Finally the Perfect Minimalist Shoe: Sockwa's G4

Discussion in 'Gear & Footwear' started by Bare Lee, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. jip99 Barefooters

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    Ran in G3s all last winter. This winter it's X8s. I have to admit I wear socks with them in cold weather, so I got them slightly large, but I find that the X8s flop around less than the G3s. Sockwas are about the most minimal thing out there, and I can't believe they don't get more attention from the minimalist/barefoot blogs.
  2. Sid Barefooters

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    Since, you also appear to have a technical background, I hope that you can appreciate the use of caution when salespeople make pseudoscientific claims. It is quite sufficient for a shoe to be well constructed, comfortable, and reasonably priced. No need to insult anyone's intelligence or dazzle them with talk of electrons.
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  3. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    not to mention their subversive veganism.

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  4. flammee Barefooters

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    No problem on so strong opinion, it's always better to have honest opinion.. Second year of "barefoot" running I bought something like 30 shoes, most of them were unusable crap, so I have become bit untrusting when people talk about width of toebox. I have experienced so many wide, roomy toeboxes that are way too narrow...

    Well, feelmax and solerunner also have under 1,5 mm sole, and are too narrow. Their upper isn't socklike though. But I had sealskinz socks, and they were too narrow (and hot) to be usable. It's not just preference to have room for toes, if there isn't enough width, my calves start to hurt pretty fast. I experienced that with selaskinz + vivo ultras at winter. 4 km and couldn't run anymore because of calf pain. Took sealskinz off and could easily run 7 kms more (to work) without any calf pain. Didn't help at all with sealskinz that they didn't have structured toebox, they just were too narrow.


    But well yeah, not much loss of money on this model if it doesn't work, and I can always sell or give them onwards, like all the other shoes..
  5. paulbeales Administrator
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  6. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    Looks doubtful then the G4s will be any improvment over the sealskinz, based on photos of the latter, unless "sealskinz + vivo ultras" means you were wearing the sealskinz inside the vivo ultras.

    I don't have experience with either, but there's a free returns policy on the G4s, so all you stand to lose if they don't work out is the time it takes to print out the return label, repackage the G4s, and bring them to the post office. Considering the difficulty you've had in finding a suitable minimalist shoe, seems like it's worth taking a chance on them.

    I haven't gone through nearly as many possibilities as you have, and don't have the width / calf issue you do, but I also hesitated in trying the G4s, thinking I'd pretty much gone through the range of options available. Last winter I was happy when I found the Vapor Gloves, but this year they hurt a bit around the met head of my left big toe, which I had stubbed at the end of November. And I had never been happy with the traction. With the G4s, I don't feel any discomfort, the traction and groundfeel are noticeably better, and I love the fact that the G4s don't have laces, so I can slip them on at moment's notice, which is a preference I have for any shoe. With the G4s, sliponability will be especially nice when winter temps here warm up a bit (hopefully tomorrow!) and the G4s can be relegated to a back-up function, in case my feet get too numb, or in the spring, summer, and fall as a store shoe that's just as easy to put on in the car as cheap sandals with an over-the-forefoot strap.
    If animal skins weren't meant to be used for shoes, why did god make so many of them out of leather?:eek:

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  7. paulbeales Administrator
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    One other advantage of Sockwa not mentioned here is how unnoticeable they are stuck down the back of your running shorts. Don't try this with VFFs ;)

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  8. beardy68 Barefooters
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    Just to chip in that due to my high instep and wide but short feet, all my life I have had to search for the correct fit. Sockwa x8 are perfect. At first felt strange but as soon as I actually went for a run all was well. I can move my toes about as I run. Highly recommend. As was stated you must measure length of foot and if in uk use the barefoot britain chart. At first I thought I had got it wrong but birh pairs are perfect. I have noticed that over the last 3 months my feet are getting stronger and less sensitive.
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  9. flammee Barefooters

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    Got G3s, probably a bit too large, or just relaxedly loose fitting. I wear 45 at most fivefingers and vivos, these are M13.

    Otherwise great. And yes, they are easily wide enough.
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  10. Frank - Run for life Barefooters
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    They sound great I think I will invest in a pair
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  11. NickW Guest

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    Ok, ya all talked me into ordering a pair of these. Ordered today and should hopefully have around the end of the week. I am so excited to get them. I hope I ordered the right size as by their sizing chart I am right at top of m11 or bottom of m12. I hate when a shoe is too long so took a chance on the m11. All the reviews are pretty good on these and at $49 you really can't beat it. Anyone know the durability of them? I've heard the sole lasts a long time but havent heard about the durability of the upper.
  12. NickW Guest

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    A little bummed. Got the G4 today but it is too short. My fault as I didnt want them to be too long as that sucks to walk in.
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  13. Frank - Run for life Barefooters
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    Woohoo Sockwa G4's arrived by post on Saturday.....
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  14. Frank - Run for life Barefooters
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    Just recieved my Sockwa G4's at the weekend, I'm hoping they are more sensitive then my VFF's and a better option for an alternative to bare as Im just converting and currently running ~ 3 miles totally bare foot.
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  15. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    Just ran three miles/five klicks in my Sockwa G4s and dry max socks, 3F/-16F windchill, on a lot of compacted snow, ice, and crusty slush. The Sockwas were perfect. Every time I checked I was running with the same form/landing I have when bare, and yet the Sockwas provided just enough warmth and grip to make the whole thing very comfortable, without any noticeable sacrifice in groundfeel. In fact, considering the fact that my feet were just slightly numb, I'd say I had better groundfeel than if I had done it bare. The only sacrifice is tactile stimulation, as far as I can tell, and on a morning like this morning, that's a sacrifice I'm glad to offer up to the barefoot gods in order to appease the running gods.

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  17. dutchie53 Barefooters
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    Okay Lee, you talked me into buying a pair of these. For a barefooter I seem to be collecting a lot of "shoes". Hopefully I will not need them until next December. :D
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  18. mokaman Chapter Presidents
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    I ordered these earlier in the day before you posted that...I kept forgetting about them over the last year. I still need a pair of bare-bones shoes that are light and easy to carry when I'm exploring new trails for barefooting....these may be the ticket. The other area of interest has to do with being sockless in a shoe...over many years I've only found 1 shoe that didn't cut my skin on my achilles tendon...that will be a good test for the G4's.

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  19. Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
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    Lemme know what you fellas think. I ordered a black pair to go with my obnoxious yellow ones. "Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't":

    I know Dutchie. I now use my Merrell BareAccess for my Power Wheel, and may use the Vapor Gloves for a casual sneaker look, but otherwise I just use the G4s for cold weather running, the Vivo Jays and Patagonia Advocates for casual, and the Lunas for sandals. I still have some unsoled (real) Moccasins from 30 years back, and some water shoes somewhere too. I gave my Go Bionics and Vivo Aquas to my younger brother. Everything else, including the shoes Nick gave me, are in a storage box now. I may donate them. Still, it was a necessary exploration of a new consumer niche, saving the best for last (the G4s).

    Mokaman, I can't think of a lighter shoe--I put them in the interior pockets of my wool jacket when running in the winter. They also fit easily into a lumbar pack. With packing pressure, they're close to flat. And I can't see how they could ever bother your Achilles tendon, but one thing I've learned on this site is that there are a lot of freaky foot types out there. I only wore them with socks when it got to 0 or -10-20 below. And I used to have a lot of trouble with conventional running shoes rubbing on my Achilles, with socks. Always got a blister there with new shoes, of if I hadn't run for a while.

    Hey what was your weight-to-mm formula/estimate again? Was it add/subtract 15 seconds per mile for every 10 pounds of excess weight gained/lost?

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  20. mokaman Chapter Presidents
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    For the weight to minute/per mile by my observations are about 3 seconds per pound per mile or roughly 30 seconds per min/mile for 10 pounds while barefoot...just observations on my part with my weight ranging from 150 lbs to 165 lbs. Maybe different depending on your starting and ending weight, running form etc...its probably a sliding scale with other factors involved.

    I still have a pair of the Sockwa original version with no rubber sole they weight 3 oz for the pair...so the added rubber on the newer Sockwa has at least doubled the weight which is still very light.

    The only shoe to not bother my achilles skin is the older dis-continued Puma H-street fashion shoes...if Puma came out with a new version with the old upper section/out sole and zero-dropped and foot shaped they would have a real winner but they must be not interested in that.

    I've never had any issues with any shoe rubbing my skin raw in the achilles area while wearing socks only when sockless...and Almound Joy rules over Mounds!

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