Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Tecnica Origin Review: Custom Shaped to Foot Italian Sports Car of a Trail Runner in 20 Minutes

Article by Jeff Valliere, Don Reichelt, and Sam Winebaum

Tecnica Origin XT ($170)
Tecnica Origin LT ($170)

Sam: Tecnica Sports is a long time Italian ski and hiking boot manufacturer that also owns Blizzard skis. Their entry into trail running shoes adeptly leverages the now common practice of heating and shaping ski boot liners and shells for custom fits.
Launching July 2019, after in 2018 introducing two custom molded hiking/ trekking shoes, the Tecnica C-A-S (Custom Adaptive Shape) process for the new Origin XT and LT trail runners is carried out in 20-30 minutes, and only at retail stores with the system. The customizing of the shoes is done by heating and shaping a custom foot bed as well as heating and shaping the rear of the shoe with the just molded foot bed in place. 
It differs from options with custom uppers and midsole outsole combinations chosen by customers then fabricated in mini factories such as Salomon ME:sh or in the case of Brooks’ still to launch Fit Station a process including an in store biometric analysis with fabrication from an arch length (limited number of arch lengths per size) last and then a custom injected midsole based on runner data. The Brooks and Salomon options are made in mini manufacturing cells off site, so complex. With Tecnica the equipment is in each store and relatively simple. The customer gets on the spot custom shoes, the retailer has an online proof product to sell.

It’s not just about custom shaping the two trail models to each runner's foot, gender and weight. The somewhat lower stack LT and beefier XT have a superb tri-density midsole, a narrow plastic insert front of heel to mid foot for a touch of pronation control and stability, a flexible plastic rock plate and a moderate lug height Vibram MegaGrip outsole. Origin is available in gender specific models in two specific midsole densities based on the runner’s weight. Talk about customization! 

The Origin was clearly the most compelling run innovation we saw at Outdoor Retailer this June in Denver. 
I immediately wore my custom molded pair the first day of the show and wore them for both subsequent days for the long days on the concrete. For the first time ever at a trade show, truly, I had no heel for foot pain during or after the show.. They were on to something. We were eager to see how they performed on Colorado and New Hampshire trails. 

Sam/Jeff/Don: Early pick for trail shoe of the year! Overall that good.
Custom molded insole really puts the foot in full contact with the midsole and ground
Custom molded heel counter with clever medial extension locks the foot to the platform without any pressures.
Single piece laminated upper pulls everything together with while not wide with plenty of toe box room.
Very stable on rough terrain, decently lively on smoother terrain.
Dense and super protective midsole has great cushion, some light bounce and agile flex.
Precision Custom Fit
Versatile traction
Don: Fit, Secure feeling, rock protection, stability on different terrain, custom fit, misole feels great at all paces, 

Jeff/ Sam:  
Lacing/”tongue” could be dialed in for increased security. Laces are thin and a bit fussy to dial in
Rand could be more continuous/protective around the forefoot
Sam/Don: Sizing is a little long, sized down a half size from my usual trail fit. 
Sam:  Somewhat dense dull ride on smoother firm terrain.
Don: The upper “bunches” a bit when tied snuggly.
Watch our YouTube Review of the Origin

Tester Profiles
Don is an accomplished ultra runner whose most recent exploits include a 3d place at the notorious extreme temperatures, big climb 2018 Badwater 135 miler. He more recently finished 4th at the Jemez 50 mile. Don trains over 100 miles per week on both road and trail in Colorado.
Jeff  runs mostly on very steep technical terrain above Boulder often challenging well known local FKT's. 
Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is 62 with a 2018 3:40 Boston qualifier. Sam has been running for over 45 years and has a 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the 1:35-1:41 range and trains about 40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah. He is 5'10" tall and weighs about 165 lbs.

Official Weight: LT 10.76 oz / 305g (8UK/9US)-XT 10.93 oz / 310g(8UK/9US)
(note weights include the custom shaped partially thermoplastic footbed which adds approx. 0.75 oz / 21 g over a conventional trail shoe footbed.)

Origin XT: US size 8 men’s: 10.86 oz /  308 g
Origin LT: US size 9.5 men’s: 10.75 oz /305 g
Offset: 9mm
Available July 2019 (Custom Adaptive Shape dealer list here soon) $170

C-A-S Customization 
Sam: The Origin starts with 2 runner weight based midsole options for each gender, the LT and XT.  The models differ in stack height and upper overlay distribution as illustrated below with the XT somewhat heavier, more cushioned, and with more extensive laminated overlays. Don and my samples are the XT, Jeff tested the LT.
The customization process is called C-A-S (Custom Adaptive Shape).
Jeff: The process begins with removing the moldable insoles and placing them within what looks like a thick ballet slipper. The rear thermoplastic area of the footbed will be heated and then compressed to the foot while the front EVA part will also be shaped to the foot by the process.
The insoles, now housed by the “ballet slippers”, are then wrapped like a burrito within a heating “blanket”.
The shoes (now sans insoles) are wrapped with a separate heating element around the outside of the upper like a gaiter as well as inside the shoe to heat the thermoplastic rear

What will occur as far as customizing the upper is that the heel counter and its medial extension shown below is being heated so that it can be shaped to your foot along with the insole in the later stages of the process. 
Basically the areas indicated by the red dots in the photo below are heated and then shaped to the foot by shaping the plastic piece shown in the picture above which is embedded in the upper.

Once all of this is in place, the wraps are heated for 10 minutes to make the shoe and footbeds malleable.
Once the footbeds are heated you put the “ballet slippers” with insoles on and insert your feet into giant inflatable moon boots that are attached to air hoses and a large sturdy velcro strip that wraps over your knees with a foam block between your knees to keep everything locked into place securely.  
Air is then forced into the inflatable moon boots, putting tension on the velcro strap over the knees, essentially compressing your feet onto the footbeds for the custom molding of the footbed. There is a sensation of the feet rising up off the ground in the moon boots.  I was surprised to not have to stand and use my body weight to mold, as I would with over the counter moldable footbeds you stick in the oven, but this elaborate process must prove to be more precise.

Once the insoles are molded, they are then inserted into the now fully warmed and ready to mold shoes, where you then put your feet in the shoes, lace up and quickly get the shoes and now feet back into the moon boots for another inflation.  

The heat on the feet and pressure of the strap over the knees was never uncomfortable. After a minute or two more with the moon boots inflated now completing the molding of the heel counter, then shoes/feet are removed from the boots for a short test walk.  I was then encouraged to remove my feet from the shoes and let them cool for a bit.

Jeff: The entire process took about a half hour, at least it did for me (Jeff V), as I missed my opportunity at Outdoor Retailer and had to take my shoes to nearby Neptune Mountaineering in Boulder, where they had fitted the  C-A-S hiking boots (Forge for trekking and Plasma for hiking) before using this method. This was their first time fitting the Origin trail runners. One word of caution, be sure to be fitted with the thickness of sock you will most often be using, as getting this slightly off will make a difference.  I used a sock that is ever so slightly thicker than my thinnest socks and when wearing those socks or even slightly thicker socks, the fit is perfect, but when I use my thinnest socks, I notice a distinct difference, with my foot sliding forward on fast, steep descents,

Visible Results
Don Reichelt’s shaping shows that he has a slight bone spur (near top of left shoe) on his narrower left foot.
Sam’s molded and considerably narrower heel cup right shoe is compared to an unmolded left shoe. The shoe fit pre shaping was more than adequate at the rear, after shaping totally secure.

Jeff V:  As described above, the customization process aids greatly in achieving a precise fit and creating a footbed and heel counter that has s a very natural and integrated feel.  The sizing of the Origin LT is slightly long and as such, Tecnica sent me a size 9.5 when I normally wear a 10. I think this was the correct decision, as the 9.5 fits me perfectly.
Sam: I usually wear an 8.5 and it was clearly too long so I was shaped into a size 8 Origin XT. 

Jeff V: Room in the forefoot is not notably spacious, but is very comfortable and I have had no issues whatsoever.  Even on hot days and long runs (up to 5 hours), I found no discomfort from foot swell. Ventilation is good, but certainly not the most airy shoe out there.  I do however find the more closed mesh preferable for mountain runs, allowing less grit, snow and water to easily penetrate. I never found them hot however, even in temps in the 80’s, I never really thought about it or noticed one way or the other, which is a good sign.
The toe bumper and side rand is adequate but on the softer side. I do find myself receiving the occasional knock on the sides of my foot when running through rocky terrain and would love to see the rand be more continuous, at least around the forefoot, though only if it did not compromise the flexibility and performance of the shoe.
The heel counter/collar rides high in the back and is reminiscent of the Nike Zoom Pegasus 36 Trail.  Padding is moderate and very comfortable. Of course with the custom molding, fit is outstanding.
The Origin LT has a booty/sock like design with no tongue.  This is very comfortable and works well, but as can be seen in the photo above, it develops a bit of a fold where the excess material form over my mid foot.  I have found no issues or discomfort from this, but I do feel that there could be better fit/lockdown over the mid foot.
I find the laces need a little extra pulling and adjusting to achieve proper snugness, as once I pull the lace, they want to loosen on their own without some added pull.  Once secure however, I never find myself having to re-adjust.

Don: The upper gave me absolutely no issues. The sign of a good upper for me is having to search hard to find issues or anything negative to call out. This shoe definitely fits that bill.  The only real issue with the upper is the connected tongue, which while it folded over and caused aesthetic issues for me, didn’t really cause any performance issues. I’m fairly sensitive to a tongue with too much going on, and this one, while looking like it could, didn’t cause any issues.  Thanks to the booty like design, the pull tab on the heal is a little odd, looking like it could cause some rubbing due to its outward pointing design from the heal collar, but I didn’t have any problems there. Although minor, the upper design does make for a bit of a challenge in tightening and loosening the laces.

The heat weld overlays on the upper were perfectly placed, working well in unison with the thermoplastic to really create a stable and fast shoe which does not feel restricted.  One of my biggest concerns with any trail shoe is the width of the midfoot, and the upper on my Origin LT was a pleasant surprise because it looks like it might be narrow.

The toe guard, and area of the shoe that I never WANTED to test out… held up nicely on a pair of hard toe stubs leading to falls where my toes came out better than the rest of me. (User error, not the shoe!)
Sam: The upper is a just as Jeff describes it including the lacing issue. The laces could be wider and more substantial. My XT has additional overlays as shown to the right in the diagram below. 
I took them on a fast hike up super rocky and steep Mt Washington in New Hampshire for 3800 vertical feet in 4.3 miles and had near perfect foot hold. Having such an agile shoe with perfect upper security and rear stability was an eye opener on such terrain. I did notice on super dicey off camber boulders a touch of side slip at the forefoot footbed even though above the foot hold upfront overall was very secure. It could have been my socks were a bit to slick. On smoother trails I had no slip issues. The upper has no pressure points whatsoever for me with plenty of comfortable secure toe box room in what for me is a narrower side of medium fit upper. As with any shoe if the rear hold is good and here it is supreme, solid front foot hold even if on the roomier side follows and here the combination is just right for the intended more technical trail purpose.

Sam: The midsole is tri density. The photo below illustrates the construction.
The top shoe is the lateral side. The black heel foam is the softest of the three and extends further forward on the lateral side than medial side. A thin layer of somewhat softer foam (also black)  is just below the foot on the lateral side. The orange foam is the firmest but is no way harsh or lacking in rebound. Note that there is no softer black just under foot layer on the medial side and the softer black heel landing foam is shortened.  The midsole is stable back to front with a very seamless feel to the cushioning. 
My XT midsole has 3mm more foam front and back than the LT with the same 9mm drop.
Embedded in the midsole are a flexible rock plate and a centered more longitudinal narrow angled plastic light pronation control element.

Unobtrusive the plastic plates do their jobs without ever being in the way or noticed. They also provide great torsion rigidity while not impeding front flexibility or mid foot transitions. The mid foot stabilizer is a much more elegant solution than the often seen wrap up of outsole at mid foot or more extensive plastic elements.

This midsole packs a punch for going fast on technical trails. Rarely have I found a shoe that is equally comfortable to walk around in as it is going fast over rocks like The Origin. The design leads to flex where you want it and rigidness where you need it. This shoe runs much lighter than it is on the scale. I’ve put nearly 200 miles on my Origin LT since I got them, and I continue to be impressed at how great these shoes run at all paces. The midsole is definitely on the firm side, so if you’re looking for squishy, these probably are not the right pair for you.

If you’re looking for a shoe that somehow gives you a perfect mix of cushion, firmness, flex, and ground feel? This is your shoe. Sometimes it’s hard to describe a shoe you love to run in, so I’ll just say this shoe got it extremely right.

Jeff V:  At first I found the midsole of the Origin LT to feel a bit minimal and low on cushion, but over time, I was surprised to find that although the stack height is not maximal by any means, I did not feel the least bit beat up after running in them daily for over a week, often fast on mostly technical terrain.  Response is excellent and I find that they have enough pop at toe off that I can move really quickly uphill, on flats and downhill. Protection is amazing for such a low stack shoe and the midsole, while somewhat on the firm side, is by no means harsh and has remarkable dampening properties.

Sam: My XT with 3mm more cushion than Jeff and Don LT has a wonderful balance of protective cushion, shock absorption, and a touch of bounce. It is a fairly dense midsole best run on more technical trails but it is soft enough to keep legs fresher on all terrain and not so soft as to be mushy or unstable on more technical terrain.  There is plenty of flex up front for climbing along with protection from the rock plate. 


Don:  I have run across nearly every surface imaginable in the Origin LT and I’m extremely impressed. The Vibram outsole has proven to be extremely agile while climbing and descending some sketchy rocks and treacherous roots. Save for catching a toe on a few rocks, I’ve never feared slipping or sliding in these shoes. The few water crossings I tackled in the Origin LT were a non-issue and the grip was never in doubt. The lugs picked up some mud, but they are spread far enough that it quickly cleared away without any intervention. 

After about 200 miles of Colorado trails, the durability seems to be great. I’m not seeing much wear at all, and it seems like they are just getting started on their life. High praise here.

Jeff:  The Vibram Megagrip outsole provides amazing grip on a wide variety of surfaces, wet or dry and performs particularly well on rocky slab.  I have done some Flatiron scrambling and have run on rocky slab and angled rock steps steep enough to give me pause in most shoes, but the Vibram Megagrip just sticks like glue.

The lugs are relatively flat and low profile, making them ideal for versatility and grip on rock.  Despite the lower profile lugs, the Origin LT grabs surprisingly well on loose surfaces. I have run down steep, loose scruffy sections of off trail with loose dirt, pine needles, pine cones, etc… with some initial trepidation, yet have yet to experience any real slippage.  I still would not mind an extra mm or two of lug.

On a recent 18 mile/5 hour run over 6 summits in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, I pushed the Origin LT very hard on steep loose 4x4 road, talus hopping, full speed running across uneven tundra, blasting singletrack downhill that was loose, off camber, occasional angled snow crossings, creek crossings and creek overflow trail complete with roots, I only had one slight slip on a particularly slick soaking wet root that I side stepped at a harsh angle.  Aside from that, they stuck like glue the entire time.

Thus far, outsole wear has been very minimal with only slight evidence of wear after ~50 miles on near exclusively rough and rocky terrain, which is impressive given the grip the rubber compound provides. 
Sam: My runs have been on forest single track mixed with dirt and some pavement as well as a hike up Mt Washington on boulders, roots, and steeps. Grip has been outstanding everywhere and wear minimal so far. This outsole is particularly well matched to the midsole. There is no real sense of a sharp transition between midsole cushion and outsole firmness. The lug height is just right for maximum terrain versatility. 

Don: Overall, the ride of the Origin LT is pretty incredible. The parts come together to disappear on my foot and excel on any terrain or at any pace. I’m not sure I own another trail shoe that feels great at tempo pace and at casual recovery run pace. The ride just suits everything you’d want to do with it on trails! 
Jeff:  Though the Origin LT is the thinner of the two versions and provides less cushioning, I have become over time quite impressed with the smooth and responsive ride, while LT also maintains an impressive balance of trail feel, protection and shock absorption.  Even at the end of a 5 hour run on technical and mostly rocky terrain, I felt really fresh and did not necessarily long for more shoe underfoot.
Sam: My Origin XT has a smooth well cushioned and stable ride on all trail terrain. It climbs extremely well and while well cushioned and protective up front there is very decent trail feel. It makes a great fast hiking shoe on the very rough terrain in the White Mountains as the combination of custom fit, cushion, agility, stability, and protection inspires confidence while not beating my legs up.  The response on firm terrain and road is somewhat muted while at the same time having great shock absorption for a non maximal type trail shoe. 

Conclusions and Recommendations
Jeff:  I’ll admit that the Origin LT caught me a bit off guard.  I was mostly interested in the custom fit process, but after the first run, I knew this shoe was special and after a week of running in them, they have become one of my favorite shoes of the year due to their amazing balance of fit, comfort, protection, response, agility and unbelievable traction.  Though cushioning is on the minimal side and I would probably not select the Origin LT for ultra distance events, I would not hesitate to run in the Origin LT for a full day in mountainous terrain while on rocky, rough, technical trails, off trail. In fact, my highlight run was a 5 hour, 18 mile run with 5,000 feet of climbing on a very wide variety of surfaces and lots of rock.  The Origin LT was the perfect shoe for this run and was able to handle everything I could throw at it. Of particular note, was the high level of grip, stability, speed, protection and agility, as I could move very fast over rough terrain with no trepidation and a high level of confidence.

Where do these fit into my rotation?  I think they check several boxes for me.  First, they are a shoe that I can take to the high mountains and know that they are going to grip and give me the protection I need for a long day on just about any terrain, especially if I am looking to move fast and want a shoe that is predictably confidence inspiring, as they are stable, secure and agile in tough terrain.  I would also pick the Origin LT for my bread and butter, everyday runs on local peaks, for all the reasons listed above, plus they offer a surprising blend of cushion and protection that does not leave me feeling beat up, even wearing them day after day. I first thought that the Origin LT was not a cruiser shoe, however over time, have come to find that they cruise exceptionally well and I do not necessarily find myself wanting more.  I might not select them for 100 miles or 100k, but I think for most they could easily be a great pick for a 50 miler, especially if rocky and technical.
Jeff V’s  Score: 9.5/10
Ride: 9 (30%) Fit:10 (30%) Value: 9 (10%)  Style 8 (5%) Traction:10 (15%) Rock Protection: 9.5 (10%)

If I could suggest any improvements for the Origin LT, I think the upper where it wraps the midfoot could be dialed in a bit better for increased security.  As it stands now, the one piece booty/sock like fit is good, but it could wrap, hold and conform better over my slim foot. Additionally and related to the above, the laces take a bit of work to snug up to the pressure that I am looking for.  A minor nitpick, but this could be improved as well. Lastly, though overall protection is excellent, when I am rolling through rock gardens and talus, I feel as though I am a bit vulnerable to the occasional jab, so think a more continuous and sturdy toe rand that wraps the perimeter of the shoe would also be an improvement.
Sam: Origin XT is one heck of a debut. Not only does it have an incredible custom fit which truly inspires total confidence on rough terrain but when fit is combined with a very well executed midsole and outsole platform one can truly say Tecnica has created an Italian sports car for the mountains.Yet it is not a nervous high performance Ferrari with jumpy idiosyncratic trail manners and no comfort features. The Origin is a more refined yet any trail worthy version of that near race car. It has a great custom cockpit, a tuned more mellow suspension but still sport “suspension” and all terrain all weather tires. It is a great all around trail shoe which leans more towards mountain and technical terrain than more mellow trail terrain, although it performs almost equally well there. Its weight, laces, and a wish for a touch more pop and response from the midsole on the smooth are my only and relatively minor issues.
Sam’s Score: 9.4/10
Ride:9 (30%) Fit:10 (30%) Value: 9 (10%)  Style 9 (5%) Traction: 9.5 (15%) Rock Protection: 9.5 (10%)

Don: This is the best shoe I’ve ever worn from a brand I’d never heard of. Okay, so maybe I had heard of them, but didn’t know they were getting into running shoes… and boy, what a way to enter into the trail running market! Anything north of $150 takes a pretty special shoe for it to be worth it in my mind… and this one definitely is.

I like that custom fit and feel these shoes give me and will definitely be considering these for big miles this summer, and maybe even some technical racing. I’m extremely impressed in Tecnica’s first take on trail running shoes. They have a few minor improvements to make, but overall this is a total winner in the trail running game. 
Don’s Score: 9.7/10
Ride:10 (30%) Fit:10 (30%) Value: 9 (10%)  Style 9.5 (5%) Traction: 10 (15%) Rock Protection: 10 (10%)


Salomon Sense Pro 3 (RTR Review)
Jeff V:  The Origin LT is infinitely more stable and runnable than the Sense Pro 3, which I found to be tippy and awkward with a very harsh ride.  Though the Sense Pro 3 has more pronounced tread and perhaps better in snow, mud and loose dirt, the Origin LT with Vibram Megagrip is much more sticky and versatile.  I wear 10 in Salomon and 9.5 in the Origin LT and while I find the Endofit of the Sense Pro 3 to be a bit more secure, the overall fit of the Origin LT with custom molding to be superior.
Sam: I found the Sense Pro 3 had a firm harsh forefoot with the heel not that friendly as well and overall just does have the comfort and overall security of the Origin XT. The Origin is considerably heavier and with that weight comes a smoother more friendly yet I think also higher performance overall ride.

Salomon  S/Lab Ultra 2 (RTR Review)
Jeff V:  The Origin LT, while a less stack, is still impressively protective and has superior fit and traction.  The Ultra 2 with Endofit is a touch more secure and from pure aesthetics, looks more sporty, but at $10 less, the Origin LT is a better value and superior shoe.

Salomon XA Elevate (RTR Review)
Jeff V:  The XA Elevate was my favorite shoe of 2017 and the Origin LT most closely aligns.  Both have excellent protection, stability, traction and all mountain capabilities, but the Origin LT custom molding takes it up a notch and also provides a ride that is more compliant and less harsh than the Elevate.
Sam: Elevate XA was my 2017 shoe of the year too! I agree with Jeff above. The Origin climbs and descends better. The XA Elevate does have an advantage in speed and response on hard surfaces  terrain but to get there is firmer and not quite as forgiving as Origin XT. 
Brooks Caldera 3 (RTR Review)
Jeff V:  Caldera is way more cushioned for long distances and smoother trails, but for high mountain rough stuff, Origin LT shines.

La Sportiva Bushido II (RTR Review)
Jeff V:  Perhaps the closest comparison, the Bushido 2 has a bit more substance underfoot and more protection overall, comparable if perhaps better traction and a more secure upper, however I find the Origin LT to be more responsive and agile, overall a bit more race ready.
Sam: My Origin XT with its additional 3mm of cushion over Jeff’s LT has me differing with Jeff. The XT is somewhat softer and bouncier than Bushido II, has at least equivalent protection and most especially deals with mid foot stability more elegantly and effectively than Bushido where it is for me it is somewhat overdone and impedes faster running. Overall the Origin XT is the more versatile choice. 

Nike Terra Kiger 5 (RTR Review)
Jeff V:  Kiger 5 is more responsive and better suited for top speed running on moderate terrain with even bits of technical, but Origin LT surpasses in fit, traction and all mountain capability.
Sam: The XT is a bit much shoe for Utah or New Hampshire smoother single track trails while the Kiger 5 is not enough shoe for me for rocky bouldery White Mountain trails. The Kiger 5 would clearly be a faster moderate distance (say 25K or less) trail race shoe on most all terrain. In terms of versatility if your trails lean technical and rough the Origin, if they lean more moderate the Kiger 5. 
Don: Kiger 5 is “springier” than the Origin LT, but I’m not sure that’s a great thing. The Origin LT has better traction and overall a more secure fit. The Kiger 5 is one of my favorite shoes of the year, so I don’t say this lightly; but I think the Origin LT is the better trail running shoe. 

Altra Superior 4.0 (RTR Review)
Don: Alright, so if I’m putting the Origin LT among my favorite trail shoes this year, I have to include the Superior as a comparison somehow. This might be a bit apples to oranges, but I love them both so someone out there is bound to feel similarly. The Origin LT is a bit firmer than the Superior, but with the rock plate in the Altra, they somehow feel similarly on rocky terrain. The Origin LT has a better foot feet overall, but a slightly more narrow midfoot (because; not Altra!) 

Tecnica Origin LT and Origin XT is available now!
Tecnica Origin website and store locator HERE
Read reviewers' full run bios here
The product reviewed was provided at no cost. The opinions herein are the authors'.
Comments and Questions Welcome Below!
Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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John said...

Thanks for the review. I’m wondering if you think the Xt could be a replacement for my Akashas. It’s time to replace them, and even though I love them, the model is over 3 years old and seem out of date. I welcome your recommendations.

Jeff Valliere said...

Hey John, absolutely, go for it!

The Akasha is a great shoe (shoe of the year 2016), but is becoming a bit dated in comparison to ever evolving shoes.

The Akasha cushion is a bit more plush, but it is not as responsive and the Origin, while not plush, is very supportive and I don't necessarily yearn for more plushness, even on rocky, 5 hour runs. Lugs on Akasha are more pronounced and while traction is excellent, the Origin is superior. Then of course there is the custom fit of the Origin, a fit that currently can't be matched by any other shoe.

John R. said...

Jeff, I purchased the Akasha's based on your review and went through 3 pairs. I'm definitely excited about the Origin XT's. The only problem right now is the nearest store is about an 8 hour drive from me, so it might be a while before I will be able to have a pair custom fit unless a closer store starts carrying them.

In the meantime while I wait, do you have another shoe you might recommend I try to replace my Akashas as an overall mountain shoe for 3 hour runs amongst varying terrain?


ninedeeb said...

Their dealer finder is pretty bare bones and their Facebook page was pretty unresponsive. Anyone know where the hell to check these shoes out in Utah?

kazuyuki said...

Sales of origin have ended. Please review Technica's latest model magma2.0.