The Look; Well despite being a slave to Black/Red/White. I like the green version of these. They definitely asked to be looked but that’s so much better than white shoes with a splash of color that get dirty after one run.
The Upper; I had a pair of the original Virrata’s and just didn’t get on with them, the uppers were very sloppy and after a few runs I gave up using them, these are much improved and feel much more solid in their construction as a result they hold your foot better. I think this is a function of the material being more robust rather then there being more material. Like the Mirages’ these are not seam free on the inside. They are finished off with a nice toe bumper and heel counter but everything is kept to a minimum.
The Fit; Now with the improved upper the fit while running is better, the toe box is roomy enough and as usual for me I size up to a size US11/UK10/Euro45. I fitted Yankz quick lace which is just for preference and had no issues with them.
The Sole; 18mm of sole all around, these are a zero drop shoe. This does take some getting used even the 4mm drop of the Kinvara’s or Mirage’s is noticeable by comparison. I am not going to get into the mid-foot discussion but I would say that these, in my opinion are better suited to someone who is a lighter-on-their-feet runner. The soles are constructed from EVA+ with some rubber on the high wear areas; the heel, toes and strangely under the big toe, anyone who supinates is going to wear there out pretty quickly, given the lack of protection on the sole I estimate that these should last 200-250 miles.
The Ride; These are poles away from the Mirage’s the ride on these is a little soft, not feel the cracks in the pavement soft but these are very different by comparison. Most of my running has been on the local roads and sidewalks with a smattering of treadmill miles for both speed work and steady Zone 2 runs but nothing longer than 8 miles. On the treadmill which has a little flex to the deck there were awesome. Overall I had no issues but I wonder if they would start to have issues at the 10 miles to Half Marathon distance?
Overall; These are a big improvement over the original Virratas’. The improved upper structure makes this a very comfortable shoe to wear and run in, certainly at the shorter distances, only time for longer runs will tell as my mileage increases. As mentioned they are on the minimal side and so expect them to wear out on the sooner rather than later side. Of course, as they say; your mileage may vary!
Available for men in black/orange, flouro yellow/white and white/blue as well the green/red shown here. For the ladies in orange/green, black/pink, blue/white and white/aqua, these retail for $90 which is at the lower end of the today’s price range for shoes and goes someway to offsetting the expecting quicker wear…if you shop around you can find them for $80!