Friday, November 15, 2013

Review: GoSt Paleo Barefoots - Anterra

I've been running "barefoot" for quite some time now, as part of my ongoing fitness regime. I received a set of the GoSt Paleo Barefoots PRONATIV shoes early in the year to review, and have never looked back. In my discussions with Jörg of GoSt Barefoots, he suggested that for the colder months, wearing the liners they have would make the cold more bearable. They run on ice and snow in Germany, so I thought "what the hell, why not?". He also suggested I could try out their new liner, the Paleos®-Lining-Socks, and recommended that I try some Paleo's with regular socks as well. To do that, however, he suggested I try a size up in the Barefoots, and that he would send me the ANTERRA's in a size larger than my PRONATIV's.

The PRONATIV is on the left foot here, the ANTERRA on the right.

Made of the same "4 in 1" welded 0.55 mm gauge "1.4404" stainless steel  with a 4mm external diameter chain and an internal diameter of 2.9 mm as the PRONATIV's, the ANTERRA's have a slightly different lacing and tongue pattern.

These use three metal brackets to act as tensioners, linked directly to the mesh, with the shock cord running through them and bunching to give a secure fit. They also feature a higher tongue, with extra mesh running up the forefoot.

The larger size is still very wearable, and more comfortable over a more heavily padded foot, it did tend to fold over itself as I ran though, leading to an added "lumpiness" to my cross-country runs. When I wore the socks, this was far less an issue. 
I was training for my third Tough Mudder, which I had previously run in boots. The Paleos didn't let me down and I completed the course in my best time, with fewest falls and certainly my best recovery time.

Lining Socks

 There are my favorite of the foot-savers, well suited to my long feet, and keep them clean, without sacrificing tactile ability.

Neoprene Running Kit socks

These are fun and light, but as with all neoprene, they are sweaty, but certainly protect the upper surface of my forefoot and ankle from any chafing.

Ankle Wraps

These were the hardest to get right, but also the most minimal of the foot-savers. Almost Olympic in their design, this modern take on the Phaecasium certinly have their place, but were not for me.

Basic Sock

I didn't really like the fit of the Basic Sock, but the certainly did protect my forefoot and ankle from any chafing and some grime that accumulates from urban and suburban wear of the Barefoots.

This is my feet (and Tactical Baby's) following a day of running about, climbing boulders and wandering in the city, without any of the socks. Left foot is the PRONATIV, right foot is the ANTERRA. You can see the different patterns of city-grime that have appeared; the baggier-fit of the larger sized ANTERRA's left my right foot a touch cleaner, but with a more uniform ring around the ankle.

This neatly indicated the coverage provided by the two different styles. I think because of the fit, I prefer the PRONATIV's, but the ANTERRA styling is a bit more fancy, with the metal buckles giving a more intricate look.

However, for the purposes of barefoot running, either are adequate, for sure. That I ran the Tough Mudder in mine, without becoming mired, or worse, losing my shoe, as I saw many of my fellow Mudders (even team-mates) doing, is testament to this. The protective ability of the links are amazing, and in over 130km of off-path running, I've only been stuck by a single thorn, and not deeply either.

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