Second Wind

Second Wind
"Run With Purpose!"

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Best of the Best 4: Boots

This was a category that was largely empty for a very long time (way too long).  Minimalist boots just could not be found.

Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to test out several different ones that have come to market within the last 2 years, some good, some bad, 1 terrible, 2 fantastic.

Today I want to hit on the first of those 2 completely fantastic ones (the other I'll write up on the next blog - very excited about it!).

First on is one I reviewed back in June, the

Russell Moccasin Thula Thula

Russell Moccasin makes completely custom (and 100% by hand) shoes and boots to Your exact measurements - you measure your foot, heel, length, width, height, etc, send them in, and they build You your own perfect pair.

  • ·       The sole is Vibram, very thin, slip and oil resistant.  It's flat and does not take any mud at all while still providing excellent traction. 
  • ·       The leather is very nice, good looking, abrasion resistant, tough, waterproof, absolutely top of the line
  • ·       The bullhide mudguard around the edge (overlapping the sole to the leather upper) provides excellent protection against nicks, cuts, and scratches while also helping provide an added layer of protection from the elements (in water proofing).
  • ·       The tongue/collar is gusseted for water proofing and is so soft you won't believe it
  • ·       Speed lacing hooks provide stability and varied level of tension
  • ·       The 1/16" midsole provides good ground feel and superb flexibility while offering just the right amount of 'rock plate' protection and the sole is extremely flexible  - just what you would want and expect in a minimalist shoe of any kind.  The boot will roll up toe to heel and will also roll and torque side to side.  There are no stiff points, no stability webs or the like (perfect)
  • ·       There is, of course, no heel-to-toe drop (zero drop).  This is only the second ‘boot’ that I’m aware of that offers a zero drop (and the only one of this quality)
  • ·       The boots are very light weight, weighing in at only 1.5 pound!  For reference, my Vasque Sundowners weigh in at just under 3 ½ pounds (so the pair weights almost 1/2 pound less than a single standard hiking boot).
  • ·       One of the most important features of this boot to me is the fact that they are waterproof – and they really are, completely!  There are so many times where I require a waterproof platform but can’t stand my traditional (heavy, stabilized, and substantial heel drop) boots and these offer me a completely waterproof platform to fit my needs.

    Overall, hands down, the best minimalist (or otherwise for that matter) boot on the market.  That said, it's one draw back is a huge stopper:  as a custom, 100% handmade, American boot the price tag for these is $366.00

    Since this time I've had the opportunity to test out a brand new minimalist boot from Lems that I absolutely love.  Had I had it a bit earlier it would have even given these Russell boots a run and the Lems Boulder comes in at less than 1/3 of the price 

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