Friday, August 12, 2011

Please unsubscribe me from the World Vision newsletter

God knows I've tried enough times, maybe posting it to a blog is how you get off the list?

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Terra Plana Evo review

My Vibrams are worn out (or through) so after having a good experience with the Merrell Trail Gloves I decided to get a pair of Terra Plana Evos.

It's a pain to get Vibram FiveFingers in Australia at the moment. They're hard to find in shops, can't be shipped here from the USA and they're about twice the price even though our dollar is currently trading higher than the USD.

The Evos are more expensive than the Vibrams but a little less "freaky" and provide a similar minimal experience to the Merrells. That is, your toes are free, there's no support or cushioning and you get a fair degree of "ground feel".

I considered a pair of Merrell True Gloves (the "road" equivalent of the Trail Gloves) but they had too much cushioning for my liking and unlike the Evos, they didn't have removable inner soles.

I bought them in the black/red style, which was probably not that smart. They contrast too much against my skin and tend to look a bit odd, they're a very small shoe and black emphasises that.

One thing to note, is that the women's model is identical to the men's, but quite a bit cheaper! Unfortunately they only go up to size 41, but it's something to take advantage of if you have small feet. Speaking of which, the Evos are sized pretty small, the 42 is plenty big enough for me, which is a size or two smaller than my regular shoes.

The lacing is the same as for the Merrell Trail Gloves, holding snuggly to the middle of the foot and leaving your toes free to splay. They don't lock onto my heel as nicely however and they tend to feel a little loose after running a few kms.

They are a minimal shoe and still a long way from barefoot, with less ground feel than Vibrams, even wearing them without socks and taking out the inner soles. Still, you feel pebbles and the contrast between concrete, asphalt, gravel, dirt, grass surfaces well enough and it doesn't seem to interfere with my stride. They don't have a lot of grip however and slip pretty easily if it gets muddy. While they'd probably do fine on dry trails, I don't think they feel very suitable for general trail running.

Not wearing socks did cause some significant rubbing issues however. That was partly due to me jumping straight into 12km runs with them, and I have to resort to prepping with vaseline. It's definitely something to be aware of as they press on different parts of your foot than the Five Fingers do.

I've done about 85km in them now and they feel good. They don't feel like they'll wear out too quickly, aren't too cold (though our winter has been fairly mild so far), and don't soak up water between the toes like the Five Fingers. They feel like they'll be fine in warmer weather too, the upper is a very thin and breathable mesh.

Overall, other than the price, they're great and I'd recommend them to any experienced minimalist shoe runners.