Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Amphibious Runner

Huh, nobody made a comment about my mention of new shoes in yesterday's recap. So much for trying to create a little suspense.

As you know, I've been running with a variety of footwear and sometimes without. My choices range from completely barefoot, to huarache sandals, to Brooks T6 Racers. And now, I have one more option: aqua socks.

Barefoot Josh suggested these as a good minimal shoe many months ago. But instead of buying the pair I saw at Walmart for $7, I decided to make my Hippy Shoes.

The huaraches work well, but the one thing that bothers me is how much they flap. This trait is especially annoying on trails, where the toes kick up debris and I proceed to kick it, like what happened last week during my midweek eight-miler. After that painful experience, I decided to try the aqua socks.

Of course, when I went back to the Giant Store of Sprawling Doom, the only size they had left was XXL. Instead I went to Target, where they had what you see here for $9.99.

The nice thing is that these aqua socks have laces, whereas the brand from the Mom and Pop Store Killer had a Velcro strap. These laces are well worth the extra $2.99.

My virginal run in the new shoes was last Friday, an easy four miles. Then I decided to test them on a longer run with more difficult terrain: nine miles out and back on the final leg of the Burning River 100.

The aqua socks have a heavy, but flexible rubber sole with zero drop off between heel and toe. I get about the same feeling for the ground as I do in the Hippy Shoes. However, the upper keeps the shoe from flapping like the huaraches, although the mesh and neoprene of the upper can feel a bit warm and sweaty after a few miles.


Jess said...

I've read that water shoes work as a cheaper alternative to something like the Five Fingers. Glad they're working out for you.

Jess said...

I never would have thought of Aqua Socks as an alternative to Five Fingers, but it makes sense, and they certainly are more cost effective!

Jamoosh said...

No flapping means a stealthier approach. I'll have to ensure my Minions are on the look out for you.

Angie Bishop said...

I like that yours have laces! I wear the Teva Proton water shoes in the winter with wool socks. They are great although I would love to be able to adjust the fit.

Nitmos said...

Is this part 4 of the What Else Can I Put On My Feet - Except Running Shoes - To Run In series? Wake me when you get to watermelon rinds.

But, on a side note, terrific stats for the month of July - running shoes or not!

Eric said...

I'll have to check Target for some of these. The Wal-Mart near me doesn't have any.

MCM Mama said...

Those are on my list of things to try. I'm still at the barefoot only on the treadmill stage until I find something to protect me from our urban environment.