09 April 2012

Adipure Trainer vs. Komodosport LS

There are many reviews out there on both the Adidas Adipure Trainer and the Vibram Komodosport LS.  There are some that compare and contrast the two.  Well, here is another one.  But what makes my review better than others, you ask?  Actually, those reviews are probably better, so I will just keep this short.  I just happen to have both styles and I got time to kill...so do you, so read on.

Keep in mind that is just my opinion and based on my foot.  Your foot an opinion may vary. 

Vibram Komodosport LS
 I got a pair of Vibram's first, so I will start with those.  Vibram is also the first to hit the market with 'toe shoes'.  By the way how does one pronounce 'Vibram'?  I thought it was 'Vye-Bruhm', like vibrate.  But, I have heard 'Vee-Bramm'.

These are surprisingly comfortable.  You would think that the glove like design would annoy your feet and the crotch of your toes.  But, like I have told others, it is like wearing a thong...very comfortable and damn sexy...and no panty lines.

The thin soles and light weight construction allow your foot to move freely (like Ace).  It offers moderate protection on the toes.  You can see how the sole sort of wraps up to protect the toes.  The shoe is designed for running and the wrap of the sole to the toes provides protection and smoother transition as your toes roll and push off, during a run.  You have probably heard the name Vibram before.  They have been makers of shoe soles for various companies for years.  So, they know how to make a good sole.

Komodosport, top and bottom
  • Light weight - I wear a size 8 (40), and the pair weighs only 336 grams.  For some reason, the left weighs 163 grams, right weighs 173 grams.
  • Flexible - From the words of Ned Flanders, "feels like I'm wearing nothing at all."
  • Very comfortable - Can be worn all day.
  • Stylish - Takes a while to get used to the 'goofy' look of the shoe, but it is a great design.
  • Removable foot bed - This is useful for airing out the shoe.
  • Reflective elements on heel - Good for running or other activities at night.
  • Not much protection on the top of the foot - Well, we are not using this to kick things.
  • Can get smelly after a while - Made to be worn without socks, so sweat and other foot odors can accumulate.  Luckily, it is machine washable.
  • May not fit all feet - Like all shoes, you have to try then on and see if they are right for you.  The unique design may prohibit some from being able to wear these.
  • Not waterproof - Not for use in wet conditions
Retail price:  $110

Adidas Adipure Trainer

 I also have a pair of Adidas Adipure Trainers.  Why, you ask?  Because Mike Cammalleri uses them in his training and "I wanna be like Mike".  Keeping with the theme, how do you pronounce Adidas?  Is it 'uh-Dee-dus' or 'Ah-di-Das'?

While these incorporate the separate toe design, they are quite different from the Vibram's.  The Adipure Trainer fits a little tighter, while offering more support.  They are designed for...well, training.  More for the gym and cross training.  The shoe is more suited for lateral movements and quick stops.

Adipure Trainer, top and bottom
  • Light weight - A size 8 weighs only 296 grams. Both shoes weigh the same at 148 grams.
  • Flexible - Not as flexible as the Komodosport due to the sole being about twice the thickness.  Compare to, say a Nike Free, the Adipure Trainer offers more flexibility.
  • Comfortable - I have worn these for hours with no problems.
  • Support - In addition to the thicker sole, the uppers offer more support than the Komodosport, since its purpose is for training (as apposed to running).
  • Stylish - I think I might wear these to a wedding or some sort of formal event...or not.
  • Not much protection on the top of the foot - Like the Komodosport, not designed for kicking things.
  • No reflective elements - Not recommended for night use unless you have other lights or reflective clothing.
  • Can get smelly - No socks means the shoe absorbs everything.  Pretty sure you can throw into washing machine, easy fix.
  • Graphics on foot bed rub off - Notice the inside of heel, the graphics tend to rub off as there are just screen printed on.  Minor issue, but it come off onto your foot and can transfer onto your carpet.
  • May not fit all feet - These have smaller toe boxes for support, yet have a larger heel cup.  I feel a little movement in the heel when moving side to side.
  • Not waterproof -  Looks like it is, but is not
Retail price:  $90

Comparing Vibram and Adidas
Other than support and general fit, there is one major difference that you should look out for.  Notice the curve of the toes in the picture above.  The Vibram has sort of a nice gradual curve.  The Adidas has more of a constant slope.  For my feet, the toes fit better in the Vibram, since my big toe is equal length to (perhaps slightly shorter than) my second toe.  This leaves a little play room when I wear the Adidas.   My little toe also fits better in the Vibram's, as it feels a little tight in the Adidas.  This is not necessarily a bad thing since it is part of the added support that the Vibram's do not have.

Both shoes are designed well for their purpose.  Komodosport for running, Adipure Trainer for working out.  Depending on what you need these for, that should be considered.  Or, you can get both, like me.  I suggest really trying them on at a store before purchasing, more so than regular shoes.

There are benefits to wearing toe shoes, as it helps align your toes to their natural position.  Regular shoes tend to squeeze your toes together, giving you a narrower platform to stand on.  Women (and some men) who wear high heel shoes will notice their toes are wedged together by the small toe box and full weight of the body forced onto the toes.  The lower profile also forces you to walk more naturally and is better for your joints, especially knees and back.  This is what the studies show...and I tend to believe people in lab coats.

Note that this is Adidas' first toe, so far only, toe shoe.  Vibram has a variety of toe shoes in their FiveFingers line, each designed for specific uses.  Both brands offer a variety of colours.

It does take a little getting used to.  At first it will be very difficult to get all your toes in the appropriate toe boxes.  Once you get the hang of it, you will love them.

Update - 12 September 2013:  I have used the Adipure Trainer at the gym for over a year.  Overall, they are great.   The sole is starting to ware down, I can see it  lasting at least another year.  Good thing I was able to find another pair at the outlet store for about $20.  So what if they are pink.  I will rock the pink toe shoes.

Anyway, I had an issue with them last night.  I attended a Body Combat (you know, like kick boxing) class.  It was an hour of jumping, hip torquing, and lateral movement.  The lateral moves, think sashaying, caused blisters at the base of both my big toes.  I also do this thing where I sashay on the treadmill and noticed that there is a lot of rubbing in the big toe, potentially causing blisters.  On the treadmill, I would stop.  But in class, I just kept going.

Obviously, there is too much room in the big toe area, at least for me.  Any equipment, like shoes, that do not fit snug will potentially cause blisters.  The Adipure Trainer is probably not the best for lateral movements since your big toe is primarily used to push off on.  Running is fine, I have been running on the treadmill with no problems.