Sometime ago, I got an email the content of which surprised me. It was an invitation to review a shoe. I haven't got many such invites for a long time, probably no thanks to my rather negative review of the Nike Sportsband. So it was really a big surprise. And it was for a shoe that I know absolutely nothing about. An Erke running shoe!
So far the only thing I know about Erke was that it is a Chinese sports manufacturer and produces apparel which I had seen selling in Sportslink here. In fact, I think I might even have one or 2 of their shorts. So I decided to enlist the help of the world most famus guru, Mr Google to find out what the shoes was and not entirely to my surprise - came back with absolutely zilch, zero and nothing! That put me in a spot. I would certainly love to do a review but having nothing to start off with was like... what am I going to write about? So I wrote back to the nice lady and told her accordingly and also to warn her that I may end up writing a very negative review if I don't like the shoe. And I thought that was that. Well, she surprised me by coming back with an offer of a compromise and bingo a new pair of shoe to try out and to replace my dying Brooks. But unfortunately, they didn't have my size and I had to settle for another compromise - a Women's shoe for the sidekick to try and we will jointly write the review. And here it is: introducing the Erke W. Fitness shoe [insert drumroll]
Here is some very brief description of the shoes from the people at Erke:
The ERKE W. Fitness Shoe can take sports women from the gym to the great outdoors. Featuring the ERKE Easy-Bending Technology which allows easy bending of the shoes up to 180 degrees, ladies can run and exercise with the slightest of resistance of running and greatest comfort. The soft material used also ensures that shoes are lightweight, minimizing the amount of energy needed for movement.
To ensure sufficient cushioning while keeping the shoes light, the thickness of the rubber soles are increased at the ball of the foot and heel, and in areas where greater pressure is experienced.
The ERKE W. Fitness Shoe is made of high-density space leather materials at the front and heel of the shoe to increase the sturdiness and impact resistance of the shoe, and breathable mesh to keep the runner’s feet comfortable and dry.
That about it. Nothing on the specific make up of the material for the sole, the body etc. No mention too of the usual stuff that other manufacture like to throw about - heel to toe thickness, technology involved etc. But from the descriptions and the pictures, we can ascertain what it is and not:
It is not a minimalist shoe. Yet at the same time, it is not exactly a conventional shoe. The side profile of the shoes looks like almost all other newer shoes from established manufacturers like Nike and Reebok. The heel to toe drop is just under 4 mm so should qualify as a minimalist shoe but it has much better cushioning all round. I am not too sure about the material used for the cushioning though. The description said rubber sole so rubber sole it shall be.
|Erke W. Fitness|
The upper of the shoe is supposed to be made of high quality leather and breathable mesh material. I cannot smell any leather smell but the material feel sturdy enough and looks about the same as many other conventional shoes.
So far from what I can see, I like that it is fairly well build and flexible. This could be due to the design of the sole with it cross cut groove.
M hasn't took it out for a run yet. That will be remedied once she completes the main part of her training for the Sundown. And thereafter, we will put up her feeling and opinion of it. Until then.
NB: This product review is made possible by the good people at Erke Singapore.