Like most people who grew up listening to hip hop in the eighties and early nineties, I was a sneaker head. When birthdays or Christmas rolled around sneakers were the only thing I’d ask for. And when I had any extra money in my pocket I’d immediately hustle on over to Foot Locker to grab some fresh new kicks.
But those days are long gone.
That’s not to say I won’t stop dead in my tracks if I see a rare pair of Air Jordan 1’s or 3’s (especially if a big-ass-havin-girl in a thong wearing a Yankees hat is carrying them). Cuz I damn sure will. I just can’t endure the pain of wearing them anymore. Although I’m sure it’s hard to tell because of my ever present Fonzie cool, I’m not that much of a slave to fashion.
The fact of the matter is most sneakers just aren’t that comfortable. Old school Jordan’s are like dress shoes and make the same exact sound when you walk. Like a teacher entering a class room. How can that be a good time?
Same with Dunks and Air Force One’s. Puma’s like Clydes or California’s are a lot better but still not ultra comfortable. My all time personal favorite sneaker from a looks and comfort combo is the Adidas Campus. That’s an old school classic that you can never go wrong with; especially when you go with black laces. I must have had at least a dozen or more pairs of those in my life.
These days, however, I need comfort, first and foremost. I spend a lot of time on my feet, even when I’m on the computer (I work from a standing desk as I recommend everyone does) and after a while the wrong shoes really start to bother my feet, ankles, knees, hips and lower back.
Enter the Merrell Trail Glove. I got my first pair of these about a month or so ago and abso-freakin-lutely love them. I’d say without a shadow of a doubt that from a comfort/performance perspective they’re my all time favorite sneakers.
They’re an ultra light, breathable, flat, Vibram Five Finger made into a sneaker. The soles of the Merrell’s are actually made by Vibram. The cool added benefit that Merrell’s have over the Vibram Five’s is that you can actually wear them somewhere other than the gym without looking like Sir Douche a Lot or “Kooky Workout Guy.”
As comfortable and as good for your posture as Vibram’s may be the fact is you aint gettin’ laid if you wear them out to a bar.
Over the last four of five weeks since purchasing the Merrell’s I have done the following in them:
• Trained- Usually I train in Vibrams (unless I’m squatting) but the Merrell’s were awesome for standing exercises, single leg work and Prowler pushes. Definitely better than any other type of sneaker for lifting in but I’d still give the Vibram’s a slight edge there only because I feel a little bit more connected to the ground in them. But you can’t go wrong with the Merrell’s.
• Ran Hill Sprints- The Merrell’s felt great on the hill and gave a little bit more traction than the Vibram’s. They’re definitely far superior to any other running sneaker; especially the Nike Free which is a high heel dress shoe masquerading as a barefoot sneaker. Those things ruin my lower back after about an hour of wearing them.
• Walked Around Disney Land for Nine Hours Straight- Usually a long day of walking and standing around causes my lower back to start aching. My feet, ankles, knees and hips will also start feeling it after about three or fours as well. After nine hours in the Merrell’s I felt amazing. I could have walked until the next day. In Vibram’s I’m good for a few hours and then my heels start to hurt which must affect my stride because that leads to achy knees and lower back discomfort shortly after. The Merrell’s were pure comfort all day long.
• Got Down To Old School Hip Hop til the Wee Hours of The Morning- For a variety of reasons I don’t go out at night anywhere near as much as I used to. One of the reasons, as I’m sure thirty something’s worldwide will agree with, is that they don’t play the music we grew up with anymore. I like the stuff being put out by guys like Kanye and T.I. but throw on some Main Source or Brand Nubian and I’ll lose my mind.
Well, old school hip hop fans, if you’re ever in Vegas on a Wednesday night check out Lavo at the Palazzo. They play as much good music as you’ll hear out at a bar or club these days.
Anyway, back to the Merrell’s… the truth is that as long as old school hip hop is on I can pretty much fight through anything and feel no pain. But I still felt a hell of a lot better than I would have if I was rocking regular kicks.
• Had Sex- Sometimes, in the heat of the moment, you can only get the pants down as far as they need to go and the sneakers need to stay on. Which is a good thing since certain positions and surfaces require more traction. Again, the Merrell’s get two thumbs up here.
So if you want an awesome pair of sneakers that give you all the benefits of the Vibram Five Fingers without repelling all females within a one hundred foot radius I’d highly recommend getting a pair of Merrell Trail Gloves.
Check out them out HERE.