Hi Tec HARAKA Men’s Running Trainers in Black & White

haraka_a003040-021-4They Say –  The Haraka men’s running trainer is ultra-lightweight, ultra-breathable and ultra-comfortable.

This black trainer shoe with white harpoon has a white rubber pod outsole providing grip and lightweight durability. The ultra lightweight IMEVA midsole absorbs impact, while the technical mesh upper ensures breathability. For added support and a comfortable fit, these sports trainers also include synthetic overlays.

An ideal choice for hitting the gym or running around the tracks.

  • Technical mesh upper for breathability
  • Synthetic upper overlays for support and fit
  • Ultralight IMEVA impact absorbing midsole
  • Rubber pod outsole for light weight durability

We Say – If you like your shoes with minimal padding then these Haraka trainers are a good bet. I’ve tried out a lot of trainers and although Hi Tec aren’t marketing the Haraka as barefoot or minimalist style I reckon they could do. They’re not Vibram five fingers, for sure, but they are similar to other minimalist shoes I’ve tried (K-Swiss Blade spring to mind) and that suits me.

Ever since I read ‘Born To Run’ I’ve been trying to cut out my reliance on padded shoes. I’ve tried the completely barefoot style and it didn’t suit (perhaps because I tried it for a few months in the depths of winter) and I’ve also tried Vivo and Kigo but they don’t offer me enough protection, whilst the hybrid style such as these Haraka, which are half barefoot, half traditional running shoe, do.

I like to run as hard as a I can, and I find to do that I need to have confidence that if I tread on a nail or piece of glass or even a thorn I will not be affected by it. I don’t want to have to focus constantly on the ground, or hug the white line in the middle of the road, so for me I seem to have settled into sacrificing a little of the physical freedom of the feet in order to attain freedom for the mind.

I’d even say that the minimal padding of the Haraka helps to improve your running style. You have to run properly with them, or you’re going to get hurt. Land on your forefoot and you’ll move well, land anywhere near you heel and you’ll feel it and I dare say, get injured pretty quick.

I’ve been using them for the past month here in snowy and icy Canada. I’ve been trying to keep up my training to I can do my best at the Brighton Marathon in April and although conditions haven’t been great (an average of minus 5 and often slushy or icy paths to navigate) I’ve managed that. My feet don’t actually get cold in this weather (I wear them with Hi Tec bamboo hiking socks), it’s always my frozen fingers that drive me indoors rather than my feet.

The shoes get a bit crusty at times due to the salt that’s spread on the roads here but a quick rinse under the tap washes them clean-ish, and as long as I dry them naturally, a little distance away from the radiator, they seem to be handling the salt ok (they take about 2 days to dry out completely).

The paths have been very icy at times and the shoes have gripped it well. I slow down when I hit an ice patch and thankfully haven’t slipped over yet. Another instance when they’ve need to grip, and have done so, is when the puddles are deep so I hop up onto the snowy banks without slowing down to avoid them and run on an angle for a few metres.

Another feature of the soles is that they don’t pick up debris, I guess this is down to the horizontal grips, I’ve had trainers with grip like this before, they tend to flick the stones and dirt out before it has a chance to accumulate.

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I did try to wear them when I first arrived here and the snow was ankle deep but that didn’t work out for me. My feet did get very cold then. But after 3 weeks or so the snow eased off and it was just a case of the cold, and as I’ve said that isn’t an issue for me. Since them most of my running has been on the road but a couple of times I’ve got onto the trails and have found the shoes fine with that. They’d probably struggle with wet and muddy trails but if it’s hard packed, they’re good.

I’ve tried them out in the rain – the outers feel quite thin so I was expecting my feet to get very wet but that didn’t happen, they protected me very well – and also in the gym. As you’d expect from a trainer that handles the real world ok, it coped with the treadmill just fine.

They’re very light, look ok and are remarkable value, retailing at under £40. They’ve helped me train for the Brighton Marathon and I’ll be wearing them during that race so I’d say that if you’re looking for a well priced running shoe for gym or road racing use then you should consider these Hi Tec Haraka.

To discover more see http://www.hi-tec.com/uk/haraka-mens-running-trainers-black-white.html

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