Monday, June 23, 2008


As a runner in the Badwater 135 race, I (along with all other runners) were given a complimentary pair of BAR High Performance shoes. I received mine a week before my planned Death Valley Training Run, but unfortunately the size was just off. I spoke with the distributer and they were kind enough to overnight a pair to Los Angeles office where I was working the day before my Death Valley training run.

I had only planned on running 5 or 10 miles in them since they were brand new. However, they were so comfortable I did the entire 50km run in them. The toe box was extra wide (giving the shoe a unique look) allowing my toes room so there was no rubbing between them and thus no blisters on my toes. Also, the toes didn't rub on the side of the shoes either, so no blisters there.

The insoles were soft yet firm, especially under the arch. I found they gave an almost "rolling" feeling. While they are firm shoes, they also absorbed the road shock and had thick soles to help absorb the heat from the road so that my feet didn't cook. The extra room in toe box did also allow my feet to swell slightly from the heat while still not feeling cramped.

After the run, the bottom of the soles looked no worse even after the 50km on the hot Death Valley asphalt. The laces held the shoe snug but never caused any pain on the top of my feet.

I did develop two blisters, one very small and the other hard to even see. They were on the "bump" on the side of the foot below the base of the big toe. But nothing like I got at the Keys 100 miler (total of 23 blisters). So now I know where I need to tape. The first pair I received that were too small were a bright red. My replacement pair was white. I prefer the white.

Overall I would give these shoes a 9 out of 10.


Rajeev Char said...

In reference to your previous post where you wore white long pants for the training run - you should look into what the bedouins have been wearing - a fashion tip from the original desert dwellers should be really helpful.

Clara said...

Wow...I'm surprised that they gave out free shoes, that they actually gave you the right shoes, and then that you liked the shoes. That's impressive.

Were they just shoes for pavement or trail shoes?

Is that a new brand or something? Why were they giving out new shoes?

Alan said...


If it will get me to teh finish line, I'll wear the Bedouin garb :)


They are a major sponsor of the race. Sometime after I was accepted to run at Badwater, race management sent an announcement to all accepted runners that the BAR company had decided to supply the shoes to each runner. I would assume it is their way of both supporting the race and runners while also exposing their product to potential consumers who coudl tell otehrs. I hadn't heard about teh company before except for its affiliation with Badwater. The shoes are more for pavement in my opinion, but I do believe they can be used on trail also. They aren't cheap, but they are hand made, great quality and I will probably end up buying them in the future especially if they allow me to finish Badwater.

MrMan said...

Alan, are BAR running shoes still sold? If so, do you know of a retail vendor in the United States? I've finally worn out my pair after two years, and would like to go for seconds...

Alan said...

MrMan - yes they are made but I do not believe they have a US distributor. I had to go to Switzerland and they were willing to have them shipped to a co-worker there for me. Not sure if they ship to the US or at what cost. Good luck.