Second Wind

Second Wind
"Run With Purpose!"

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Best of the Best 1: Road Running Shoe

Alright guys, here's entry number 1 of the Best of the Best series!

As I mentioned before, I'm doing this to try to highlight the very best in different categories after prolonged use - we all know that we (on occasion...) try a product, Love it, rave about how it's the greatest thing ever, and then 6 months, or even 2 weeks later, you shelve them for a problem you didn't see right away.

Well, this "Best of the Best" series aims to fix some of that - the products I put in these categories are products that I've tested extensively (most for about 2 years).

Today's category is "Road (specific) Running Shoe"

Winner:  Nada!  
(no really... 'Nada')

The Nada Sports (previously under the 'Somnio' brand) "Nada"
I first brought this shoe to you back in October of 2011 and then spoke about the companies move into ladies only here  

That said, this shoe is still so unbelievably impressive, it's still worth it to buy for everyone.  The shoes (available in lots of colors) are made in a completely unisex design and platform.  They are sized in men's sizes but then labeled in women's sizes and then they tell you they run a full size large... Is that confusing enough?
Let me translate:  If you are a man, you order your size (so if you wear a men's 9.5, order a women's 9.5 and it will be right for you), if you are a woman, you order 1 size smaller than usual (so if you wear a women's size 9.5, order a women's size 8.5)

The shoes are amazing.  Still, hands down, the very best minimalist shoe I've ever worn for road running.

The shoes are completely seamless, no rubbing, no irritation, no hot spots; you can easily wear them with socks or without.

They are made of a sort-of stretch mesh that is very thin and unbelievably breathable. 

The mesh is so thin and stretchy that the shoe is “held together” by these strips of overlays (what a lot of people refer to affectionately as the Somnio duct-tape) that are made of Thermo Polyurethane – these strips keep your foot from sliding but that’s about it – they don’t restrict and they are Not stiff at all.

The sole is listed at 6mm but due to the material (very very soft) it honestly feels even thinner than that and provides excellent ground feel. 
One thing that will be interesting to see on this shoe is how well the sole holds up in the long run just because it is so thin and soft.

The toe box is wide and, again, the mesh is so stretchy that I would wager almost any foot width could be accommodated. 
This leads me to my only complaint… sort of.  Though it doesn’t bother me while running (I only visually notice it while I’m stretching), the toebox is wide, and the mesh stretches very well, but the actual Sole of the shoe (the actual white sole) is very narrow.  What this does is when I’m doing a wide hamstring stretch or a standing groin stretch (for instance), my foot actually slides over the edge of the sole.  Just an interesting point… not a hindrance that I can tell, but feels odd when not running – I wish the actual sole of the shoe were wider (I feel like the sole of my foot is wider than the white sole of the shoe… but not wider than the internal compartment of the shoe itself)

There is, of course, NO heel to toe drop - in fact, though never mentioned by Somnio that I can tell, people rumor that NADA stands for No Anterior Drop Applied.   Though possible, to me “NADA” simply means what it means in its truest form… nothing.  Nothing extra, nothing superfluous. 

That pretty much sums it up… this shoe has everything you would want (zero drop, complete flexibility, zero break in, seamless, sockliner, flat bottom, ultra lite), and nothing you don’t (no support, no arch, no drop, no… nothing) all in THE single lightest shoe I have ever seen…. That’s one of the greatest features:  these shoes weigh 3.6 ounces.  Yeah, that’s right, 100 grams – almost HALF the weight of a pair of Fivefingers!

Also, as a nice bonus, the shoes are $85 – which, in comparison, is Quite reasonable.

They also come (now) in lots of colors:  white, red, black, carolina blue, green, orange, pink, and more - check them out here:

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