In previous posts on shoes, I've mentioned I don't like calling them "reviews" because everyone's feet is different and a shoe that I love might not work for you and a shoe that you love might not work for me.
I think the RunAmoc is a great example of why I do this. A lot of people love the RunAmoc. Donald, over at Running and Rambling, loves them so much he ran a fifty miler in them. But they're not working for me.
I ordered them a couple weeks ago and have been using them on my easy days for lunchtime runs. I've worked up to 2.5 miles barefoot, so 3 miles in moccasins didn't seem like a big deal. Boy was I wrong. The first time I wore them I did only 2.5 miles and had a bit of a hot spot on the ball of my right foot, beneath the fourth toe. I blew it off and ran later that week and got a full-blown blister. Underneath a callous.
I still ran the Run for Reading 5K that weekend (in cross-country flats), but that evening my foot was killing me. The pressure had built up so much beneath the callous that it had pushed forward so the tissue at the base of my fourth toe was inflammed. It was weird. Draining the blister with a needle didn't help - I think the top layer of skin was too thick to allow it to drain properly. Normally when I get a blister it just dries out after a couple days and eventually flakes off - even if its under a callous. What I ended up doing was taking a razor blade and cutting down the center of the blister and opening it up to relieve the pressure.
It worked, and Monday morning I was feeling much better--I even put in a good 6 mile run Monday evening. Thinking I was better I gave the RunAmocs another try on Thursday and still got a small blister on that same spot. Then today I gave it one last try. It's not going to work.
There are three issues it could be: form, foot physiology or size.
If it's form, it's fixable. Probably. With some work. But if I've been running barefoot for five months and I can't handle the RunAmocs, it seems unlikely that its form. And if it is, it's unlikely that it will improve significantly in a reasonable amount of time.
If it's foot physiology, there's nothing I can do. I know I have issues with a Haglund's deformity, but that's not going to give me a blister on the ball of my foot (but it will cause bursitis).
And it could be size. I'm a short, fat size nine. That is, I'm like a 8 3/4 EE. Or maybe just E. But I'm and 8.5 EE in dress shoes and a 9 D in running shoes. Soft Star has only full sizes and they say if you're between sizes to go down on the RunAmoc. But I didn't because I'm not that between sizes. I'm way closer to a nine than an eight. So I could get a size eight. But if size wasn't the issue, then I'm out the cost of another pair of mocs. (Because I can't return these - they've been worn outside.)
So these are going on eBay. It makes me question whether true minimalist shoes are for me. Maybe I'll stick with flats and seek out some zero-dropped cushioned shoes for long road runs...although the New Balance Minimus line sure has me curious...