Review: Fleet Feet with Saucony Hattori

Loose_shoelaceI can’t shoelaces (something I chronicled here). They become unraveled at the most inopportune time, such as in the middle of a race (as evidence by the photo on the left). Even double knotting can’t guarantee that the laces would stayed tied. 

I always hated tying shoelaces. I wished the velcro shoes were trendy so I could buy shoes instead of lace ups. One day I across Saucony Hattori online. No laces! Velcro straps. I was really excited and thrilled that Ben got them for me.

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The Good

These are the lightest minimalist shoes (4.4 oz) that I’ve ever seen. I wear them and it feels as if I have nothing on my feet.

It has a zero drop heel and a thin (10 mm) sole, so you feel the ground. The upper material is very thin with some reinforcing around the seams. Essentially the Hattori feels like wearing socks with a thin rubber role that’s stiff enough for running.

I love that the soles are so thin that I can use these shoes for both running and weightlifting. Usually I wear my Chucks for weightlifting because cushioning in the soles gets in the way of lifting heavy. It’s a pain changing shoes, but with these shoes I can easily do a run and weightlifting session at the gym without having to bring another pair of shoes.

Because these shoes are so snug, it may be difficult to put on the shoes the first couple of times, but after that the shoes go on without a problem.

No shoelaces! My shoelace tying woes are over.

The cost of the Hattori has dropped quite a bit. It used to retail for $80, but I’ve seen it available online for much less. The average price seems to be around $40-50 dollars (with shipping), so these are not shoes that will break the bank.

The Bad

The aesthetic design of the shoe is not terribly sleek. Hattori looks like a oblong sock in my opinion.

Because it’s very thin, I recommend wearing Hattori on paved or smooth surfaces. Otherwise you’ll feel very painful pebble, rock, and debris. I accidentally stubbed my toe while out and it was painful because there’s no cushioning. As long as you’re not banging into things, the Hattori is fine, but watch out if you do!

The shoes are non-breathable. I tried wearing them without socks. My feet got really warm and sweaty. I recommend wearing socks with Hattori, despite the fact that Hattori looks like socks.

The Ugly20130522-222143.jpg

Badly mislabeled shoe sizes. Ignore what Saucony says about the shoe sizes. GO UP ONE SIZE. If you’re in between sizes, like me, go up one size from your smaller size. I dislike non-standardized American sizing. It makes buying online difficult. I prefer European sizing because there’s more consistency. When I buy shoes, I always go by European sizing because I know that a size 38 EU fits me.

Having read several reviews that recommended going up a half size to a full size up, I thought I would be safe in buying the Hattori in size 7.5 American because it was 38.5 in European. Nope. It’s a tad too small (you can see my toe straining beyond the shoe in the photo on the right). My big toe pushes out and the rest of my toes were a bit scrunched. I’ve worn the shoe enough that it stretched out a bit, so it’s not uncomfortable, but my big toe will wear out the shoe faster than it otherwise should. I need to wear ultra thin socks with the Hattori, otherwise I can’t fit into them at all.

The Verdict

I’ve worn my Hattori for several runs, mostly speed work, but one 4-mile tempo run as well. I love wearing them. I definitely recommend these shoes for people looking for minimalist shoes (just be sure to go ONE SIZE BIGGER). I haven’t worn them for a run longer than 4 miles, so I don’t know how it would feel on longer runs, but they’re definitely great for short runs.

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One thought on “Review: Fleet Feet with Saucony Hattori

  1. So fast in your racing flats. When girls ask for shoes, it’s nice to know they always/only want athletic gear. 🙂

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