Friday, November 20, 2015

Test Driving the NEW VivoBarefoot Stealth II Winterproof Ladies Road Shoes

The Original Barefoot Shoe! How it did on the 5K Trail
Right now I'm less than two weeks away from doing my second Run 10 FEED 10, 10K race this year. I'm doing the Run Your Own 10K in my area this time so if you'd like to support me in providing meals for hungry local children please click HERE and make a donation. Running in NYC is great, don't get me wrong but the logistics of getting to the race line on time via mass transit is tricky! So I plan to simply use my training trail at the park which has mile and quarter mile markers in place.

New Kicks for the Race
These new running shoes just arrived in time for the cool weather. I chose these because this particular model of VivoBarefoot road shoe is a Winterproof version which comes with Thermal Insoles. They are also water resistant. I got to test both claims as it rained hard the day before and the temps were in the 50's for my maiden run.

5K for the Test Drive
I started out walking and immediately noticed being able to sense the trail beneath my feet due to the thinner soles. I also sensed how my toes were able to naturally move and splay inside the running shoes. Cool! I had on thin socks and after the first 1/2 mile thought it would be a good idea to place an adhesive bandage over the areas that were rubbing. This is common for new shoes so not a problem but otherwise they were comfortable for the entire 5K test run.

My first Run 10 FEED 10 in NYC - September 20th. PHOTO courtesy of Women's Health Mag.

Light Yet Right
The Vivobarefoot Stealth II Road Shoes are much lighter and more flexible than my uber cushy Hoka One One Bondi 4's.  The Hoka One Ones are also road shoes but have enough grip to allow them to run on a gravel packed trail as well. I found the Stealth II's to be equally as nimble on the same terrain. 

My Hoka One One Bondi 4's have an ultra thick sole.
The Transition
So I expected a BIG transition between running in the super thick soled Hoka's and the VivoBarefoot. I will admit that it did feel weird for the first 100 yards or so but in short order my great toe and ball of my foot began taking over as my body's natural anchor and stabilizer.
I was like the Energizer Bunny! Really impressed on how light these road shoes are and how long I could go without breaking into a walk.

2015 NYC Run 10 FEED 10  10K Race

A Road Shoe for the Run 10 FEED 10?
So the 5K + flew by and I didn't notice any additional stress on my knees or shins. In fact I was really able to open it up towards the end of my run. The VivoBarefoot Running Shoes and footwear in general do allow for maximum sensory feedback. That is due to their unique, puncture resistant soles. My feet didn't get wet even though I ran over patches of still soaked grass and felt completely warm and snug even with wind gusts up to 20 mph. These road shoes look similar to the thinner soled ones being worn by the lead runners in the NYC and big city Marathons. Now whether or not they perform like them is yet to be seen!

The shoe material is very breathable as my socks and feet were completely dry after my sprint. These road shoes come in European sizing and require hand-washing and line drying only. My model as shown here is in Orange/Navy Mesh. So will I wear these for my upcoming 10K? Well, they did great for my 5K today so I think they are a "shoe in" for the Run 10 FEED 10 race! See all the new fall/winter 2015 VivoBarefoot Shoe Styles at or only the ladies models HERE.

VivoBarefoot Stealth II Winterproof  Ladies Road Shoes in Orange/Navy Mesh
I wore the Stealth II's for the first half of the Run My Own 10k. I switched to my Hoka Vanquish Road Shoes at the 3.1 mile mark as my shins and knees were starting to fatigue in the Stealth II's.
As they are a barefoot shoe, they do not offer the same rebound and return of energy the way the thicker soled Hokas do. As a result, I was off about 10 minutes from my NYC 10k time. Now, I realize this was a gravel trail with hills and more difficult than a smooth city roadway. I also just did a 5k in the Stealth II's on Thanksgiving Day so that's a lot of miles in a short period of time. The strain was cumulative I'm sure.

So while I'm a little disappointed in the Vivobarefoot road shoes performance at this 10k event, they are very nimble and would do well for a shorter sprint where lightness counts. Definitely would work for running on the beach or grassy areas.

Finished the race in my Hokas!

NEW Recovery Drink
After the run I had a Coco Joy Coconut Milk Shake which packed easily in my gym tote. They come in Banana, Chocolate and Coffee are are really delicious. Coconut Water is also great as a rehydration and recovery drink. I have to say I wasn't as sore once I got home and slept quite well with no leg cramps. I also recommend taking about 500 mgs of calcium citrate before bedtime.

Coco Joy Pure Coconut Milk Shakes to go.

Road shoes c/o Vivobarefoot

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