Comment from: Nis [Visitor]
Nis

How does the groundfeel compare to the original Fivefingers (Classic, Sprint, KSO)?

09/10/15 @ 08:23
Comment from: Joe [Visitor]
Joe

My concern with these types of shoes is always the end of the cord that goes between the toes, through the shoe, and contacts the ground all the time. Does this seem like it'll hold up? It looks like the end goes through a plastic washer and is burnt to be wider... I think? Thanks

09/11/15 @ 09:38
Comment from: jarvis [Member]  

Joe and NIs,
Groundfeel is similar to the KSO and Sprints--perhaps a bit more groundfeel in some sections, I have not tried the Classics! (but I think they are all very similar).

5.5mm of dense tire rubber will transfer LOTS of information from the ground to your feet.

I have run a few hundred miles in the less durable, morflex-soled, Originals (now called "STREET) and they have held up perfectly. The washer is sunken in and I expect the rubber to wear out before the straps and plugs. If need be, you CAN always reburn and plug (you are correct, they are singed a bit to expand and secure to the post), but I have never had to do this.

I've only had to cut the straps to be shorter and I used a borrowed bic lighter to burn the ends so they don't fray--you can see this in a few photos at the top of the strap, just beyond the securing lock.

I really love the Gladsole model line. They are probably my favorite sandals for road running. Shamma Sandals for trails.

09/14/15 @ 07:47
Comment from: Stephen [Visitor]
Stephen

Do you have any experience with the gladsoles trail model? Im on the fence between the trail and eco models. Do the ecos mold to your feet? I will be using them for 60 percent trail and 40 percent road and casual. Any feedback will help, thanks.

03/03/16 @ 10:26
Comment from: jarvis [Member]  

Stephen,

I actually did a review on the original Gladsoles and the Trail earlier in the year (first generation):
http://birthdayshoes.com/gladsoles-original-and-trail-huaraches-review

For the record, my favorite is the Original (6mm Morflex sole), then the old Trail (5mm Newflex sole), followed by the ECO.

However, the latest version of the trail now uses an 8mm Gumlite sole, which is thicker than the previous generation.

The old trail is now called the "hybrid", but is also 8mm, instead of the original trail's 5mm.

In terms of weight, the new Trail weights 5oz, the ECO weights 6oz, and the street (renamed from the originals) is 3oz.

The ECO is denser than the trail, so it will take longer to mold to your feet, while the Street (Original) will mold readily, but lacks an aggressive tread design.

If you are focused on light trails and forests, the Street is more than adequate. It's the best for road running and is a great balance between lightweight and protection. It's also the most balanced of the sandals. I found the ECO to be a bit too bottom heavy because of the dense snow tire sole, so it slaps a bit.

I would say that if you have tough feet, go for the Street or the ECO, but if you want more protection, go for the new Trails or the Hybrid.

-Jarvis

03/03/16 @ 11:41
Comment from: Paul [Visitor]
Paul

I don't understand why Gladsoles exists and why the reviews are so positive?? Makers like Luna, Shamma, and Unshoes all put thought into the total design of the sandal. The lacing system and footbed are very huge parts of that. Gladsoles uses simple materials that anyone can purchase from a variety of places. Parachord, simple locks, and Vibram rubber can all be purchased online and DIY sandals that are identical to Gladsoles can be made by the average consumer for 20 dollars or less. With Gladsoles you are already investing time making a template and messing with tying and replacing flimsy parachord. It's not much of a stretch to cut the Vibram soles and poke holes in it yourself. Why would I pay $30 or $40 dollars more for someone to stencil a logo on top of a Vibram sole? At least with Xero shoes DIY for example I get why they put their logo (small) on top. It's their rubber! Anyone can make the EXACT shoe reviewed (tire rubber sole) or Vibram or Xero sole for under $20. Materials can be purchased by anyone online. In a highly competitive running sandal market my money will go to those who have at least some hand in the design and construction of the sandal. Gladsoles is charging 2016 prices for 2007 running sandal technology.

05/16/16 @ 11:48
Comment from: jarvis [Member]  

Paul,

I would say that it's not 2007 running sandal technology, it's 1985 ME sandal technology (that's my birthyear).

What I like the most about Gladsoles is that they allow for a lot of foot flexibility, shoe durability, and fit customization.

There have been many sandal makers that have gone the minimal route of foot tracings, sole, and laces. Gladsoles is not unique in this regard.

What makes them unique is their consistency, accuracy of tracings, customer service, and the quality of their chosen materials.

Can you make a sandal with the same materials? Sure.

Would you want to track down everything and do it on your own? Depends.

Personally, my Gladsoles are still my favorite running sandals to this day. They are incredibly minimal, durable, and are very balanced on my feet.

I am not partner or personally related to Gladsoles in any way, but I know which running shoes work for me and for what reasons and Gladsoles really hit the mark for a number of their models.

The ECO is not my favorite sandal from them. It has many traits that many runners would love, but there are also some downsides that prevent them from being my favorite Gladsole sandal.

When I first received my original Gladsole sandals over a year ago, I had a nice chat on the phone with the folks at Gladsoles about running, their shoe philosophy, and biomechanics. Their attitude and helpfulness demonstrated passion and care that I will always support as long as their sandals are of consistent quality.

-Jarvis

05/18/16 @ 13:14
Comment from: Mike DeAlto [Visitor]  
Mike DeAlto

Jarvis,

I'm a HUGE fan of your reviews. They are so helpful. Question for you: I'm considering getting my first pair of running sandals. I've been in 5 fingers for the past 2 years but they keep breaking on me so I wanna get some sandals to try those out. I was looking into Xeroshoes and found your review for Gladsoles. I'll be doing a lot of road running but also a bunch of trail running/ hiking. Would you choose the Gladsoles over Xershoes? If so, what model Gladsoles would you recommend for a good mix of road/trail running. The aggressive tread is a must for me. Thanks!

11/18/16 @ 09:44
Comment from: jarvis [Member]  

Hey Mike!

There are many things to consider when thinking about huaraches. For me, it comes down to fit, weight, and the tying system.

One thing to keep in mind is that Xeroshoes has one shape for most of their sandals. If you have wide feet like mine, your feet simply will not fit the Amuri Venture, Cloud, or Z-Trek sandals.

Gladsoles does a custom cut of each sandal based upon your foot.

Of course, there are other sandal guys out there, such as Earthrunners, Unshoes, and Shamma sandals.

Earthruners and Shamma have nice, wide shapes for their sandals, while Unshoes has a really cool template system that has many shapes available for your to try out at home with a printer.

If you have your heart set on Gladsoles, keep in mind that you will be self-tying and that can take a while to get used to. However, once you've got the tying down, it's really great to run in these sandals.

I actually love the original Gladsoles and Trail sandals.
These days, they changed their lineup to the "Street" and new "Trail". The Street is the same 6mm Morflex sole of the Originals, while their new Trails got rid of the excellent 5mm Newflex sole and now use an 8mm Gumlite sole.

Personally, for roads and light trails, the Street is excellent. If you expect to be rock climbing or doing more extreme stuff, go for the trail.

Shamma Sandals still uses the 5mm Newflex sole for their Warrior line.

Honestly, I hope that Xeroshoes expands their sizing options so I can enjoy their sandals more. I've felt a bit left out because of my wide feet!

Let us know what you choose!

11/18/16 @ 13:04
Comment from: Mike [Visitor]  
Mike

Jarvis,

Thanks for the advice! So I think I'm between the Gladsoles Eco, the Gladsoles Trail, and the Unshoes Pah Tempe. The Eco tire tread seems pretty sweet and grippy but I'm a tad torn because the others seem great too haha. Any last advice to guide a decision?

Thanks!

11/18/16 @ 15:57
Comment from: jarvis [Member]  

Mike,

I like the Eco Trail a lot. They are very unique looking and send a great message about reusing things.

However, they are a bit denser than their brothers and you may notice that they can be a bit slappy and bottom-heavy.

The streets are very balanced.

I have always liked the Pah Tempe. Very comfortable and lots of fun. They are very easy for on-and-off, while I always self-tie my gladsoles, which takes about a minute.

-Jarvis

11/19/16 @ 08:54