Let’s just start things with a mini disclaimer: I’m not one of those folks who are shoe junkies. I can pretty much adapt myself to any reasonable shoe without injury and what not. This is good because I have no loyalties to any specific brand. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let’s begin with my shoe review.
Firstly, Lets go through the marketing hype for this shoe as taken from their official website:
A technology born and bred in the triathon world. You asked us for shoes that are more comfortable when worn without socks. So we invented BareFit and did away with virtually all the hot spots, blisters, and bloody feet. In the process, we found BareFit just makes a better running shoe. If you start fit from the inside – like we did with BareFit – you don’t have to add clutter on the outside. That just makes more sense to us.
CarbonSpan+ is lighter, stronger, and tuned to running. It’s everything that plastic isn’t. You will notice CarbonSpan+ provides a smooth powerful toe off.
The ultimate in performance mesh. TekSheen’s engineered stretch provides maximum muscle stabilization and ventilation without increasing fabric weight.
79% Nylon 21% Spandex
ULTRA Tri, Run & Cycle
… sounds impressive right? Let’s break this down shall we?
The marketing of this ‘BareFit’ technology emphasizes running without socks. I’ve done a few races sockless and I can’t say that I’m a fan. I much prefer going with socks even though it’ll cost me a few seconds in transition (oh the horror!). Anyhow, this shoe was definitely built for people who prefer going sockless. You can immediately feel how comfortable the shoe feels when you first wear them. The top half of the shoe feels super light and you can barely notice the laces there. It feels like you’re putting on some compression gear, but for your foot. There was no rubbing or chaffing to be had on the top of your foot or toes. I approve.
The ‘CarbonSpan+’ is just some carbon fibre material located at the sole. I can’t say it really made a difference at all. I think that’s some marketing hype.
And finally, the TekSheen is basically the material they use. It goes hand in hand with the sockless technology and I can definitely say that I like the feel of this material. Your feet feel less suffocated compared to other shoes, so I definitely approve of this.
I’ve ran 3 different marathons in these shoes, so they definitely are OK for longer distance events. I’ve also done 2x Ironman races with these shoes during the run portion and they provided the comfort that my feet needed. The only thing I can’t really recommend is the MSRP of $160. If you can score a pair of these shoes on clearance, then go for it. Or at least try them on for yourselves.
Verdict: Buy (but only if you can get it on sale!)