It was love at first...try on. I put them on, laced them up, and ran a quarter mile on the treadmill.
Done and done.
With only a 4mm heel drop it took a few transition runs to get my feet and legs used to them, but I think that since I had been running in Nike Free 3.0s it really helped. Otherwise, transitioning from your basic, non-minimal shoes would have taken longer.
They are made mesh upper and have a Vibram outsole, perfect for traction and durability.
My favorite parts; they are designed to be worn with or without socks and somehow they made them odor resistant. Yes, odor free running shoes. Insanity. I wear them without socks, and LOVE it. I do use a good bit of Body Glide though...but I can attest to the odor resistant-ness. I have stinky feet, so much that I've had to throw out shoes because of their never ending stink. These don't stink. I wish you could smell through the computer.
Before writing this post, I had 2 issues. One, lack of color choices for women. There was grey or black. That's it. Men had the choice of orange and yellow. Upon visiting the NB website tonight, I found this:
with issue #1 solved I am hoping NB can work on the next one (or maybe they did with the new round of shoes).
They don't completely enclose around my foot. There is a little gap between my skin and the rim of the shoe. Just a little one. Big enough for tiny pebbles to get in there. I can't tell you how many times I've stopped to get a freaking pebble out of the shoe. The lakefront path here is lined with crushed limestone that I prefer to run on...but I avoid it because I don't want crushed limestone IN MY SHOE. It's annoying. Let's work on that New Balance.
Yeah, my finger shouldn't be able to easily stick into my shoe.
the cool, circular, bottom. supportive but you feel just about everything.
view from the top. the laces are long. the thick band across the top helps keep your feet from smooshing into the toe box.
from the front. the design of the toe box curves upwards. not exactly sure why, but it's cool
vibram "shark fin", as i call it. the band going from the top of the heel down to the sole is pretty much what keeps the structure of the heel cup.
that's how flexible they are! hard to do it with one hand and take a picture with the other. (say Hi to Rex!)
logo action/close up of the mesh outer. keeps your feet surprisingly warm.
nicer view of how the bands form the structure for the heel cup.
Anywho, as you can probably tell, I love these shoes. I think you will too. If you are not already running in minimal shoes, make sure you have plenty of time to transition into these guys. Also worth nothing, I do switch between these and Nike Free 3.0s, just to give my feet a break. The 3.0s have much more cushion. The farthest I've ran in them is a half marathon, overall they were pretty good, it was just certain parts, like running over the bridges here in Chicago, that really sucked because you feel just about everything. However, running over those bridges sucks and feels weird anyways.
If you have any questions, please leave a note in the comments! Or if you wish, you can email me. :)