Recently, I got the opportunity to try out Invisible Shoes, which are minimalist running sandals. Yes, I said the words minimalist, running, AND sandals in the same phrase.
I had yet to have anything to do with the barefoot running movement. In fact, in 2007, I wrote a weird rambling about Vibrams, and just last month, I gave out a pair of minimalist running shoes but didn't even try them myself.
But the allure of the sandals was too much, so I sent in the following tracing of my foot to create my custom pairs. Apparently, I got a little crazy and accidentally marked my skin with permanent marker. :$
A few days later, my pairs came. I chose mine to be laced in orange and black. I got two pairs (one on each foot in the pic, but I assure you that I have complete pairs of both!) because they come in different thicknesses. The orange one on the left is 6mm, and the black is 4mm. The thinner ones are supposed to give you more of a "natural" feel, though my review so far is just of the 6mm one. Gotta start somewhere!
Also, the shoes came with a long strand of leftover lace. I went to their website to figure out what to do with it, resulting in the little "flowers" you see. There are many ways to tie the shoe to your own comfort, though I mostly just kept the slip-on/slip-off configuration as they came.
NOTE: I can't believe I am showing my feet on the blog. o_O The things I do to give an honest review!
This picture below is not a good one of me (self-timing fresh from the gym!), but I'm trying to prove that these are cute to wear casually, which I plan on doing!
The next picture is me gearing up for my first run in them. While not a flattering pic again, you get the idea. I ran .25 mi with these to prevent doing "too much, too soon." Interestingly, it was 90+ degrees out, and not having to wear socks and conventional shoes actually felt really good.
Okay, so now onto the part you're probably wondering about... will I keep running in these? Yes! I have to work on a new gait, but I honestly didn't feel that these shoes were not protecting me from the harsh, hot, rubble-y ground. It was kind of liberating.
I will probably just incorporate small trials like this one for a while, since my legs did feel a little tight afterward, presumably because they were more involved than usual. But I was still okay to slap on my normal shoes and do my interval workout. I guess I'm hoping that my leg muscles will be a little more balanced by running "barefoot" once in a while, and perhaps I will learn to soften my steps and not pound my legs to death.
FTC Disclaimer: I was sent this product to review and not otherwise compensated to provide any particular opinion of it.