Starringer Freeheel Runningpads – first impressions

Starringer Freeheel Runningpads is a one of a kind product which I’ve been testing for few days already thanks to the kindness of Starringer company. Runningpads are fascinating for many reasons and that’s why I’ve decided to write this short first impressions review in which I’ll try to introduce the pads.
 

So, what exactly are the runningpads? From the front they look like regular huaraches but if you look in profile you will notice that they are much shorter – like cut. Their purpose is to provide cover and protection only to those parts of the runner’s foot which really need it. Namely, the toes and the forefoot. The heel and practically the whole midfoot are left uncovered.

Even at the first glance one can see that they were produced very carefully and with attention to the details. They are put on like normal huaraches and the long elastic strap should go around the heel, below the Achilles tendon. After having run the first kilometers I can say that the pads hold the feet very firmly and they do not slip or move in any direction. Thanks to the non-slip elements the straps also remain in place.

The all leather version
The rubber sole version
Now I’d like to say few words about the materials that are used for the productions of the freeheel runningpads. The upper layer – the lining – is made of the roe deerskin which is unbelievably soft and mellow. As far as the sole is considered, we have two options. The first one is deerskin which is also very soft, elastic and molds perfectly to the shape of the feet. The second option is rubber which is a bit tougher and may perform better for example on very rocky courses. The fact that the proper preparation of the leather takes about a year can be a prove of its highest quality.

As you have probably noticed, there are two straps between the toes. I was a bit confused by this second, longer lace and I didn’t know how to use it at the beginning. I tried to put it between my toes but I was explained by Starringer stuff that it should remain as it is – a bit loose, between the big toe and the second one which is supposed to improve the grip. Below is the photo of the way the runningpads should be worn 😉

It’s also worth mentioning that Starringer Freeheel Runningpads received the ISPO 2012 AWARD for “innovations, great design and outstanding performance”.

These are only the first impressions. The full review of both versions should appear when I cover more kilometers but you can always follow all my progress with different running gear on my Facebook profile HEAVY RUNS LIGHT 😉
 
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