Thursday, January 19, 2012
Ra - The Best Minimalist Dress Shoe So Far
Minimalist Dress Shoes but unfortunately could not include the Ra because I didn't own a pair. However, now I am happy to say that I do.
First, this was a tough shoe to find - it's never available anywhere in black, and when you can find it, it's not usually in my size. But after spending a week shopping around I found it at www.BornToRun.com. For sizing I went with my Vibram Five Finger sizing (which you can also get there if you need to freshen up your old ones). And the size was spot-on perfect.
I was pleasantly surprised by the shoe, it looked a little kid-like and for a moment I didn't think I could make them work with dress pants or suit, but then I put them on. From the first slip of my left foot into the shoe I knew I'd have to make them work. I slipped on the other one, tied the laces and took a few steps, and a grin the size of the Grand Canyon came to my lips. For the first time in weeks I took steps in a shoe without any Top of Foot Pain (TOFP).
For the last 3 weeks I have been battling unbelievable TOFP that only happens when I'm in a shoe - not at all when I'm barefoot. I can run OK in Vibrams or barefoot, but when I wear a shoe for a more than a few steps I get pain in my right foot that practically hobbles me. Yet, I can still run. Go figure.
These shoes are so comfortable that I didn't want to take them off. Nice wide toe box, smooth lacing and excellent ground feedback (I can feel little pebbles under the sole and textured tile surfaces.) I'm also fairly confident they'll take a nice coat of Black Parade Shine to brighten them up and look sharp (they have a bit of a Matte finish as you can tell from the pics.) And, if I needed to go for a run this shoe is certainly a willing participant.
I highly recommend these shoes. If you can find'em, buy'em.