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Does the new Evo running shoe live up to its $160 price tag?

Fashion/Gift - Fitness

 

I finally got my feet into a pair of Evo running shoes made with Terra Plana's VivoBarefoot technology. I ditched the socks (a formality given the nature of the shoes) and rushed out for a 2 mile run. There's been a lot of hype surrounding these shoes so I was excited to finally test them out. Check out the review and the video I made immediately after my run.

 

THE PROS

  • Unique and attractive design.
  • Fitted and carefully contructed. There are no loose ends and the materials seem high grade and durable.
  • Extremely comfortable, especially without socks.
  • Super light weight...7 ounces to be exact.
  • Thin, puncture resistant sole that allows you to run on any surface without piercing your skin. However, I recommend avoiding areas with lots of small rocks/spikey objects and uneven surfaces.
  • Anti-microbial sole that prevents bacterial and fungal growth. This is a very important feature if you decide to go sockless or plan to go for long runs.
  • Entirely green product. The lining fabric is made from recycled plastic bottles. It sounds kind of gross but I assure you it looks very cool.
  • Amazing ventilation. There was no lingering odor in the shoes after my run and my feet were dry which was surprising considering it was a warm spring day here in NYC.
  • Shoes engage every part of your feet, activating muscles that are blocked from use in cushioned footwear (ankles, arches, ball of feet and toes).
  • The muscles in your feet will get stronger. I was very sore the day after my run which is rare, but that's a good sign that my foot muscles were being used in a new and different way.
  • Shoes "talk to you" and allow you to feel and hear the impact of your foot strike and the nature of your step.
  • VivoBarefoot technology makes you a more perceptive runner. I had no idea before running in these shoes that I landed hard and anchored most of my weight in my heels. Now I can modify my running style with a softer landing and better distribution of weight in the middle and front of my feet.
  • Shoe offers closest sensation to barefoot running that I've ever experienced in a shoe.

 

THE CONS

  • Shoe is loud, especially if you're a heel striker. You'll want to correct the habit to make less noise, but it's not an instant fix. It will take some time to correct your form.
  • The black laces would look better in charcoal or a light gray. Laces are also a bit long.
  • Shoes require an adjustment period. Walking in them is easy and couldn't be more comfortable but unless you're used to running in a barefoot style shoe, the lack of cushioning can be shocking.
  • Your feet will be sore after your first few runs. You'll have to take it easy and build up distance over time.
  • Shoes are not ideal for heavy exercise because they offer limited support.
  • Soles are so thin that you'll feel everything you run over. This might be distracting especially if you find yourself looking down a lot to avoid uncomfortable surfaces.
  • Shoes do not provide arch support.
  • Shoes won't keep your feet warm in cold weather or rainy weather.
  • Design and fit slightly resemble a water mocassin. But this is a personal thing...I've had a thing against water mocassins since my camp days. It doesn't stop me from wearing The Evos at all.
  • Shoe is a lot more comfortable for walking than running, so much that you might only use them for walking.
  •  

THE VERDICT

In my opinion, The Evo's value depends on what kind of user you are. I've listed 4 user categories below.

  1. Occasional runners: The Evo is not for you. They're expensive and will hurt your feet. If you're not passionate about running, you'll never get through the adjustment period.
  2. Regular runners: The Evo is a great investment. You'll adapt a healthy running style and preventing injuries, like collapsed arches and joint pain.
  3. Serious runners: You're gonna love The Evo. I strongly recommend it. By now, your habits are ingrained and you're aware of your injuries. The Evo will help you break bad habits, prevent further injury and maximize the range of motion in your feet. It will change the way you run and make you stronger.
  4. Walkers: If you're looking for a stylish walking shoe, congratulations, you hit the jack pot.

 

 

Like The Evo? Find it HERE.

Many thanks to Nylon Communications for supplying The Evo for this review. This is not an affiliate or sponsored review and MizzFIT LLC does not profit from linked purchases.

 

written by Bianca Jade a.k.a Mizzfit

Tags

fit looks
workouts

Say what's on your mind!

24 comments
James Andrews March 24th, 2010 4:03AM

The Evos are designed as a minimalist shoe aren't they?
So most of those "Cons" aren't really cons, more like features of a minimalist shoe!

You're right about needing an adjustment period and taking it easy and building up distance over time. But you've got your Nike brainwashed hat on when you talk about:
- The lack of cushioning can be shocking.
- Shoes are not ideal for heavy exercise because they offer limited support.
- Soles are so thin that you'll feel everything you run over. This might be distracting especially if you find yourself looking down a lot to avoid uncomfortable surfaces.
- Shoes do not provide arch support.

I ran 8 miles in my Evos yesterday and my feet feel great. Even without all that support and padding. Then again I've been "barefoot running" for a year.

Jonny Allsop March 24th, 2010 1:50PM

Really glad to hear you love the Evo's!

Regards,

Terra Plana Australia ;)

redg plopinio March 25th, 2010 4:18AM

hi there!I tried the Evo's myself... I LOVE IT!

here's the link for my mini-review
http://librekitacoke.multiply.com/journal/item/88/21km_on_Barefoot_Shoes

MizzFIT March 25th, 2010 5:23AM

Hi James! Thanks for your response. Don't get me wrong...I love my EVOs but I'm not yet a master barefoot runner and I have to admit that I still enjoy a bit of cushioning (because I'm used to it after so many years of running that way). I plan to keep 1 foot in the cushioned shoe world and 1 foot in the minimalist shoe world...and see how it goes. I'll keep you posted and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your perspective and I think other readers do too, esp the barefoot running ones!

MizzFIT March 25th, 2010 5:24AM

Love it! I'd love to have you guest post!

redg plopinio March 30th, 2010 6:44PM

I'd love to guest post!

MizzFIT March 30th, 2010 6:49PM

Great! Let me know what you'd like to share. I typically stick to fitness/fashion...anything that looks good and feels good or benefits a workout.

redg plopinio April 16th, 2010 5:12PM

I'd like to share some article on going barefoot.

I'm recently discovering the joy and freedom of going bfoot once in a while. I'm not sure if it can be considered "fashionable" though. But it just feels good!...Below are two of my blogs entries:

http://librekitacoke.multiply.com/journal/item/83/I_Wanted_to_RUN..._But_I_Didnt_Have_My_Shoes...

http://librekitacoke.multiply.com/journal/item/89/Racing_on_Bare_Feet

let me know if you'd like to post them :)
-redg

Stihlmotorsense June 15th, 2010 11:40PM

I just cant stop reading this. Its so cool, so full of information that I just didnt know. Im glad to see that people are actually writing about this issue in such a smart way, showing us all different sides to it. Youre a great blogger. Please keep it up. I cant wait to read whats next.

DiablOtvet June 20th, 2010 8:36PM

I love the way you sound so passionate about what you are writing. Keep up the great work!

Sam July 6th, 2010 6:34PM

I enjoyed this review, although I have to echo the earlier comments that several of your cons are simply characteristics of minimalist shoes. A lack of arch support, for example, is not a con. The functionality of an arch is destroyed if you support it, as any architect can tell you. And as a general principle of physiology, any part of your body that's constantly supported will grow weaker. As for the heel striking, minimalist shoes don't let you do that because, well, you're not actually designed to do that.

I ran my first marathon in Saucony Triumphs (amazing mistake, that), and will run my next one barefoot. I think the Evo will be a very useful shoe for military PT events, as bare feet are verboten for some reason and the Navy is being very reactionary towards Fivefingers due to their odd appearance. My hope is that the Evo will let me ship under the radar without going back to clomping around in heavy, padded shoes. Not sure I could go back to that.

Thanks for doing this review!

MizzFIT July 7th, 2010 1:11AM

Hi Sam,

Thanks for your comments. I mentioned a "lack of arch support" as a con because most people who normally wear conventional running shoes prefer the arch support. But you have a point in that it's also a positive feature.

I must admit, it was hard for me to run without arch support at first with my Evo's. I felt wobbly! But now the more I wear my Evo's the less I feel that way. I realize the long-term negative affects of running with excessive arch support and think there needs to be more literature on it to educate runners...and warn them.

Then again, I still throw on my cushion-y running sneaks. I'm not ready to 100% convert to a barefoot runner but I like wearing it for 50-60% of my runs. I need variation in my life and I have a lot of sneakers vying for my attention!

Suzanne F. August 28th, 2010 10:28AM

I use these for serious walking and they are far and away the best thing that I've tried. Before these my most comfortable walking shoes were flip flops or nothing.

Don't tend to do the running thing so cannot pass comment on that aspect.

MizzFIT August 29th, 2010 5:06AM

Hi Suzanne,

Interesting that you mention you use your Evo’s for “serious walking” because that’s my favorite aspect of these shoes. I absolutely LOVE them for walking and wear them to walk as much as they can. Well, as long as they look good or coordinate with my outfit! I have the yellow and gray ones so I try to wear something that matches these colors. I honestly think Terra Plana should market these sneakers as both serious walking and running shoes because they feel great for both activities. What color combo Evo’s do you have and do you wear them with socks or barefoot? I always wear mine without socks because they’re actually more comfortable and my feet seem to breathe better this way. Thanks so much for commenting!

Chelsea Lopez - Barefoot Running Shoes September 2nd, 2010 10:51PM

I find the Vivo Barefoot Evos simply are great inventions for the runners and walkers alike. I rarely use mine for running though - but they're very useful in going to the gym. Not to mention Evos are fashionable so I can even wear when I stroll around or shop.

MizzFIT September 3rd, 2010 11:54AM

Hi Chelsea,

They are stylish! Even before these sneakers came out I was really intrigued by the honeycomb design on the side and bottom of the Evo. Also, I love how the recyclable material it's made from has a translucent quality to it. It's the lightest shoe I own and it's the only shoe I travel with because it doesn't weigh your suitcase down.

Thanks for your comment Chelsea!

Tony September 15th, 2010 4:35PM

They do look a bit like a water moccasin however, I've heard these are very good running shoes and I think your review is very accurate according to what I've heard about them.

Jen April 8th, 2011 10:28PM

Now that is what i call passion for writing....

MizzFIT April 9th, 2011 5:25AM

Hi Tony,

They're great running shoes but I'd stick to running in them and nothing else. One day I tried to take a spinning class in them and that didn't go very well...or feel very well! Thanks for commenting!

MizzFIT

MizzFIT April 9th, 2011 5:25AM

Thanks Jen. What a nice compliment! --MizzFIT

running socks June 15th, 2011 10:56PM

Keeping the left foot on the block, step your right foot up onto the block.Step back down, leading again with the left leg and bringing your right foot down to join it on the floor.

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