurally sound and, as a distance runner with a tendency to twist my ankles, the Tarantulas made it feel as if it would be hard to do so with the stabilization because the base would be difficult to twist. I felt they may have been a little stiffer than I am used to, but seemed to become more flexible over time.
I’m not sure that these shoes are for racing given their weight, but then again, it’s not like there are a ton of races going on now anyways. They have, and continue to work great for my longer and slower runs. Overall, while BLACKBRAND is a new brand their venture into this sphere is a very admirable one. Clearly, the price point may push a lot of runners away (generally, $225 running shoes are a cost for the highest tech running shoes on the market)
Women’s Tarantula Off White: $225
Sizes: 5.5-10 women’s
Thank you Cole Haan for providing us with sample pairs Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.