5 mile test: Merrell Apure + Cambia

So many kites flying at the Washington Monument

I thought I'd try something new with this blog and do more reviews. See, since my previously blogged about revelation that Merrell's Q-form technology REALLY helps my feet, I've been starting to walk longer and longer distances in various pairs of Merrells I've bought — up to 5 miles fairly comfortably, now. I did get those orthotics, but found that they were super thick, and not actually as effective as straight-up Merrells.

So I'm going to try and see if I can get up to 5 miles in various pairs of shoes, and how it goes. Today's were the Apures, plus a Merrell Cambia shirt that I'd bought for travel. I took a post-brunch walk from Union Station, over by the Capitol, down the mall, turning around before the Washington Monument, and back to Union Station. I tracked my mileage using the RunKeeper app for Droid, which I love.

Merrell Apure

These shoes I hadn't worn very much before today's walk. The first day I wore them, the elastic band across the top of the foot was a bit stiff, and as a result, it was making my bad toe a bit uncomfortable. I tried them again, with thinner socks, and the combination of different socks and a bit of break-in seemed to do the trick. So I've probably worn them 3-4 times before today's walk.

They felt pretty good for about the first 3 miles. They have the same sole and a similar foot bed to sister shoes Parma and Brio, and all three shoes have always felt really good on the bad parts of my bad foot. You can really feel the air cushion and Q-form in all of them. By the fourth mile, they were starting to rub on my left pinkie toe and my right heel, but the foot support was still good. Approaching mile five, things started to fall apart — the back of the right heel (which now has a nickel-sized blister) hurt increasingly, and I was even starting to get a sharp pain underneath the heel when I stepped down.

Part of this might have been the thin Nine West dress socks I was wearing — perhaps with different sock material they would have rubbed less and all would have been well. I think they probably could have stood a little more opportunity to break in, as well. The leather on my more worn Parmas and Brios is nice and supple now and it really helps. But they did feel really good for about three miles, and at that point I was below a 20 minute mile, walking. Not bad for a pair of shoes you can wear to work, although I think I still prefer the Parma for overall comfort and the Brio for versatility.

Merrell Cambia

The Cambia I was impressed with. I liked the look of it online because it's a cute dress shirt that doesn't look like travel clothing — it looks like something you could, again, wear to work. The material feels thin and you can definitely tell it's quick-dry polyester when you're wearing it (but not looking at it), but for travel that's great. It's a shirt you can wear out to dinner and then sweat all over wearing it walking around a few days later.

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