I have been looking for a good pair of minimalist shoes to wear running and hiking and liked the idea of the RunAmocs, but didn’t want the perforated variety. There was very little out there on the smooth variety so this post will serve to fill that gap. I will provide as much detail as possible and would be happy to answer any questions.
First off I want to say thank you to the staff at Soft Star and their excellent customer service. My feet are apparently freakishly tall and the fist pair was too tight over the midfoot. They made me a second pair that fit perfect. Thanks
On with the review
When you first slide your foot in, the leather sandwiches your toes and midfoot. This feels strange at first, like sliding into a tucked bed. You will first notice that your big toe is pressing against the leather on top of your toe. I didn’t like this feeling so I stuffed a rolled sock into the toes of each shoe, let it sit overnight and in the morning the leather stretched just enough so that it was no longer confining.
I debated running with or without socks for the first run. I decided on socks to be on the safe side. I did an easy 3.5 miles up and down hills mostly on paved paths. My first issue was with the ankle closure being too tight. I stopped about 4 times to loosen the laces. Coming from traditional shoes I kept tightening them until snug. The RunAmocs did not work well being snug. I found that the looser they were the better they felt. I was concerned about them falling off but my worries were squashed when they stayed perfectly in place.
My next issue was the socks. Most foot beds are smooth so the sock stays put on your foot and slides on the foot bed. The foot bed on the RunAmoc is made of leather which fought my foot for my sock. After about 1.5 miles my sock had started to ball up under my heel and I stopped and took them off. Sliding my feet back into the RunAmocs barefoot was a wonderful experience. The leather was so soft and supple my feet were celebrating. The rest of the 2 miles were fantastic. After the run I had two minor issues. My big toe on my left foot was mildly tender and my ankles itched a bit. The tender toe is a good sign in my opinion, showing that my toes are getting into the run. The itchy ankles was due to the leather rubbing with each step sans socks. I think that both of these issues will go away with time and am happy with my first run.
Casual vs Running vs Hiking
This weekend I lived in my RunAmocs. I wore them for everything. We did a great test loop that consisted of running 2 miles to go geocaching. The geocaching was done in the woods on the side of a steep hill covered with slippery mud, rocks and lots of pickers. My wife complained about the traction with her KSO’s but I had no slipping or issues at all. I was also surprised to find that I didn’t get any debris into my shoes and the pickers didn’t poke through my trail soles. We ran another mile to the next cache and then ran to the store to pick up some dinner. While walking, the RunAmocs were loose and casual but when running something changed. They somehow became more comfortable, less floppy and overall better feeling. I actually stopped and walked several times to compare the difference. It’s almost like they grab my foot while running and chill out when walking. Overall I would say they feel the best while running, great for hiking and good for walking.
I have read that some people don’t like the look while others think they are great. As with all styles we all have our opinion. Here is mine. The all black leather generally don’t stand out while wearing pants. I think they compliment pants well due to the dressier nature of leather. I can wear them with jeans, khakis, and black dress pants without looking foolish. They defiantly have a unique look and anyone that is looking at your feet will notice that they are not standard shoes, however, they do not draw the attention of VFF’s. I work in a business casual environment (slacks and dress shirt) and wear mine without concern. I’m a bit more self conscious in shorts though as they are more noticeably different. I will run in them but may opt for other shoes while wearing shorts and relaxing. They will most definitely give you the hippie appearance of wearing moccasins in shorts. Not bad, just not my favorite style.
I will continue reviewing the RunAmocs each week until I have no more to say about them. I will include pictures next post so stay tuned.