Coming from a non-running background and crafting running shoes in today’s market is brave. I spent several years with Under Armour as they attempted the same thing.
STRKE MVMENT is a Canadian-based company out of Vancouver. Their shoes are developed by a self-declared “washed up pro snowboarder” who looked at running as a means to offset the years of asymmetric musculature from years of competing in his main sport.
Let’s be honest. Most of the shoes we wear to run are very obviously “runners.” This is especially true as we happened upon the era of the “super shoes.”
Great for running—a bit tacky to wear to the pub post-run.
STRIKE’s goal was to create a minimalist running shoe with the cushioning necessary to be worn in a variety of running environments, but also aesthetically pleasing. Ahead of their time, they created cool looking kicks that were wildly popular in the functional fitness world.
Their Haze trainer (pictured above) is something you want to wear when hitting up functional fitness workouts—think CrossFit, HIIT, and Parkour. I wore mine to join my girlfriend at the CrossFit gym and loved them. (Yes, I do CrossFit.) Mostly for the social aspect. My girlfriend and are often busy and it gives us a chance to get a sweat on and then go grab a drink. But I also enjoy moving my body in different ways and remembering that not all strength exercises have to be running related. One of my top favourites in 2021, the Haze trainer has a breathable and flexible 3D knit jacquard upper construction and uses their Cross Platform 2TM outsole created for a lightweight shoe that is ready for what your workouts have to throw at you.
Heading into the running world, STRIKE MVMENT has the Vimana and Vimana Carbon. A hybrid running shoe that can hold up on the trail, but also still let you crush your workouts at the gym or on harder surfaces. Sticking to the less-is-more goal, the midsole of the shoe is designed to maintain the feel of a thinner, minimalist shoe, but with enough foam to protect the foot over mixed terrain. In the carbon version, the Vinmana features a Carbitex AFX plate, made to flex with the foot but still provide resistance. I again wore these shoes for more mixed-style workouts, but felt confident to run to and from the gym and not need a change of shoes.
Once again, they looked good for the post-workout beer.
It was a lot of fun testing out shoes not traditionally in the running world. As I keep finding new ways to train and keep life entertaining, having a few new pairs of kicks that can let me play are definitely going to make this summer exciting.