10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Great transition sneaker for those wanting to go minimalist,
This review is from: Altra Women's Intuition Running Shoe (Apparel)
I love this shoe! After my crossfit trainer mocked my Nikes (for their toe-compressing shape and high heel rise), I told him my feet just weren't ready for the thin soles of Vibrams and other minimalist shoes, at least not for regular use. He sent me a link to these Intuitions as well as driving directions to the shop to try them on. Given he felt that strongly about it I figured I ought to give these shoes a try.
And thank goodness I did! While I like wearing my Vibrams around the house or in the garden, they are totally uncomfortable for me on concrete or to wear for more than a few hours at a stretch. I can feel every pebble I step on, and they rub my skin uncomfortably since I can't wear socks with them.
These Intuitions on the other hand have a nice sole that is much thicker and cushier than other minimalist shoes. Because the toe box is nice and wide and there is no heel rise ("zero-drop"), it allows my toes to spread out and lets my body provide good support when I'm walking or running.
I bought these right before a trip on which I was standing and walking for 12 hour days, and wore them almost constantly. I felt a little hip and leg soreness that first week (good soreness, not "something is wrong" soreness), and a little soreness in the bottoms of my feet, but otherwise the adjustment period went very smoothly. At the end of the trip my feet were feeling a little tender and I went back to my Nikes for a day, but I really regretted it as my poor toes had gotten used to spreading out, and worse, after a week of natural motion in the Intuitions, a day of walking in my Nikes made my hips and knees feel sore and out of joint.
The other nice thing about them is that the weave is very airy, so not only do my toes have enough space, but it feels like the air is moving over them and keeping them cool. The downside is that water goes right through them and I have to be very careful about dewy lawns and puddles. I live in a climate where it rains seven months of the year, so I would really like to see an all-weather version of these for winter wear.
I normally wear a size ten, but the company (Altra) says on this particular model that it's best to buy a size larger than usual. I wear a size ten normally and selected a size ten and a half for these Intuitions, and they fit perfectly.
I really love these shoes, and I just purchased another model from the company, the Eve, which has the thinner, siped sole of Vibrams without the separated toes. I like that I can wear socks with the shoes from this company and yet still have the zero-rise sole and large toebox that makes my feet feel so happy.
As for the look - I liked the silver mesh and dark purple accents of the pair I bought. People say it looks a bit like chainmail. But honestly, I wish this came in a very dark grey or preferably black version. I wear sneakers all the time, and the light color of these makes it hard to color-coordinate with my wardrobe, which is, wait for it, pretty much all black.
So Altra, if you're listening, please come out with some black Intuitions, as well as some all-weather Intuitions that can tolerate puddles. Other than that, I'm as happy as can be with my new shoes.