Thursday, September 1, 2011

Branca Barefoot Sandal review

  Huaraches are a style of shoe that have been made popular over the last couple of years by the book Born to Run.  They can be worn anywhere and any time.  I even hope to try them out this winter with Injinji socks.

  Being able to custom size your sandals is a great feature.  They come with a huge amount of extra material at the end of the shoe and you then trim them down to fit your particular foot.   Wouldn't it be nice if all shoes had such a clever design!

  These babies are easy to tie.  This is a huge statement in and of itself!  Huaraches have replaced my flip flops this summer and I am glad for it.  It has been fun to tell people about them.   Many women have come up to me telling me they love my shoes and that they like how they tie on.  It is a great style both for function and fashion and can be worn for everyday wear as well as running.

  It is absolutely possible and encouraged to wear them for trail running although they do not provide the same amount of protection as a conventional closed toe shoe design on a super technical trail.  I must say though that the flip side of that for me is that my feet are wonderfully cool in huaraches as opposed to closed toe designs.  The Branca leather sandals are curved up to reduce stuff getting between your feet and the sole of the shoe.

For road running in particular these are fantastic!  As you can see from  the photo below they are flat so ideal for roads.  The leather Brancas I have are stoned oil tanned leather and the soles are the original sole design made of 1/8" thick styrene/butadiene rubber mix sole.  They now have a Vibrams Newflex Sole option as well that provides more traction.

As you can see from the above two photos that there are two ways to tie the Branca sandals.  Around the ankle or on top of the foot are both comfortable tying options depending on my whim of style for that day.  Tied at the top of the foot they can be a slip on style.
 The laces are wide enough but not too wide.  No uncomfortable in between the toe rubbing with these.

   So the Brancas  have these great grommets on the sides. This is a unique feature.  I thought at first that these might rub but I have found that there is nowhere on these sandals that rub me the wrong way.  The grommets on the side allow for pulling up the sides for a nice custom fit.

  The heel strap on the model I have tried is a black elastic rubber.  There is also a leather option.  Soft and stretchy rubber heel straps are pretty brilliant!  Not too tight and not too loose.
I really like that there is no knot at the bottom.

These weigh in at just a hair over 6 oz.  Not a lite shoe but durable.  The leather is nice in that it is starting to mold to the shape of my feet which is very comfortable.

Why Branca? This is the link to all the details!

 The Branca leather sandals run $74 with free shipping and they also come with a pair of the original sandals of your choice in colors.  The price seems pretty standard as far as leather sandals of this style go and I do think that they will last for quite some time.
Check out their webpage for ordering info and the facebook page is great too!


KovasP said...

I was amazed at how comfortable they were and I agree, love the ventilation! For an alternate method of tying them (even more comfy I think), check out my review or their FB page.

Branca said...

Just wanted to let everyone know that we now use Vibram Newflex soles which have an aggressive tread pattern and are much lighter (~5oz.) We protect the exposed lace with an abrasion resistant polymer.

Amanda@runninghood said...

Oh I'm so glad you did this!! You did such a better job than me because you really are a barefoot runner AND you write better shoe reviews! ha! Brant from Branca makes an awesome product and I'm so glad you're getting the word out!!

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I really like the tying options on these. Super cute!

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