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Discussion in 'Gear & Footwear' started by Bare Lee, Jan 17, 2014.
How is the toebox?
My feet aren't particularly wide, and the G4s fit fine. But because the 'toebox' is just thin fabric, I wouldn't think there'd be any issues for anyone. It pretty much is just a sock with a thin sole adhering to it.
Some of the historical scientific papers suggest that "stockings" (socks) could predispose one to bunions. I have to admit that even with my thin dress socks, my feet feel a lot better after I cut the tips of my socks off. I've switched to Injinji's for athletic socks. Too bad they don't make dress socks.
I thought they did...... Or maybe Smartwool?
Hmnn, interesting. I know a lot of people wear socks around the house, without shoes, but I wonder if that research accounted for the fact that most people wear socks with shoes. I guess it also depends on how tight the socks are. Let's defer this question to the Sock Doc, if he can take a minute away from calling limber people "bozos." I rarely wear socks, but I know tight pants can lower a man's sperm count, so it seems plausible that socks snugness could be detrimental to one's foot health, besides the obvious fungal cheese funk that socks so often cultivate.
Also, Paul Beales, who has a lot more experience with Sockwa products, probably has some insight into this. Or perhaps HSB and Rick can offer some advice.
And if Nick ends up getting a pair of G4s, maybe he could also better address Mo D. Encart's question, since Nick has famously duck-like flappers.
I just put on my G4s and walked around a bit, and I would say, somewhat more thoughtfully now, that the toe box could be wider and somewhat less restrictive, but then it would probably start to flop around a bit too. But I can see how for someone with wider feet, they might not work so well. Maybe if they get enough sales they can introduce a wider version.
It was -14F this morning on my one-mile run-commute, and my Sockwaed feet were fairly cold by the time I got to my office. But I hate socks, so it was worth it. Maybe tomorrow I'll go for a longer run and see when I tap out and need to put socks without attitude on.
There is some guidance on the widths of Sockwa on the barefootbritain.co.uk website. The G3 are the widest. I definitely find my G3 the most comfortable (but not breathable.) The G4 and X8 are considered a medium width, and I can tell the difference when wearing my X8. I wouldn't call it cramped, but just not as comfortable as the G3. The G2 are considered narrow. I have Amphibians, which are an old model. I'm guessing they have the G2 sole because these do feel a little cramped. I wouldn't say any of them have a large toe box, but as someone says, it is not really a box, and if there was any more room left, they would be very floppy. If I can find a way I will upload some photos to show the difference. One point people may want to note is that a long big toe nail can sometimes get hooked on the top seam if you catch the front of the Sockwa on the ground. Not a big problem, apart from having to reach down and release it. Another thing to note ... Sockwa are working on new models, including waterproof ones and ones with grounded soles (these sound real cool!) and new colours for the X8 in Spring. I'm saving up for at least 3 new pairs!
Here goes .... the yellow ones are G3s
These are X8s
And these are Amphibians
X8 on top of G3
Amphibians on top of G3
Indisputable Dr Watson
Very informative! Thank you!
Just an FYI, grounding makes no sense from a scientific perspective. The body works very hard to maintain the appropriate electrochemical gradients. Electrons are not permitted to float around willy-nilly in biological systems. For those who haven't taken cell biology, here's a video.
This does not detract from Sockwa's excellent shoes. "Grounded" shoes may very well be more comfortable, faster, etc. It's just not due to any scientific theory related to grounding.
From a scientific perspective Sid, my Qigong practise makes no sense either, but it sure does make me feel good
I would agree with Paul's assessment. Finding the right fit has been an issue for me. It seems like I am in between sizes with my G3's being slightly snug and my X8's being too long even though they are both a size 13. I would err on the snug side for running. The X8's have too much flop for me and also, I get some rubbing from the seam (see Paul's photo). Trying out a new model, the Playa Hi (went with a size 12, guessed right this time.) Not really suggested for running, because the sole is a soft material, but I couldn't pass them up for under $20 on sale. I think they will hold up on softer surfaces and they seem to breathe well. Sweaty feet is definitely an issue with the other models, even the X8. All that said, I don't run much in Sockwas. Barefoot, sandals, and trail shoes are my rotation.
I think the price is a little high for all of the models, but get on their e-mail list and watch for sales.
A few more comments here - http://thebarefootrunners.org/threads/your-opinions-please-on-sockwa.15159/#post-144661
Glad they are working out for you Bare Lee. I don't know how you are dealing with those temps. in your area.
Perhaps, like love, grounding is an emergent property, difficult to detect via scientific measure of its mutually constraining constituents. Or not. In any case, Sockwa's rubber soles should work as good insulators against grounding, much as bad breath can keep love at bay.
Strange they waited until the G4s to make Sockwas true to size. Must be a Californian desire to be different.
True, considering it's just a piece of fabric (albeit high quality with high quality stitching) with some grippy rubber slapped on the bottom, it does seem a bit pricey, but it's still about half what you pay for most minimalist shoes.
Still, I took your advice and got on their mailing list. Maybe with higher sales volume the price will come down. I'm doing my part by promoting them here. I love those damn shoes!
Also, great points in that link Rick! Should answer any remaining doubts about the toe box.
As for the cold, I find that the Sockwas, without socks, extend my range by about 20 degrees F in dry conditions, and by 30-40 degrees F in snow, while still providing great groundfeel. My feet do get cold, but the G4s provide just enough cover to retain some body heat on top and prevent surfaces from conducting it away on the bottom. This morning I ran in an inch of snow covering lots of ice patches and the traction wasn't too bad. Much better than the Moc3s and Vapor Gloves.
Overall, the Sockwas seem to have renewed my enthusiasm for running while I wait for the temps to warm up enough for true barefoot running. Running shod in December really put a damper on things. I love how I can feel all the contours of snow and ice with my G4s. I got my groove back.
As for the cold, it stinks, especially for my wife and kids. My son spends evenings playing with the sink while I help my daughter with her homework. I can hardly wait for sunlit evenings and hanging outside with them after dinner on the deck. Our trip to California has fortified our desire to move someplace warmer. My wife's from the tropics, and I'm a barefooter, so once my wife finishes her nursing course, we're gone.
Excellent photos! I would have saved a lot of money if I had seen such photos about other shoes also.. I considered G3s, but it looks pretty sure that they are not wide enough. For me shoes need to be atleast 11 cm (@size EU45/US11) wide at little toe (and that's absolute minimum), like most fivefingers, altra adam, vivobarefoot aqua lite (which is 12 cm wide).. My foot isn't 11 cm wide, but just a bit over 10 cm. So, it's not about width of foot, but how it feels and under 11 cm seems to give me confined feeling in all the shoes I have tried. Like feelmaxes which also have a bit over 1 millimeter thick sole. Even solerunners, which are pretty much exactly 11cm wide (maybe 1-2 mm narrower than vffs) seem to feel bit narrowish, it might me because of their shape and because there's some rigid material at sides. Higher toebox (so there would be extra fabric to give some width) or really stretchy upper could help, but doesn't if there's some nonstretchy toe bumber that forces the width to be maximally as wide as sole is. Like it is with solerunners. Also saucony hattori lc and zemgear 2cinch are pretty close to 11 cm wide but still feel too narrow - I guess it depends on shape and stretchiness if it fits at 11 cm width, so even if G3s were one centimeter wider, it wouldn't be sure that they would fit.
Nifty! Honestly, I kind of like being secretly semi-barefoot in my shoes. Cutting the ends off has been a cost-effective solution. I don't actually like having the fabric between my toes from toesocks, but they're better than regular socks for my bunions.
This is something that I cannot substantiate, but perhaps socks can exacerbate or perpetuate existing bunions.
Flammee, as Rick, Paul, and I have said, there isn't really a 'box' in the toe area. I just measured my G4s and they're 10cm wide without my foot in them, but 12cm with it in there and toes splayed (to the extent that I can imitate a running strike while standing still measuring). My feet don't feel at all restricted. The shoe is so minimal--1.2mm sole!--that you can't really compare it to most other minimalist shoes, like the altra adams and aqua lites, which feel almost like stability shoes in comparison. With free returns, I think you owe it to yourself to give them a try. Apologies for coming on so strong, but I would've saved a lot of money if I had heard about them earlier, and that's why I'm acting so evangelical here.