After years of hard work and dedication to deliver a lightweight, ultra-thin soled shoe to our customers, they are starting to speak out. Read this review of the G2 and get a pair for yourself.
Sockwa G2 Review- I’m writing this review in reference to the Sockwa G2 minimalist shoe. Over the past years, I have tried many types of lightweight, low-heel type shoes. I’ve been in martial arts since childhood, so I’m very comfortable training barefoot. However, sometimes you need footwear for obvious sanitary or protective reasons. My logic went against traditional “trainers” because I wanted to keep the barefoot feeling regardless of my activities. I prefer good ground contact and the energetic connection it provides. I am a professional mixed martial arts coach and referee, law enforcement trainer, plus I participate in minimalist running, crossfit style fitness, and other outdoor activities. I’ve used Vibram FiveFingers, Tabi styled shoes, aqua socks, Asics, Zems, Feiyues, and others. These are all pretty good options, but all have their issues. That being said, I came across the G2’s online and decided to give them a try. I’m glad I did.
The G2 is basically a sock/shoe hybrid that functions like a protective skin for your feet. Those still brainwashed by the Nike’s of the world probably wont get the concept just yet, despite all the information that’s out there.
The upper is a nice combination of a thin neoprene-like material around the sides, and a thinner, spandex on top that allows a bit of breathing. This is nice, but the sole is really where this product excels. The sole is ridiculously thin, but very tough. It allows for the best yet ground feel I’ve had in any shoe. From what I’ve read, it’s a type of plastic rather than rubber. The traction is incredible even when wet. It’s holding up very well to concrete, asphalt, mats, dirt, indoor flooring, etc. And it’s easily machine washable. Also, it weighs almost nothing.
It really surprised me when I wore it during mixed martial arts sessions. I used it during sparring, clinch work, and grappling, and it didn’t come off at all. For the combat-oriented sports, it solves several major problems that limits other footwear. First, it’s soft and flexible enough to wear while kicking an opponent without doing more damage than a bare foot. Second, it is so light, it’s like its not even there. Third, the wrap around sole configuration seems to give an added measure of protection to the toes against accidental shin-elbow-knee clashes that are pretty common in MMA sparring. Fourth, it protects the feet from mat burns. Fifth, it works flawlessly under shin guards. Sixth, it gives added traction in a wet ring. Most of the other shoes I mentioned will fit some of this bill, but not all. They are now also becoming my MMA refereeing shoes of choice as well.
When running, the ground contact is great. You do feel just about everything underfoot. One thing I wonder about is how well they will function on EXTREMELY hot pavement like we have here in New Orleans during July or August. I ran in them during the heat of the day recently with no problems, but the weather has cooled some. For running, at first they seemed kind of small in the toe box area, but I found this to be sort of an initial sensory illusion. The material is so stretchy and comfortable, the toes can and do splay as they should. This feeling went away about 100 yards into my first run and hasn’t returned. In fact, they are very true to size for my size 11. The inner seams are flawless and do not rub at all. (Something Zemgear should learn from) The heel is perfectly rounded and does not slip if sized properly.
Something else I could see these being useful for is tropical hiking in a hot, wet environment like a rain forest where regular hiking boots get bogged down with mud and get much heavier when wet. Not sure about ice or snow traction yet. These dry very quickly. Plus you could pack several pairs without taking up much space at all. When running and training, my feet did sweat a little, but it wasn’t much different from other shoes. If this bothers you, thin ankle or no-show socks can work well with them too.
When I first got these, I figured I’d be wearing them mainly for training. However, I’ve liked them so much, I’m finding myself starting to reach for them whenever I leave the house. They slip on very easily. I’ve worn them a couple of times with jeans, and many times with shorts. For some, they may be a great sandal replacement. Overall, I can see myself getting a few pairs of these in different colors.
As great as they are, there are a couple of things I’d love to see in future models.
1. higher top option.
2. tabi-styled option (split toe) with the same sole technology.
3. brown color.
4. cold weather model.
So, all being said, I highly recommend the Sockwa G2 to all you barefoot enthusiasts out there.
New Orleans, La.