As promised I have included some pictures of my Soft Star RunAmoc smooth in action.
I have been wearing these for 2 weeks now. There is mostly good but some bad too. First the bad.
- The toe issue on my left foot has not gotten better. My last run left me with very raw toes on my left foot. I am going to try a variety of socks to see if that helps. I think this is a combination of form, socks, and the roughness of the leather footbed. I think this will get better with more miles and sweat but for now the leather is holding up too well!
- Sweaty feet. Now I have to explain this a bit. I have very sweaty feet. The RunAmoc actually do a good job of breathing considering they are fully enclosed. My issue is not that the shoes are too sweaty but after wearing them for 8 hrs straight the leather has absorbed so much moisture that they feel damp and drive me crazy. If they sit overnight they are better by morning but they feel very wet if I only give them an hour break. I’m not complaining here. The fact that the leather is absorbing moisture is keeping my feet dryer, but when they reach their limit I have to get out of them. I know, they make a perforated version for a reason but I have the smooth version so this review is for that version. I’m sure I’ll be getting the perforated version eventually for added breathability.
- Supple leather. I love the soft supple leather these are made out of. Trust me I do. But I have found one annoyance from the suppleness. Look at the picture below. I have lightly traced my toes in red.
The problem here is that the leather tends to mold to your foot shape. This is great but I find that I catch the material while running downhill. I wish I could stiffen the area right around the front a bit to get it to stand up and provide a little room for my toes to move forward. Right now it lays on the foot bed until my toes cause it to come up. I try to stuff my socks in the toes each night to get the leather to stand up a bit. This sort of helps but not enough.
Ok, enough complaining, now for the good.
After wearing these exclusively for a week I started liking them less. They didn’t feel special they just felt normal. All that changed when I put my ‘other’ shoes back on. I didn’t realize how much my toes were able to move and how little pressure there was on my foot. My other shoes felt tight and confining. My toes were smashed and I couldn’t stand to be in them. I instantly longed to wear my RunAmocs again. They were again promoted to superstar status.
I haven’t tried the street soles but for all around use I can’t fault the trail soles at all. Soft Star did a great job at picking the perfect thickness to provide ground feel protection and durability. I have walked on ice, hot pavement, mud, rocks, and everything in between. The trail sole is thin but rather stiff so stepping on a rock doesn’t hurt as bad as it would barefoot but you can definitely feel that it is there. While rock hopping across a river I noticed that my toes were actually attempting to grab on which provided lots of stability.
One very noticeable change has occurred while wearing my RunAmocs. My ability to balance is superb. Initially I thought it was due to my feet being stronger (I have been wearing minimalist shoes for over a year now). I decided to conduct a very unscientific test. I tend to balance on one bare foot while putting my first shoe on then balance on the shod foot to put the second shoe on. What I noticed is that I never tipped, swayed, or faltered while putting my RunAmocs on. I felt like I was locked to the ground. So the test went like this, put on a regular running shoe and try to do the swan yoga pose. I did it barefoot, in my RunAmocs and in my running shoe. The RunAmocs made me the most stable followed very closely by barefoot but whoa the running shoes were like balancing on a ball. I was all over the place. I noticed that my feet were searching for a solid surface but being smashed as they were the were taken out of the equation. This made me think about my running balance is with RunAmocs vs running shoes. Are my toes sore because they have never before been able to provide balance.
My last but favorite trait about the RunAmocs is that they are so wearable. The match with most everything and can be slipped on and off effortlessly. To me this is a great design feature that is never talked about. When on your foot the RunAmoc will not fall off but due to the flexibility of the leather simply collapsing the heel with your hand allows your foot to slip straight out the back. To put them on slip them back in, pull up the heel and they are on. The leather is the perfect stiffness no not allow you foot back out unless you want it to. The laces always stay tied and have never come undone while running. I Love it.
I plan on doing a lot more running in the next month so I’m hopeful that the leather foot bed will become smoother and my toe issues will subside. I’ll post after I put some miles on them.