Saturday, July 2, 2011

Somnio Nada Review and GIVEAWAY!

Giveaway is now closed!
  Before the Nada's graced my life I had overlooked Somnio since it catered to those who wanted a padded, cushioned, stabilizing running shoe.  And then out of nowhere the Nadas appear. Typically there is huge hype and lead up to a shoe's release but I don't think there was much of one for the Nadas or if there was I missed it.  What a stellar first try for Somnio!   I have heard that Nada stands for No Anterior  Drop Applied or the Spanish word for "nothing".  Either way, it's an excellent name.

  The shoe is zero drop and just a smidge under 4 oz according to my kitchen scale. This is close to half the weight of my other minimal shoes. The collar is smooth and soft and the sockliner is soft as well with no irritating seams to rub.   With just about every shoe I have owned there is at least one spot on one of the shoes that rubs the wrong way.  Not the case for me with the Nadas.  I have yet to have any rubbing or blistering from these.  It seems to be a necessary evil inherent to shoes that there is the dreaded break in period.  This has become an even more intensely unpleasant experience having gone barefoot for so long now.  I am pleased to say that there was no break in period with the Nadas and I have only worn them without socks.  The ability to wear them sockless just adds to the ground feel as well comfort.

 This crazy cat I know, Jesse Scott, had minor issue with them rubbing although he wear tested them while winning a 12 hour ultra.  I remember seeing his shoe and thinking they were shiny and cool looking.  Later on I discovered that they were the Nadas.   The race director of said 12 hour ultra , Shelley Viggiano, also tested them out.  She is a long time barefoot/minimal shoe wearing ultra runner and she adores the Nadas as she so eloquently states in her review.  I agree with her sentiments and am pleased to have found such a lite shoe that meets the needs of  a road runner.

  I could see these being a great racing flat with a 6mm midsole although currently I use them for regular wear when it is not prudent to barefoot.  Lately its been hot and if I decide to wear shoes to provide protection from the hot asphalt I have been choosing the Nadas.  A lite and flexible mesh upper provides enough ventilation and yet keeps stuff out of the shoe.
Very simply, with a little bit of shiny silver for style, this shoe is a piece of rubber with an upper attached to it. Just what is needed and no more.  They didn't over do it and put in a bunch of fancy details that only sound impressive in the description and yet detract from actual natural running.   Funny how its a compliment to say so much about what they didn't do!!

  They are a tad bit squishy in that they absorb energy that I would prefer would go into elastic recoil of my own body although the ground feel is still adequate. I can still feel rocks and sticks and terrain and even temperature.   I prefer the VIVOBAREFOOT soles as they are firm and yet thin  however the Nada's are so lite that it balances out the pro's and con's.  If the Somnio Nadas and VIVOBAREFOOT Evos had babies, the spawn would be a perfect shoe.  The weight of the Nadas combined with the puncture resistant sole of the Evos would be fabulous.

  The Nadas are definitely a road running shoe as you can see from the photo. They provide excellent traction on the roads being grippy and flat.   They are shiny and simple. I know I mentioned the shiny already but they are fun looking shoes and shiny makes me feel faster!

  The only downside that I know of is that I have heard that they do not last very long as the EVA breaks down quickly. I have not however heard of someone wearing them completely out so the jury is still out on that one.  I have not personally experienced this however I only use them as a supplement to my barefoot running.  I don't walk around in them as I would really like to make them last as a running shoe and not put added wear on them.   They are priced at $80 and is reasonable (comparatively) in the shoe world. 

  When ordering, you must take into consideration that these run  REALLY BIG.  About a full size too big.  So order smaller than your usual shoe size.  They come with a training DVD that goes over some strengthening exercises that address the transition to a minimal shoe.  My personal opinion is that doing the act you are training for in a slow methodical way is the best training method.  So going barefoot, even if its for training purposes, will acclimate you to minimal shoe wear. Doing drills in shoes will not. Its a matter of your body being able to feel how its supposed to move which is not possible in shoes of any kind although minimal shoes are the next best thing.  If you don't want to go barefoot then take it easy and slow and start landing midfoot, shorter steps, with upright posture.  I didn't get that from the DVD.  I do applaud Somnio for taking some responsibility and addressing the issue of possible injury if you just jump into minimal shoes having come from big padded, cushioned, stabilizing trainers.

   Being incredibly flexible in all ranges of motion with a wide toe box, makes for accommodation of natural splay of the midfoot. They have an Asymmetric lacing system which in my experience has eliminated any discomfort along the top of my foot from the lacing.

So they got it spot on for the main points that must be present in a minimal shoe. Lite, flexible, adequate ground feel, protection from temperature and terrain, soft insole, and suited for terrain that they were meant for.

Want to try a pair??   Somnio is offering up a pair to a lucky winner!
Here are the rules to the giveaway and as always post a separate comment for each thing that you do.  Each comment will count as an entry.  The winner will be chosen using a week from today on July 9th and I will announce the winner the next day.
  • Go Like Somnio on Facebook
  • Write on their wall that you are participating in this giveaway
  • Like Barefoot Angie Bee on Facebook
  • Link up this giveaway and spread the word!  Blog, facebook, twitter, whatever and leave a separate comment for each that you do.
  • Follow this blog and if you already do leave a comment for that
  • Have you tried barefoot and/or minimal shoe running? 
Easy stuff and the more you do the better your odds!!   Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend! 

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I provide Bradley Method childbirth education, doula, belly casting, placenta encapsulation, and post partum doula services.
I serve families in Kitsap County, Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo, Bremerton, Silverdale, Kingston, Port Townsend, Bremerton, Port Orchard, and the greater Seattle area. email me with any questions you might have