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Soft Star Shoes; Dash RunAmoc – Review

Soft Star Shoes have kindly supplied me with the Dash RunAmoc, to provide an honest opinion. They have had no input in the review.

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Why do I believe in the Barefoot Lifestyle? (Taken from my post – “Barefoot Running”)

When I say Barefoot Running I don’t literally mean going out with nothing on my feet.

The standard terms/definitions are below.

Unshodnot wearing any shoes or sandals, dirty foot time.

Barefoot – wearing shoes or sandals, which allow your feet to act naturally. Yet there is some protection against the terrain.

I am a big audiobook consumer, and one of the audiobooks I gobbled up was Christopher McDougall’s – “Born to Run”. Not only does the book tell a cool story about American ultra-runners taking on the best of the Mexican tribes. It goes into scientific details, on why barefoot running may be superior to wearing normal trainers. This was important to me. As running is a part of a long term health goal, I do not want it to be detrimental to my health.

I have read numerous articles outlining how our bodies evolved to be amazing endurance creatures. For example our ability to sweat through our skin, or the length of our Achilles. There are numerous aspects of our bodies that suggest we are built to be able to walk and run long distances. If you accept this hypothesis, then you also have to accept that our feet would have been an important aspect of the evolution. So basically our feet are the best running shoes we can have?

Who are Soft Star Shoes?

They are a company that believe in making minimalist shoes that allow your feet to be happy and healthy. They make handcrafted shoes from their workshop in Oregon, USA. If you look on their website you will see they have a wide range of shoes, for a wide range of activities. I think their product range is unique and interesting. They also state they are a socially and environmentally responsible company, which I believe is important in these modern times.

http://www.softstarshoes.com/history

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What are the Dash RunAmoc?

These really caught my attention when I first saw them. I initially thought they were a casual work shoe or an everyday shoe. Then the description mentioned they were for running too. This blew my mind haha. I personally think they look cool, smart, and it’s a win win if you can run in them too.

More specs can be found below from their website: http://www.softstarshoes.com/adult-dash-runamoc-lite-2.html (which is the colour I own).

“Ventilated and perforated leather uppers keep feet cool with quick-dry properties

Choose your zero-drop VibramTM rubber sole: 5mm Trail sole or 2mm Street sole

Spacious toe box allows feet to stretch comfortably

Can be worn with or without socks

Premium, responsibly-sourced leathers

Made in USA: designed and handcrafted in Oregon”

Style

The look of these RunAmoc really appeals to me. I do like to wear shoes that stand out a little from the crowd, but not too much. These are perfect for that. They kind of remind me of what I would think an English Gentleman running in the 1900’s would wear. This is a good thing in my book. Never mind these would probably go well with a tweed jacket, the same gentleman would wear afterwards!!!

I have worn these running obviously, but also camping, walking through forests, walking around my home town, as well as popping to the pub. Incredibly they go just as well with your running shorts, as they do some Chinos and a Shirt. Awesome.

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Quality and Durability

The photos on their website almost don’t do the shoes justice. When you get them out of the box, you can feel the quality. The leather is so soft, and I checked all the stitching which was immaculate. The soles are soft and extremely flexible. However you never feel unsafe wearing them, you feel that your feet are protected at all times. I have also had no issues with grip.

I have only had these a month or so, so I cannot really comment on durability. However I would be surprised if there were any issues. You can often tell pretty quickly if something is well made or not.

Fit and Comfort

The sizing guide is really easy. You measure your feet and consult the chart. Do not just presume you are one size because you are that in a trainer or shoe. I was right on the borderline of a 9 and a 10. I emailed Soft Star and they advised taking the larger size. In this instance it was good advice.

I have worn the shoes with socks and no socks, on runs and walks. There have been zero issues with comfort. In fact I would imagine, the longer I wear them the more comfortable the leather will become.

Conclusion

I love the look of their products and website. It all just looks so fun and colourful. The modern world can be little cynical and dour, but not Soft Star shoes. I love that. Their products have vibrancy about them, and I hope they achieve the goals they have set themselves.

I am trying to bring a wider range of shoes into my barefoot lifestyle, as I just have running shoes at the moment. I want to get to a point where I am wearing barefoot shoes for everything.

I would love to try out other shoes in their range especially the http://www.softstarshoes.com/adult-hawthorne-chukka-2.html or http://www.softstarshoes.com/adult-moc3-runamoc-1.html

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As well as my blog you can catch me on –

Instagram – @ketogenicendurance

Twitter – @ketoendurance

Facebook Page – Ketogenic Endurance

Reddit sub – r/ketogenicendurance

Strava Running Club – Ketogenic Endurance

Ketogenic Clothing and gifts – http://www.cafepress.co.uk/ketogenicendurance

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Categories
Older Yet.....

Run Nation: Cragside 10k

Race Time – 00:57:59. I was pretty happy with this. I was expecting a time of one hour. However I was for some reason expecting quite a standard 10k. It was only in the car on route that the wife realised that the term “crag” is an old word for “hill”. So I was racing at Cragside House. Which obviously means “house on the side of a hill”. Once she told me this I got a bit of a fear on!!! So to break an hour on a course harder than I was expecting, was pleasing.

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Breakfast – 2 Heck Sausages. 97% meat, and less than 1g of Carb. 1 Mug of coffee. 250ml of still water before the race. Probably not a traditional pre race breakfast!!! However I am experimenting with options. Energy wise I was very happy with the race. In fact at the end of the race I was barely out of breath, my pace was mainly affected by the management of my calves.

Parking – It was a one and a half hour drive to the race. Roads were quiet as it was early. There was no need for additional race direction signs, as Cragside is a popular tourist attraction, so there are plenty of signs. Once we got to the site, there were 2 marshals waving you through. This seemed a little unnecessary, as the car parks are ample and well sign posted. However there should have been more marshals in the car park area directing people. As the parking was a little haphazard by people.

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Registration – Registration was between 8 and 9am. The registration tent was easy to spot, and there were different tables split alphabetically by surnames. So registration was really quick.

Start Line – The start line was just over a 1 km walk from the start, on the same route as the race so you ran the same 1k stretch at the beginning and at the end. This was a little too far from the race head quarters in my opinion. Especially at how big the Cragside grounds are, I would have expected a route could have been established where the start and finish lines were close together, with no repetition. Although I am guessing the Cragside estate must have put some restrictions on what areas they could use. The start line itself was pretty narrow, however they had clear signs showing you where you should stand in relation to your predicted time.  

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The Race – It was a tight start as mentioned, and a pretty steep downhill for the first 1k. I am transitioning into barefoot running, and I find steep downhills really hard on my calves and technique. So I took it really easy. As you passed what would be the finish line, it levelled out a bit for the next couple of km. Which included running through the court yard of the house, which was nice. Then the hard yards began. It seemed like the next 5km was mainly uphill. There were a lot of people walking. This actually turned out to be the section I was most proud of. I never walked once, and in fact I was over taking a lot of the runners too. I really felt good aerobically, even though it was still obviously hard. Then the last 2km were on a pretty serious downhill. This was when I struggled the most. I obviously fatigued my calves on the up hill section, and they were really sore on the downhill towards the finish. I had the aerobic capacity and energy to go much faster on the last 2km. However I knew if I did, there was a high risk of picking up a calf injury. This was not worth the extra couple of minutes I could have shaved off my time.

Conclusion – A nice event, and I will certainly do other Run Nation events again. Although it will be unlikely I will do the Cragside 10k again. As there are a lot of other 10k’s available in the North East. The route was pretty and scenic, however you tend to not appreciate it fully when you are running as you get into a zone. However I will definitely go back to Cragside to walk around the grounds, and visit the house.

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Wearing

T-Shirt: https://www.skins.net/uk/dnamic-mens-top-short-sleeve.html

Shorts: https://www.skins.net/uk/dnamic-mens-superpose-half-tights.html

Calve Tights: https://www.skins.net/uk/skins-essentials-calftights-mx.html

Running Shoes: http://us.vibram.com/shop/fivefingers/men/spyridon-mr-elite/M54.html?dwvar_M54_color=Black%20%2F%20Yellow#start=1

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Photo credits: http://theinformalphotoco.com

As well as my blog, you can catch me on:

Instagram – @ketogenicendurance

Facebook page – Ketogenic Endurance

Twitter – @ketoendurance

Reddit – Sub group – /r/ketogenicendurance

Strava Running Club – Search Ketogenic Endurance in the club section. Open to all runners who like LCHF / Keto way of living.

For more information on what I am doing and why, please see my “About Me” page.

If you are a company or you would like to make a donation, please see my “Ambassadorship” page.

For branded Ketogenic Endurance clothing and gifts, check out http://www.cafepress.co.uk/ketogenicendurance

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