Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Ran in the Moc 3's in the cold. Verdict.......

Got my bright red, size 12 (you know what they say) Soft Star Moc 3's. In the mail and started immediatelyusing them on my early (5:30 am) morning runs before work for the last couple of weeks and the verdict is "love them!" Full disclosure: I am currently representing Soft Star at some upcoming fitness expos. That being said, I contacted Soft Star about representing them because I loved their Dash shoes and their company philosophy. I used the Dashes for trail running and thought they were the best shoe I'd run with when wearing shoes was needed. I have yet to run in the Dash road version but at this point I am loving the Moc 3's too much to worry about it.
These shoes were designed by Mike Friton - who currently teaches shoe design at the Portland Art Institute in the heart of the running shoe capitol of the world - and they are truly minimal. Some features are the perforated leather uppers which are sewn over a layer of Breathe-O-Prene®. This stuff is kind of like very breathable wet suit material and so far has kept my feet nice and warm without socks. The soles come from Vibram and are extremely thin at 2mm. You will feel the ground! They are made with domestic leather and dyed with food-grade dyes so they're safe to eat if you ever get really lost and are especially desperate but want to avoid eating your companions. (Wow, these guy have thought of everything) Other features that I find really important:
  1. Very compactable - this comes in handy when you want to carry your shoes instead of wearing them. I do this a lot. Barefoot hardcores will tell you not to do this because it's a crutch. Screw them!
  2. Very light at 5 oz. - This goes along with feature 1 for me as well as just making you faster. I don't know about you but foot-specific weight loss is really a difficult target area for me so any weight savings there is a big plus.
  3. They are slip-ons - Wow, for a lazy, impatient runner like me this is huge! 3.5. They are slip-offs - Yeah, just when you thought, "What else could these shoes feature, well, here you go!
  4. They work for people with toes not shaped like a Vibram Five Finger shoe - I have a borderline "Morton's Toe" more on my left foot than my right and I resent that it is a named condition like it's a malady that someone should feel sorry for me about. Soft Star doesn't discriminate against people with longer toes or shorter toes or webbed toes or extra toes or even no toes and for that I applaud them!
  5. Awesome color selection - What if you're running for say....The Dutch in some local event and you want to represent? Black just ain't gonna cut it! No, you need obnoxious orange shoes to show your pride at being a cheese-eating, chocolate-loving, wind-mill-turning, leaky-dike-plugging Dutchman or Dutchwoman and Soft Star says, "Wij zijn het eens!" English translation, "Damn straight!" they have a large selection of colors to choose from and since the shoes are handmade to order in America by Americans you will get an orange pair of shoes to represent in style; American style!
My running of late has been in the early, cold mornings. Now it's not cold here by anywhere else but Southern State standards and in fact - though Portland is located above 45 degrees latitude our weather is heavily influenced by the Pacific Ocean and so we are typically above freezing all but a few days a year - but Holy crap does it rain. I can say with a smile that I don't feel any discomfort wet or dry and I like that. OK, I have to come clean here as well; as a barefoot runner I can take a lot of crappy conditions as far as my feet are concerned so sometimes I have to, "put myself in another's shoes" as it were, and with that in mind I say they are comfortable, damn it - comfortable! At this point you may be saying to yourself, "wow this guy uses a lot of exclamation points." That is true and a good observation; congratulations!
I have not run high miles on my Moc 3's as of yet but in the months to come I will, and you can count on me to report on them with honesty and lots of exclamation points! Have a good run,


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