Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Endless Summer I: Shamma Sandals Warrior, Mountain Goat Review and Giveaway!



Aaah... summer time. For many of you, especially in the East, winter must seem like it is going to last forever!  Here in Colorado, we've had a relatively mild winter...  some snow, cold temps sure, but at least this week its unseasonably warm...  which makes me think of summer... and huaraches of course!

Today's post/review is part one of two new huarache sandal reviews to help you get in the mood for summer!  I do miss sandal running through the winter, and am looking forward to the season to arrive again soon!


So... to kick off dreaming of summer, I am reviewing a few sandals from a relative new comer to the huarache market, Shamma Running Sandals.  Well, new to me at least as of last Fall.  So, stick around for my impressions of the Shamma Warrior, and Mountain Goat huaraches, and of course be sure to enter to win a pair, courtesy of the cool folks at Shamma!



Ok...so I'll start with the Shamma Mountain Goats first...  primarily because they are similar to many of the heavier duty trail running huaraches I've reviewed before, and enjoy running in.

Here are the specs:

Vibram sole with a stack height of 11mm
Premium black goatskin foot bed
Hook and Loop fastening system, with a suede leather heel strap
5.8 oz weight (in my size 10's)

My initial impression of the Mountain Goats was that they reminded me a lot of the Luna Oso's..  based on the construction and feel, it's difficult not to compare the two. You can click on the link above to see the review of the Oso's if you aren't familiar with them.



The Mountain Goats sport one of the typical Vibram huaraches soles/tread patterns, and these work well for decent traction.  Also, the toe strap is attached via an embedded plug, which so far has proven to be very durable.

Although lighter than the 7 oz Oso's, I would say that the flexibility of the sole on the Mountain Goats is at least as stiff, or perhaps stiffer.  I did notice that they softened up as I put a few more miles on, but I didn't have enough time last fall to get more than 25 miles in these before the weather turned.



So, what makes these sandals unique?  Good question, as that seems to be a bit more difficult to do as the running huarache market grows.  For me, I really like the goat skin foot bed. I like the feel of a natural material, and the leather used on Shamma Sandals is soft/comfortable, but still provides some nice traction on the foot bed while running.  Also, the sandals immediately began to mold to my foot, creating a nice custom fit and feel.

Shamma Warrior and Mountain Goat
The other feature is strapping system.  With a hook and loop style adjustment, Shamma has moved towards making huaraches adjustments a little faster, and maybe a little easier.  However, I still had to spend quite a bit of time dialing in the adjustments on these to find a comfortable fit.  That is pretty common for most running huaraches, but for some reason these took me a little bit longer.



The Shamma's also include a stretchy "heel strap helper" which helps to guide the straps at that kind of awkward spot by your ankle and to help keep things in place.  This part was a bit confusing to me (and might even be incorrect in the pic!), BUT.. have no fear, there are some terrific info videos on how to set up and adjust straps which can be found by clicking HERE.    I also found the suede leather heel strap to work well and staying comfortable and helping to keep the heel strap up.

The only issue I have with the Shammas, is that the hook/loop strapping system can be a little scratchy on top of the foot.  Not terribly so, but I would have more of a concern running ultra distances in these, as any slight niggle is going to amplify over time.  Beyond that, the Mountain Goat is a well built, and sturdy trail running sandal, on par with similar huaraches on the market in this category.  As always, it boils down to finding what you like, and what works for you!

Shamma Mountain Goat and Warrior

Ok... so next up is the Warrior (above right).   A trail running huarache as well, but much more on the minimal side.   Here are the specs:

Vibram Sole with 5mm stack height
Premium goat skin foot bed (tobacco brown, as opposed to the yellow above)
Hook and Loop fastening system, with a suede leather heel strap
Only 3.5 oz weight (in my size 10's)

Next to my 4mm Xeroshoes Connects,  these are the thinnest running sandals I own.  I won't go into the other features that are the same as I noted above (strapping system, footbed etc), but instead make some observations about this particular model.


First off, these sandals are thin and light!  The thin Vibram sole is super flexible, and when combined with the goatskin foot bed, they are some of the most comfortable sandals I've worn.  Obviously, trail running in them is different than the Mountain Goats because of the decreased protection, but the ground feel is terrific.  I run a lot of rocky trails, and I like a little protection, so, for me, these wouldn't be my go to trail runner, but they are terrific on road, and I love them as a casual sandal.

Again, the only issue I have is with the comfort of the strap, but I found the scratchiness to be less noticeable on the Warriors... perhaps due to the weight, or maybe I got better and adjusting.  Regardless, I'll continue to mess around with them to get them exactly the way I like them.



So there you go...  another option in the huarache market place, and as always, I love seeing new companies, especially ones being hand made in the U.S.   I think Shamma Sandals offer a good product and a competitive price point, and I appreciate the opportunity to check them out!  As always, if I missed anything, or if you have a comment/question/rant, leave a comment below, or on the Barefoot Inclined Facebook page :-)

Now, if you'd like to check out a pair, make sure to enter via the Rafflecopter thing-a-ma-jig below. Contest is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada only.  Contest runs until 10PM MST, Monday February 16th, 2015. Thanks and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Happy trails!

Jeff
http://barefootinclined.com
barefootinclined@gmail.com



10 comments:

Bobby Browning said...

I love how easy they are to adjust, and how quickly they mold to your foot. :)

Mark Lofquist said...

those look pretty boss. the stiff'ish soles might be great on these rocks.

Leslie said...

They both look very comfortable, much like Luna's. Nice to see some other options out there too.

Ben said...

Huaraches. I can't wait. Two plus feet of snow still on the ground. Done with winter.

Gwen said...

These look great! Just discovered huarache running right before winter hit, so can't wait to get back to it in the spring.

patrick voo said...

i'd love to try going more minimal - mostly for foot strengthening and variety!

Heather Sebastian said...

I love how easy they are to adjust and how comfortable they are!

Lee Mckoen said...

I think they would be great for hiking the local trails!

Lee Mckoen said...

I think they would be great for hiking the local trails!

Andrew Pham (apham17) said...

These would be great to take when I go camping, love that its lightweight