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SHOE REVIEW / / High Performance Sandals – Shamma Warriors

photo courtesy of ShammaSandals.com
Yes, that’s right…"high performance sandals"…it’s a thing…and if ya don’t know, now ya know.
With spring thaw in effect here on the East Coast, sandal season has begun! Paired with Trail – Midweight Injinji socks, the Warrior is the most minimal trail running sandal on the market.
photos courtesy of Adam Holston
Weighing a whopping – 3 ounces (in a size 9) – there may not be anything lighter. With a total stack height of only 5mm – 6mm, it is no surprise the Warriors are uber-light. Want impeccable ground feel? Here ya go, whether you choose the rubber top Warrior or leather top Warrior, I believe these running sandals provide the greatest amount of ground feel. Call me crazy, but although there are running shoes on the market with 5mm – 6mm stack heights, there seems to be a heightened sense of movement with running sandals in comparison to those shoes. An x factor so to speak, which I believe is due to exposure of the top of the foot.
photos courtesy of Adam Holston
If this sounds appealing to you; let’s say you enjoy the ground feel and range of motion of being barefoot, but have never run in a sandal before then the Warriors may prove to be too minimal for you. Instead, invest in them with the intentions of walking and hiking. It took me several years to restore the function of my feet and legs to the point at which I can safely run long distance or sprint in sandals. That all started with walking and hiking in minimal shoes with short intervals of running (2 minutes at a time). Now, I chase Bear (pictured above) for hours through the mountain trails of Northern Virginia and Eastern Panhandle West Virginia.
I have tested both the leather top and rubber top Warriors. The easiest way to separate the two on performance & application is simply -exposure to the elements. If your running environments tend to involve moisture go with the rubber top. Go with the leather top if you run in dry conditions. Another level of separation is the traction between the skin of the barefoot and the material of the tops. While the leather top will always provides greater traction to the skin of the foot, especially as perspiration increases, I do not find myself slipping enough on the rubber top to consider it an unsatisfactory experience.