These BE REAL shoes were sent to me for the purpose of review. Opinions are my own. And also… I owe them a huge apology because I have been really slow in getting this posted!
Minimal shoes aren’t as “hot” right now, there seems to be a maximum cushioning trend going on. But I also think that we are in a new era of running shoes, where we’ll have more options available to us. Several years ago (maybe 2009?) I got a pair of Vibram Five Fingers. And I liked how they felt. I would run a speedy one-mile loop around my neighborhood in them and they were great for strengthening my calves. I wore them during my pregnancy to walk the dog. But I tried them on again about 5 months after my daughter was born and they didn’t feel good anymore. While my feet didn’t drastically change, they did change in subtle ways. Yet another weird way you can be forever altered by having a kid!
When I tried on the BE REAL shoes, I felt that same connection to the ground that I got from the toe shoes, but there were a couple of really great differences:
- My feet didn’t feel squished/pinched/constricted
- They’re easy to put on.
I don’t run far in shoes this minimal. Just some strides up/down my street and walking the dog, things of that nature. They’re good for developing strength in that regard, but I don’t want to or intend to use them for distance.
The shoes have an all-terrain sole and I have walked across rocks and it’s never bothered me. This gives them traction in a variety of conditions: trail, grass, wet, streets. Oh, and the sole is a patent-pending 100% recyclable sole. Interesting, huh? The company is committed to domestic and eco-friendly manufacturing.
To be gentle, they’re not the most attractive shoes in the world. I know, we don’t pick our running shoes by how they look. (Well, not first and foremost. We should focus on fit/feel. But if looks come into play… that’s alright.) And when I wear them with running shorts I feel like they really stand out. It’s weird how I can feel self-conscious in these but not in neon orange/yellow shoes, huh? C’est la vie.