Put Your Best Foot Forward

In this instalment of our shoe and feet saga, read the previous ones here and here, we will review a bunch of shoes to give you an idea of the shoes that we wear. Their good and bad points. To give you some info to use when choosing your next pair of shoes. To give you a broad spectrum of opinions Armando, Justin and myself will review what we wear.

Armando’s review

Vivo Barefoot (Stealth and Evo Pure)

I use my Vivo’s for training and as my daily walking around shoes

The good

They are comfortable, your feet move freely in them and they are lightweight, you don't realize you are wearing them sometimes.

The bad

They start to break around the sole, especially by the forefoot area. They are not good in wet weather conditions.

Reebok Nanos 3.0

Use my Nanos only for training.

The good

They have a wide toe box and a good heel to toe drop. They can take a lot of knocks. I have had mine for 3 years now, but they are about to go into retirement.

The bad

They did start to break around the toe box in the first few months, but I have realised that all shoes that I buy tend to start to break in the forefoot area first.

Justin’s review

Reebok Nano 6.0

I was looking for a shoe to use in the gym. The Nanos suit my training style.

It is a light, mean looking training shoe. It has a wide toe box that gives your toes some breathing space. The heel to toe drop is minimal. The Nano 6 gives my feet good stability while still being flexible around the sole. I like the grip under the sole that makes it easier when I do sled push or broad jumps and other kinds of exercises. I use them basically every day, lifting heavy, doing a lot of different types of exercises. The only critique I can give is that it is not as breathable compared to the Vivo barefoot shoes, but it is not something that makes a huge difference for me. I would definitely recommend this shoe for anyone.

Innov8 Trail Talon 250

I haven’t done much training in the Talon 250. It is a minimalist shoe with 4mm heel to toe drop. It is breathable and very flexible sole. Innov8 Trail Talon 250 has minimal cushioning and it is very light. It is a comfortable fit. The sole of the shoe is designed to give you grip on hard, rocky trails. The one negative point is that the Innov8 brand is hard to find in South African stores. So you are forced to buy online. It can pose a problem when you looking for the right size. In my opinion this is one of the best trail running shoes compared to others on the market.

Casual Sneaker

Other than my training shoes I love walking around these shoes. It is comfortable, stylish and very light. This shoe has virtually a zero heel to toe drop, no cushioning, very light, flexible, and very durable. The negative points though, it is not breathable and does not have a wide toe box. For the duration of time that I wear it during the day it fits great.

 Llewellyn’s review

Note: generally my training/ gym shoe is my everyday shoe as well, but my current training shoe had to be retired from everyday shoe status.

Training/ Gym shoe: Nike SB (skateboard)

This is the best overall training shoe that I have used

The good

This shoe is pretty indestructible. I use it for lifting, jumping, sprints, I’ve even done some longer running with it (400-1600m) and for a long time it was my everyday walking around shoe, but had to be retired because they look a bit worn out now.

It has a wide toe box, it has a very low heel to toe drop and minimal cushioning. I enjoy training in them and I do prefer minimal cushioning, so they may not be for everyone.

The bad

These ones are suede so they don’t handle getting wet and dirty well. They are not really cushioned so they aren’t the best for longer distance running on hard surfaces.

Trail running shoe:  Altra Superior

This is the shoe that I use for trail running and hill sprints. I don’t use these on tarred roads, just on grass and gravel.

The good

It is a Zero drop shoe with a reasonable amount of cushioning that is great for trail running. My favourite thing about these shoes is the toe box it really has good room for toe movement. The grip is great for trail running and for a person like me who loves zero drop shoes, these are awesome.

The bad

It gave me blisters on my instep the first few times I ran in them for more than 5km, but this was more of a lacing and sock choice issue, but it does not bother me anymore.

The everyday shoe: Feiyue

The good

These are my current everyday walking around shoe. They are flat and really minimalist. The toe box is not narrow, but not the widest though. They are comfortable, flexible and you can really feel what’s going on under your feet.

The bad

They are not that durable, so they don’t handle the stress of training that well. I will do easy training sessions in them but they don’t handle sprinting and jumping that well. They are pretty cheap though, so the lack of durability is not a surprise.

There you have it. An overview of our shoe choices. So next time you need new shoes consider more than how they look and pure comfort. Think about what is healthy for your feet. What feels comfortable now might not be the healthiest option and might not feel comfortable in the long run when you make better footwear decisions.