Note: this was revised last Friday but due to some technical problems with Blogspot, it reverted to its original post. Putting up again revised post on this...
Thanks to Terra Plana Philippines for these shoes and for Barefoot Running Philippines for the Barefoot running sessions at Ultra. Looking forward for more of these sessions and (hopefully) more raffle prizes!
Guess the luck of a preggy woman extends to her husband... :)
In claiming my prize, Per and I visited their store located on the 3rd floor of Trinoma Mall (right next to Marks & Spencer). For this model (VIVOBAREFOOT Neo), there were four color combinations to choose from: white/red, white/ green, white/black, and yellow/black. I got to say these shoes really looked stylish and after trying most color combinations, I settled for the white/red ones. Retail price for these shoes are at Php 5,500.
These shoes don't look like your ordinary bulky running shoes but rather chic, fashionable walking shoes. But don't let its appearance deceive you as they are quite comfortable and I've been wearing them for days now. The thin insoles could also be removed for a more "barefoot" feel and these shoes could be worn with or without socks. The shoes are perfect for me given that they have a wider toe box compared to other running shoes out there (Adidas, Nike) and perfect for those thinking of running barefoot but didn’t want to get feet dirtied or blistered.
In terms of the weight of the shoes, my 11.0 to 11.5 size would be approximate 9.0 oz, which is similar to the NB 903/ 904 series I used to have (and to which I used for running full marathons once upon a time). It’s heavier than other minimalist shoes (Vibram Fivefingers) but still lighter than most running shoes.
The real test for these shoes was when I used it for running, which I reluctantly (as didn’t want to have them dirtied) did last Thursday night at Ultra Track Oval.
From a target of 2.5 -3km short jog, it extended to 6km with water breaks every 2.5kms.
I got to say I did not feel any heel pains when I ran in these shoes. My calves were tight so had to walk it off at 2.5km to loosen the muscles again. But I’m thinking that this could be the “barefoot” way of running as the exact same thing happened to me in my previous barefoot run sessions. I was able to run my fastest 400 meters repeatedly as well, which I wasn’t able to do for some time now. It being lighter than my average running shoes could have helped with that as well.On a negative side, the tongues of the shoes were mildly damped after running 6km so I am not sure if it was the hot weather that night, or my faster than average pace, or the material used in the shoes that lead it to absorbing the sweat more than my regular New Balance shoes, but this needs to be explored further.
As mentioned, these shoes and other models are available in Trinoma Mall but they also have stores in Mall of Asia and in Cebu, among other places in the Philippines.