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Nov 27, 2011

Ecco Biom B Leather running show review

The people over at Ecco USA sent me a pair of their Biom B leather running shoes to do a review.  I received these a couple months ago.  I really wanted to put them through the test that they deserved.

First, a few facts about Ecco:
  • Ecco started about 40 years ago in Denmark.
  • They build shoes from the inside out so you always get comfort in the shoe.
  • They are socially responsible when it comes to the environment - I love that!
  • Ecco makes all kinds of very comfortable shoes for daily wear, walking, running, trails, golf, etc.
They have several types of shoes in their Biom line including shoes for walkers, golfers, casual runners(C), fitness runners(B) and competitive runners(A).  Now before you get all hung up on the categories, because of course, I consider myself competitive, I opted to have them send me the Biom B because of the speed(or lack thereof) I run.

What this means is that if you are going to wear a Biom A, you should be a runner that is typically a fast runner(running 7 minute pace or less), the Biom B is best for a slower or more typical(fitness they say-not sure I like the reference to fitness) runner(7+ minute pace) and the Biom C is for "casual" runners.

I want to first address the price of the shoes which retails from $175 to $225.  These are certainly not inexpensive shoes.  The difference in cost depends on whether you choose leather or a textile upper.  Of course, the leather is more but, in my opinion, if you are spending this kind of money on a shoe, you should go for the leather version for the little extra that it is.  Price is probably the largest drawback to the shoes itself.  I could buy at least two pair of shoes for the cost of these pair and that alone might deter many people from even trying these.  There is more to the price than appears(can run longer on them) and I will get into that later.  Given the cost though, performance would be especially important.

Keep in mind that these are a shoe designed to allow your foot to run naturally.  Everyone is getting on this recent craze but Ecco actually started the Biom line back in 2007.  Because of this style, you need to adjust your feet to them if you have not been wearing this type of shoe.  You need to start slowly and build up to longer runs.  These are NOT barefoot shoes and should not be considered if you are looking for a barefoot shoe.  They just help your feet run naturally and do give you cushion.  I was able to run 3 miles in my first run with them but it may take you longer to get used to them.  According to Ecco, if you build up over a 6-8 week period, you should be ok to run in them regularly.  Just make sure you listen to your legs - if you don't feel you're ready, then build up slower.

The fit of these is really nice and super comfortable but for the price you really want to make sure that the fit on these is perfect.  I would suggest that if you are going to try a pair that you go to the local Ecco dealer and try them on there before buying.  These are not shoes you want to purchase over the internet until you know they are right for you.

In regards to size, my opinion is that the shoes run big.  I really debated about sending back the 8.5(really 8 - 8.5) that they sent me but opted not to because I felt that the next size down would probably be too small.  Here's a picture of what they look like:
Great looking shoes!
The quality of the shoe box is even nice with a zippered material shoe box(shoes are on top of it).  The look of them is incredible as well, in my opinion, and you can also choose a yellow pair if you like.  I almost didn't want to wear them they look so nice.  Haha!  Here's the yellow one's from their website:
The upper of the shoe is made with Yak leather.  It is still eco friendly because Yak leather has really be discarded(or very hard to produce something) in the past but Ecco has found a way to use the leather in their shoes.  Who would have thought that USING leather would be environmental friendly?  The feel of the leather is incredible and so soft to the touch.  When you put the shoe on it hugs your feet throughout the arch and heel but the toe box is very wide to allow your feet to move naturally.  At first, I thought the toe box was too wide but after running in them for the last couple months, I think they are perfect.

Also, one of the best things about the leather is that it molds to your foot over time so the shoe actually gets more comfortable the more you use them.  In addition, the leather is perforated so it breaths well.  While I did not get a chance to wear these in really warm weather, I suspect they will perform just fine.  In cooler weather, they worked great and because there is no mesh like other running shoes, it does help to keep your feet more comfortable(not so cold).  Of course, if you opt for the textile version, they will have mesh like typical running shoes.

In regards to the bottom of the shoes, it's made from an all day dual density support(PU) that is flexible but also durable and comfortable.  The PU is supposed to be a much more durable material than EVA(which is used in other running shoes) allowing you to run in these at least 1.5 times the distance of other running shoes without breaking down.  This will help offset the cost if you were able to get 600-700 miles out of them.  And for you people that get 600-700 on your regular running shoes, you are going to be in heaven with these.  Here's a picture:

Here are a few other pictures from different angles.  Where you see the red is the PU material:
Heal
side
top
So I have worn these shoes for the last couple months and I think the fit is super comfortable.  They are probably the most comfortable shoes I have worn coming right out of the box.  I always feel like I need to get at least 50 miles on my shoes for them to feel really good.  Not for these!  It feels like they are already broken in.  They were comfortable from the first run that I did in them.  
Great reflective tongue on the shoes for night running!
I also love how the heel hugs your foot.  Some may not like it but the heel of the shoe goes around your foot, perhaps a little higher than normal but I like it because it  made it feel like some of the other shoes that I have worn in the past and that my heel is not going to slip out.  The cushioning on these is also comfortable and would be more than acceptable to run as much as a marathon in them.  While I have a few pair of barefoot shoes, I can't seem to wear those much more than three miles since there is no cushioning.  With the cushion that these provide, I'm able to do my regular runs in these.

Here's the pro's and con's in my opinion:

Pro's
  • Made by Ecco, a company known for very comfortable shoes
  • Very high quality made shoe throughout
  • Great fit - the leather molds to your foot like no shoe I have worn - good arch support
  • Attractive design
Con's
  • Price - these would probably be the most expensive shoe most people would ever own(although they should last longer than your typical running shoe too)
So there you have it, I really liked the shoes.  My biggest issue is price.  Personally, I just cannot justify spending almost $200(or more) for a pair of shoes when there are competitors out there that sell for much less.  I think if Ecco could bring the shoes down $50 that many more people would try them.  Will that happen?  Not likely, Ecco is a company that built it's reputation for a high quality shoe and it certainly shows in the Biom B.  

The bottom line:  you will not be disappointed in the performance of these shoes.

* I was given a pair of Ecco Biom B shoes courtesy of Ecco to test in exchange for this review.  I was not required to give a positive review.

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

3 comments:

  1. Wow, what a great review of a jacket! LOL, love the photos though.......

    ReplyDelete
  2. Haha. There's one in every crowd Ken....and you're it! Haha! This will teach you to stop posting at work. Shoes, Ken, they are called shoes. Haha!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Best running shoes ever. If only ECCO would make them again!

    ReplyDelete

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