I have often wondered what is it like to run with a barefoot running or minimalist running shoes. Imagine my surprise when I turned out to try out two pairs of Leguano barefoot running shoes.
First, I panicked. I mean one pair of these shoes is coloured such a vibrant shade of yellow, I could wear them at night and be seen in Malaysia. The second pair proved identical—only in a nice, sedate black. Great. Together, they looked like running shoes a colony of bees would wear, but I had a mission to accomplish and that didn’t include buzzing about aesthetics as I set out to learn about the unique nature of these shoes. I also find out there are a few variations of the shoes such as the Leguanos Premium.
A multi-national pedigree
Are you impressed by products that possess a worldly air? I am—and both pair of Leguano Aktiv yellow and black shoes delivered in myriad areas. I could run like a Kenyan raised to set world records without a single pair of shoes to my name. I could count on quality that comes only from a German manufacturer. And the exotic brand name—Leguano—reminds me of my favourite Singapore charitable organisation: Wildlife Reserves Singapore. I was a perfect girl to review these shoes!
Like the creatures I admire so much within Singapore’s parks and reserves, Leguano Aktiv running shoes literally adapt to their environment, so this multi-purpose shoe is ready to take me on barefoot running/training outings, adventures that put me into contact with nature and as a veteran traveler, they’re ready to go wherever my feet take me—including a boating trip. I added that activity to my usual list of tests so I could check out their behaviour on a wide variety of surfaces. So far, so good.
Features and benefits
Because they’re engineered to tackle a variety of terrains, the Leguano Aktiv running shoe features a slightly thicker sole than competitive brands I checked out as I went about my due diligence, just so I could make sure I was comparing apples to apples. I pushed these shoes harder than usual by hiking a longer distance than I prefer, just to see if the manufacturer’s promise held up. Because these shoes aren’t stiff and unyielding, I was able to up my miles without suffering aches, pains or rubs.
The elasticity built into this shoe’s fabrication is a nice balance of snug fit but it’s not so constricting, it cuts off my circulation at the ankles! Leguano calls this weave “kunert-twisted” and while I have no idea what that means, I didn’t need any encouragement to praise the density of this material.
My feet stayed fairly dry because the weave has a breathable quality that ventilated my feet as I ran or walked. I expected these shoes to be lightweight and they didn’t disappoint. In fact, before I even put them on my feet, I tried twisting and manipulating them to see if they passed my personal malleability test and they did so with flying colours.
- Leguano Aktiv shoes in yellow and black can be abused to the max (that’s my job as a reviewer), but they return to their original shape like a well-aimed boomerang. According to the manufacturer, that 100-percent Lifolit sole would even allow you to walk over broken glass (that’s one test I refused to perform).
- Despite terrain differences, my feet responded beautifully and they immediately felt right at home each time I switched surfaces.
- When I read that the material used to make these shoes “doesn’t suffocate feet,” I was doubly challenged to see how my feet responded and I’m happy to report that the company’s moisture-wicking claims were accurate.
- The flexible, skid-proof sole kept me on my feet during that boat ride when the waves got choppy!
- In concert, breathability, moisture-wicking properties and bacteria-fighting properties incorporated in the construction of these shoes kept them cleaner, fresher and more hygienic longer than I expected.
- While you can put these into a washing machine, you must stick them in a mesh bag and be cautious about water temperature or you could ruin them—and no fabric softener or dryers, for the same reason.
- While I was delighted to be running around in those black shoes, the yellow is not for me, I told my mum that I was tempted to take them out only at night. If you feel the same way, stick with the black.
- Better sit down if you open your wallet for one or two pair because you’ll pay big time for all of this innovation. The company slogan— “free your feet”—only applies to the wearing experience not the price tag!
- No natural materials were used in the fabrication of the interior of these barefoot shoes—they’re an amalgam of polyester, microfiber and viscose—so not everyone’s feet will stay odor-free or cool while wearing them.
- While available throughout the world, you may have to order them online to locate them, which means you can’t try them on to make sure they’re right for you.
How much money are you willing to pay for a shoe that “frees your feet”?
Where to buy the the Leguano Aktiv yellow and black shoes? They are available at the Leguano Singapore store located at #02-600A Suntec City mall (between tower 2 & 3), 3 Temasek Avenue,Singapore 038983 for S$299.