Friday, May 29, 2009

Wake up your feet with Feelmax Niesa

Finally I've got Niesa, the long-awaited latest model of Feelmax footwear. Niesa will be officially launched in June in Europe. They don't even mention it yet on the website of this small Finnish family enterprise.

Feelmax concept was originally inspired by traditional nutukas moccasins of the Sami people. The footwear are designed in Finland and manufactured in Thailand. They are not specifically designed for running or even sports purposes - they are meant for anything really, like working, shopping or travelling for instance.

What really makes Niesa different from the earlier models is the outsole. The earlier soles were made of Keprotec. The latest models are equipped with Continental Contitec soles, which is more weather-proof and durable.

Niesa's are very easy to put on as only the Velcro strap is adjustable. The laces (or actually three short elastic bands for each shoe) are fixed.

My Niesa (size EU 43, US 9, UK 8.5 CM 27.5) weighs about 140 grams (one shoe), so it's slightly lighter than even the lightest of my racing flats.

My running shoes are usually size EU 44.5/US 10.5, but even size EU 44 of Niesa seemed too large for me. I usually wear them with socks, so without socks they would feel even roomier.

Niesas come with an incorporated soft insole, which is about 1 mm thick. Also the Contitec outsole is about 1 mm thick. This ensures that you can comfortably run on any surface and safely step on sharp objects like glass for example. You will feel everything on the ground just like you were running barefoot, but you are not likely to get hurt by anything on the ground. Cars can still drive over you and dogs can bite you, of course.

The most amazing thing about these fashionable footwear is that they feel so good. They may look pretty smart (by the way, only the 'color' black was available - is Feelmax doing the same to shoe business what Ford did to auto business?) and they certainly are functional as they make your feet stronger, but the fact is they will put a smile on your face.

I did an easy 10K run with them today, and I was grinning like an idiot the whole way. That was a totally involuntary reaction and completely against my nature as I rarely smile when I run. I've never had so much fun running and I just wouldn't want to stop for any reason. Normally I'm making stupid excuses constantly to justify breaks.

I love Niesas. They work perfectly for my feet and every little detail is well designed. That's about all I can say about them for now. It's summer now and they will probably feel a bit cold in winter, even with thick socks.

I paid 67 euros for them and they are definitely worth every penny. Actually they might turn out to be much more valuable than that, if I manage to improve my running strength, speed and technique while keeping myself healthy and avoiding injuries.

Finally, here's a couple of interesting earlier reviews:


Scott Mark said...

Jakuko - glad you are giving these shoes a try, I think they are fantastic! I am actual anxious to try these out during our winter. I think with socks they will be warm enough for a lot of winter days as long as you don't have to get them soaking wet. They are REALLY comfortable, aren't they? Happy running!

Jakuko said...

Thanks! Yes I agree they are great. I'll certainly give them a try in the winter. With good wool socks (or maybe neoprene) it should be possible to wear them all year round. At least for shorter distances. A lot depends on what sort of winter weather it will be - these days you'll never know for sure. We'll see. Happy running!

Torgeir said...

I have them aswell and I love them! I run with them for an hour every morning :)

Jakuko said...

Niesa running 7h/week, wow that's a lot. I do much less.

Joe said...

I want to make sure I read it right, you wear a Niesa that is 1 1/2 sizes down from your typical size? I just received mine today. I usually wear EU 43/US 9, but my feet are swimming in them. When I send them back for exchange, I want to make sure I get the right size. Based on your review, I'm thinking I need to go with a EU 41.5/US 7.5 (if they have 1/2 sizes). Otherwise, I'll go with the EU 42/US 8. Thanks!

Jakuko said...

Yeah that's right, my Niesas are US 9 while my running shoes are typically 10.5 - so that makes my Niesas an inch shorter. I like to buy my running shoes way too big (meaning they are about an inch longer than my foot), but that approach doesn't work with barefoot shoes like Niesa. You need to buy them to fit your foot size almost perfectly, without leaving too much empty space in front of your toes. Hope this helps and good luck!

Joe said...

I was all messed up with my EUR/US conversions in my prior post. I ended up with the EUR 41 / US 8, which fit me perfectly like a glove. I would NOT, however, be able to fit wool socks, so for those of you looking to do that, I'd recommend going 1/2 US size down. These things are amazing. I can't believe how I can feel every little pebble underfoot.