Tag Archives: Pah Tempe

Pah Tempe Long Term Test – Final

Final Thoughts
The Pah Tempe can be summed up in one word – EASY.  This is the thought that comes to mind most while wearing them.  They are easy to put on, easy to adjust, easy to run in, easy, easy, easy.  I like them for casual use but LOVE them for running.  The level of comfort is amazing.  All of the straps are soft against your feet and I have never had any chafing or strap pain. 

Pros:
Comfortable
Functional
Versatile
No toe strap
Secure
Inexpensive

Cons:
Toe will occasionally catch and fold under (read on to see my modifications)

 

If you are new to minimalist footwear or don’t like toe straps than the Pah Tempe is for you.  There are many other companies like Luna, Invisible Shoes, and Bedrock  to name a few but none offer the toe strap free design.  I personally own 3 different Luna sandals and love them all especially the originals but none compare to ease of use and comfort (especially while running)

Many people have asked if the newflex will mold to your foot.  The answer: Yes! I have to say that they are more comfortable now than when I first received them and love they they are “my foot”

Final Review Time
As a tester, I take the testing of the shoes that are given to me seriously.  All other reviews are just impressions right when they get them. What happens after a year, what about two. Did they fall apart or wear out? After 2.5 years of daily abuse in every possible situation, my Pah Tempe sandals are still going strong. In fact, they are probably better now than they were when they were new.

Check out my video review for the Pah Tempe sandals and watch why  I think they are the best minimalist running sandal on the market.

 

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Pah Tempe Long Term Test – Part 2

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.

Proper sizing

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)

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Pah Tempe Long Term Test – Part 1

I am excited to announce that I am starting a new long term test.  I recently received the newly redesigned Pah Tempe sandal from Unshoes.  The Pah Tempe is unique in that it does not have a strap running between your toes.  I was interested to test the Pah Tempe sandal after multiple people stopped me to ask about my huaraches, only to say “Those are great, but is there a version without the toe strap?”  When Unshoes offered to let me test the newly redesigned Pah Tempe I was excited but also a bit apprehensive about performance.

After lots of testing, I can unequivocally say that Unshoes Pah Tempe is a legitimate contender in the crowded minimalist sandal market.  Not only that, I had a hard time finding a situation that it couldn’t handle (I tried).

Comfort and Versatility
Overall performance was exceptional.  They were intuitive and easy to put on and adjust.  Once on, you can simply slide on and off with no need to readjust.  They were comfortable, in a way that only Soft Star can match.  The wide webbing distributed pressure evenly, ensuring that there were no pressure points.

I didn’t really think of the Pah Tempe as a running sandal but this is where it really surprised me.  This is hard to say, since I love my Luna’s, but the Pah Tempe out preformed them in every way.  I ran in them every day for over a week and never once felt any hot spots, pressure points, or slipping.  After nearly 3 days of no issues I decided to come up with the most brutal tests I could find to see how far these sandals could go.

Day 1 of brutality testing:  Lateral loading
I ran 2 miles sideways doing the grapevine.  My RunAmoc’s are weak when it comes to lateral loading so I was shocked when I had no issues.  I decided to up the ante and do some shuttle runs.  The rubber gripped my feet and the webbing held everything tightly in place.  Hmm, I was actually getting a bit mad that they did so good.

Day 2 of brutality testing:  Hills
I sought out every hill I could find.  I ran short steep grassy hills and long steep paved hills.  Running up hill posed no problems at all.  The heel strap and the grippy rubber kept everything in place.  Now for the downhill, every shoes weakness.  Again, the Pah Tempe surprised me with its ability to hold my foot.  Downhills were not an issue at all.  I tried to get my toes to slide off the front and never could.  From an engineering perspective here is the genius behind the webbing system.  One strap crosses you foot 3 times.  This strap is free to move and redistribute as pressure is applied to each section.  Since your foot is essentially triangular shaped in profile the straps act against the wedge-like shape of your foot.  The harder your foot attempts to press forward, the harder the three straps press back, evenly distributed of course along the full length of the strap.  Essentially, there is no place for your foot to go.

Day 3 of brutality testing:  Wet mud
I really wanted to find some wet mud but couldn’t so I opted for the closest thing that I could find.  Wet grass and sand.  Ok, it doesn’t have the same appeal as mud but it was the best I could come up with.  Wetness was not an issue at all.  Sand was interesting.  It seemed to cause less than normal problems.  I didn’t like it, but did notice that since the sandal is not really strapped that tight, the sand seemed to work its way out easier than I expected.  In general, I have more testing to do in the wet mud area so stay tuned.

Sole
For those not familiar with the Vibram Newflex material, it is one of the best minimalist soling options.  It is light, flexible and has good traction.  Combined with the 1″ webbing there is no slapping while running.  Newflex provides an excellent balance between ground feel and protection.

Webbing
Climbing webbing is one of my favorite options because it is strong and smooth.  Webbing feels great against your bare skin.  Unshoe has combined the webbing with a ladder buckle that locks the webbing in place.  Once set it does not move.  Over the last week I have never once adjusted the webbing.  Coming from huaraches, this fact alone is enough reason to buy these. 

Quality
Overall quality is exceptional especially considering the price.  The webbing was all cut and sealed neatly and stitched professionally.  It was even coated with a clear rubber where it could contact the pavement.  However, I was disappointing with the cut of the sole.  It was cut accurately but looked like my first pair of homemade huaraches looked.  My Luna’s came with edges that looked extremely professional.  These came looking like they were cut out by hand (see heel detail below).  This didn’t really affect performance or appearance but it is a small detail could be improved

Tripping Hazard?
When I first saw the Pah Tempe, I wondered how likely it would be to trip in them.  I will have a whole post on this topic but for now lets just say that if sized correctly (see pic below) tripping never happens.  Again, stay tuned for a post full of my crazy antics involved in ensuring that I would never trip.

Summary
Pros:
Comfortable out of the box
Stylish
Set it and forget it webbing
Slide on and off fit
Secure fit
Low cost

Cons:
Non professional finish
The excess strap would never laid flat

This was part 1 of my long term test so stay tuned for more each week or so.  On to the pictures

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