Unshoes Feather Review

Posted: December 2, 2011 in barefoot, Fitness, Health, Life, Primal, Reviews, Running, Sandals, Shoes
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Welcome again my fellow Puffins,

As you are probably aware I have become a big fan of huaraches. They are just about the best minimalist shoe you can find, they let us channel our inner hippie, and they are cheap minimalist options as far as shoes go. The average price for huaraches is much lower than their more conventional minimalist brethren.

Having said that, today we are going to talk about the Unshoes Feather model. This model as specifically designed for runners. They are the lightest model offered by unshoes, and once on your feet, they live up to their name.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These shoes are super light. Unshoes keeps the weight down by using a new soling material that isn’t found anywhere, at least to my knowledge, within the minimalist black market. They use a 5mm Newflex material that provides, in my humble opinion, the most comfortable naked footbed out of all the huaraches that I’ve worn. This footbed has a very nice almost plush feel under foot. As far as the foot shape, all of the unshoes huaraches are individually cut. No pre-cut soles here such as you would find at invisibleshoes or Luna. While this does increase turn around time, it provides the wearer with unparalleled fit. One of the most important things in a huarache is the fit. A bad fit makes for a poor sandal, and a poor sandal makes for a waste of money. So, the fact that they don’t offer a pre-cut option does nothing but guarantee a good fit. Good call on their end.

The tread of the sandal is one of the most aggresive that I’ve seen. It boasts a really gnarly tread with some pretty serious bite. The design isn’t just to add grip. The negative space that is created allows the sole to have the lightweight characteristics that give it its name. It also provides the sole with excellent flexibility. I’d put them at slightly better than the 4mm contacts by invisibleshoes. And I’d rank them miles above the flexibility of Luna. However, that is not to say that the flexibility doesn’t come with a downfall. Many people sighted the Vibram Cherry rubber as being so flexible that the toe sometimes folds over on itself. This is no exception with the Newflex material either. I experienced this multiple times on the first few runs while wearing them. That being said, raising your foot slightly higher during the lift portion of your gait might alleviate some of this problem. However, I stand firmly on the side of not altering your form to fit the shoe. Another important note is that Unshoes purposely leaves a little extra material on their sandals. So, trimming your sandal yourself might help with the problem too.

Now something you might be noticing is that big wad of gum looking thing in the middle of the forefoot. Sure, it’s not pretty too look at, but what it does is amazing and a great function of the Unshoe huaraches. It makes the biggest problem of traditional huaraches disappear. It removes that cumbersome annoying knot out from under your foot. It makes the entire sandal smooth and provides a level of comfort that is hard to find in a huarache. While it’s not an elegant method it serves its purpose.

The lacing system is also very different from anything else on the market. It’s USER FRIENDLY. Gone are the wasted times on a run adjusting your knots and fidgeting with the fit. There is no need to overtighten the sandal at the beginning of the run just so you don’t have to fix it every 1/2 a mile. In fact the only thing needed to adjust the sandal is the toggle that is on the sandal. It’s just like tightening the strap on a back pack. Super easy. You might also notice the elongated loop on the outsides of my feet. This allowed me to crank the tightness on my sandal without the strap digging into my skin. Super comfy. Something that you can’t really see from the picture, and believe me I tried to get a profile shot, is the loops that actually attach the lace to the sandal. That’s right, the laces don’t go under the sandal. Great from a wear and tear standpoint. No need to buy replacement laces. I don’t have anything negative to say about the lacing system, and I must say I prefer them over the thin cord of the invisibleshoes and the robust leather laces of luna. These strike a nice balance. One final note on the attachment system, it makes the laces sit perfectly on my foot and after the first few steps, they seem to disappear. They truly are idiot proof, which is a nice touch.

 

Final thoughts,

I’ve put over 45 miles on my feathers, and they have left my other huaraches in the dust. I have very few negative things to say about the sandals. They are great sandals for both huarache masters and noobies. The user friendly lacing system and the great fit provided by custom cut soles make this an excellent sandal right out of the package. Some might find a better fit after a slight trim, but I rather like the bit of extra material. You can’t go wrong with these sandals and you’d be hard pressed to find better ones on the market today.

 

Until next time,

Puff

 

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Comments
  1. Aaron Wallentine says:

    sweet! thx for the review … I’ve been wanting to get a pair of these for a while, and forgot which brand I wanted … but this is the one! 🙂 Though I love my VFFs, these seem so much easier to put on/off, a bit closer to barefoot, lighter, easier to keep unstinky, and inexpensive to boot!

    • They truly are a great pair of shoes. Like I said, they are the pair I reach for even in cold weather. Amazing what a pair of injinji socks will do with these. You can’t go wrong with them.

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