I have spent a lot of time running in the Pah Tempe and have loved every minute of it. Until recently, I couldn’t find any faults, but then, I finally found the Pah Tempe’s kryptonite. More on this in a bit, but first a little more scrutiny on the front of the sandal.
As a tester, I wanted to provide as much input on the function of the design as possible. As part of this, I purposely ordered my test pair of Pah Tempe 1/2 size too large. I wanted to see how important toe length was to the overall function. As it turns out, it is extremely important. My first step resulted in the toe of the sole catching on the ground and folding under the sandal. I tried to get used to it, but aside from high stepping there was no way to keep from catching the toe.
Lesson: Trace your foot carefully
Click on the photo below to see what the “too long” sole looks like. If you look carefully, you can see the tracing of my foot on the sole. This is where it should have been cut had I not added to the length.
After I trimmed the sole back to where it should have originally been they fit like the picture below. This length resulted in far fewer fold overs.
Even though they now fit like they should I was still occasionally folding over the toe. The sole is so flexible that catching the toe is not as bad as it seems. It simply folds under and causes almost no change in stride. Your toes are now exposed but I found it more annoying than dangerous. This was happening only while walking, when I wasn’t picking my feet up enough. The original Pah Tempe design was simply cut out of Newflex with the cut being 90 degrees to the bottom as shown below.
I found that I was catching the front edge, which caused the front to fold over. I decided to take the 90 degree edge and put a 45 degree bevel on it. This simple change completely removed almost all of the fold overs. The finished front looks like the picture below.After talking to UnShoes, they said that this bevel will be included on all future Pah Tempe to reduce the chance of the toe catching.
With my modified Pah Tempe, I felt invincible. It was the most versatile form of foot protection I had ever encountered. Then one warm and sunny day I decided to play badminton with my family in the grass. The grass was green and needing to be mowed but we played anyway. This was the kryptonite that killed the Pah Tempe. They were completely unusable. The front would fold under on every step. The heel folded under when backpedaling. I had to take them off and play barefoot or face utter humiliation and embarrassment for my numerous falls and missed hits.
In Summary, the toe will occasionally fold under and everyone should expect this to happen. Proper sizing and the new 45 degree bevel will almost completely eliminate fold over occurrences. Using the Pah Tempe on the road, trail, or mall will make you smile, however, keep them out of the long grass or the swamp monster get you. (Sorry, I have been watching too much Scooby-Doo with my son)