Review: Invisible Shoe Contact

Barefoot Running Sandals by Invisible Shoes

This review of the Invisible Shoe FeelTrue Contact follows my review of the Connect model. If you haven’t done so already, you might want to read the Connect review, as it informs what I’m writing here.

The Contact is the same as the Connect, except that its sole thickness is 6mm rather than 4mm. Like the Connect, you order the Contact according to the length of your foot, from 9″ to 12 3/4″ (22.7 cm to 32.2 cm), though custom sizes are available. The thicker Contact sole offers more protection than the Connect sole, and a “softer” feel. For all that extra thickness (2mm doesn’t sound like much, but it’s noticeable), the Contacts weigh very little – 5.4 oz. for a men’s US size 9, which equates to 153 grams for a EUR size 42.

The Contacts have the same double-chevron sole as the Connects.

Chevron soles

Like the Connects, they also have the same subtly curved shape, with a very slight heel cup and an almost unnoticeable lift at the toe area. And the side holes for the laces sit on little “wings” and are pre-punched in what Invisible Shoe says are the “ideal anatomical position. ” (I won’t argue with the latter statement, because they seem to work, on both my Contacts and my Connects.) So, although my Contacts came as a “DIY kit,” all I had to do to make them go was punch a toe hole and lace them up.

I’ve laced my Contacts in the same slip on/slip off way as I have my Connects. Now that I’ve sussed it out, it just makes more sense than the traditional lacing method. Like everything else with the Contacts, it works, right off the bat and well.

Slip on lacing

So far, I’ve worn my Contacts on short pavement runs and for general street wear. They feel good. With them, I lose some of the “ground feel” that I get with the Connects. But I can see where an increase in protection might come in very handy indeed – and that’s on trails.

I’ve wanted to run trails for quite a while. I have good friends who run trails all the time. Two of my running hereos are Scott Jurek and Anton Krupicka, who are gods of the ultra trail racing world. I’ve been saying for more than a year that I want to run a trail. but I never have, until now.

Why?

Because I run barefoot. I run on pavement, I race on pavement. I don’t want to wear shoes, not even minimalist trail shoes. I want to run barefoot on trails, but I’m not up to doing that yet. my feet are well-conditioned, but my form isn’t good enough yet – or maybe I’ve simply lacked the confidence to give it a try.

The Contacts, though, make me want to go on stuff like this…

Caledon Trail

The regular price of the Contact DIY kit (though there’s precious little DIY to be done) is US$34.95. Right now, as the Contact is being introduced, the folks at Invisible Shoe have lowered the price to US$29.95. Shipping costs are minimal (remember the Contact’s light weight?), so I suggest you get to it right now, and order self a pair of Contacts. Visit the Invisible Shoe site, have a good look at the videos that explain the Contacts and the Connects (there’s a brief one explaining the difference between the two models), and buy yourself a pair.

You may use the Contacts for light trail running, you may use them for street wear, you may run on pavement in them. But use them you will. I guarantee it.

See you on the trails!

Invisble Shoes - the shoes for barefoot running, walking, hiking and... FUN

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6 comments

  1. Trail running is a must. Unfortunately, 3 weeks ago I was running in my VFFs in the Lake Tahoe basin backcountry and stepped on a stump that was about 2 inches high and one inch wide, bruising the crap out of my left forefoot. I had to run the rest of vacation in burly chacos (which was never my intention) because of the injury. I’m really weary of running on trails with protection and am really looking forward to putting together my 5mm vibram 8870 material with a 3mm leather top. I’m hoping that will give me enough protection without giving me zero feel! By the way, thanks for you posts!

  2. Alan, it sounds like you like your Connects better, at least you sounded WAY more enthusiastic about them, “I suggest you get yourself a pair of Connects for running on sidewalks or pavement, or just for general wear. You won’t go wrong. Seriously. Do it now.” I am new to barefoot running. I noticed after a long standing (no pun intended) injury that most of my pain went away when I took off my shoes. I’ve been walking barefoot and trying to establish some conditioning for barefoot running, but my form is still pretty wonky. My main running “track” is a 2 mile dirt loop around a local golf course. Unfortunately, in New Mexico there are a lot of thorns and decomposed granite, so running truly barefoot here is a real challenge. For this type of terrain and with my limited experience, would you recommend the Contacts? Thanks.

    1. First of all, congrats on getting started on barefoot walking and running! I had a quick look at your blog, and am impressed that you’ve started the journey. re Connects versus Contacts: Yes, my preference is for the Connects. That’s because i want to keep as close to the barefoot feel as possible, and because I run only on pavement or sidewalks. In your case, the Contacts may be better. The dirt surface of your running track might be OK for the Connects, but the decomposed granite would be far easier with the Contacts. Even with the Contacts, you’ll have to be very careful about those thorns. But barefoot/minimalist running is all about paying attention, and running around the obstacles rather than over them whenever possible. You might ask Steven Sashen of Invisible Shoe for his opinion. You can reach him via the Invisible Shoe Web site (http://invisibleshoe.com/). Let me know how it works out, OK?

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