Friday, December 30, 2011

Three hundred mile Aqua Lite review.

 by Jaymon Hotz
I have been running barefoot for two years now.  As my mileage has increased so has my need to supplement my barefoot running with some running in minimalist shoes.  I used my Vivobarefoot Achilles this summer but as the weather cooled this fall I switched to Aqua Lites.  It is a colder weather and water resistant design that is better suited to fall and winter training.  I have ran in the rain many times and these shoes have done an excellent job of keeping my feet dry.  It was a pleasant relief to splash water on the top of the shoe and never feel the soaking through one anticipates in most running shoes.  I am very impressed that such a soft pliable shoe is water resistant.  Keeping your feet warm and dry goes a long way to helping keep the rest of you warm.



The Aqua Lite is a very comfortable running shoe.  The super light weight, soft and flexible materials, padding around the ankle, wide toe space, and six lace holes make for a shoe that does not have any unpleasant pressure or chafing.  When the higher miles make my feet more sensitive to shoe ergonomics.  The Aqua Lites stay comfortable even when my other shoes hurt my feet.
 
The overall durability of this shoes has been excellent.  The shoe held together perfectly and shows no indication that it is falling apart under the miles and miles of use.  I am showing some wear on the heel of the soles.  Angela say that it confirms  that I am a heel striker.   

When running barefoot the bones in you feet spread laterally with every footfall.  It is a pleasurable sensation that is missed when shoes must be worn.  The Aqua Lites retain some of that spread with the use of soft materials, a wide toe box and lacing that starts far behind that toe box with a shared loop for the first two laces.  




Barefoot running lets you feel the ground.  The ground contact sensations give you feedback that improves your running form and awareness.  Any shoe will decrease ground feel.  The Aqua Lites strike a good cold earth/ground feel compromise with a flat, thin, puncture resistant sole.    

For me the colder months in the late fall, winter, and early spring are the best for running.  The cooler air, milder sunshine, and decreased need to consume stomach upsetting electrolyte drinks make for longer, faster and more productive runs.  The tradeoff is that the colder ground compels me to put on shoes.  When the weather or road conditions make shoes necessary the Aqua Lites strike an excellent compromise of warmth and protection verses road feel and freedom of movement. 
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I provide Bradley Method childbirth education, doula, belly casting, placenta encapsulation, and post partum doula services.
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