For our second shoe review we bring you all the way from Finland, the Feelmax Osma 3.
“Feelmax’s updated barefoot running shoe, perfect for all indoor and outdoor activities. Exceptionally lightweight, with a more breathable and water repellent upper. The Osma 3 features our new NatuRun Minimo™ outsole and an improved quick-lace system.”
This brief was in relation to the Osma 3 but there is now an Osma 4 (review to come).
Length of Testing: 5 months
Sizing: Available in 37 – 46 EUR
Weight: 156g/shoe @ size 41
Colours: Grey and red combo only.
Design and Construction:
The sole is a waterproof, non-marking, vulcanized rubber compound made by Continental, a German tyre company. It’s glued to the upper and only covers it by a few mm. The upper is made of “coolspacer and breathable Velukid suede” (essentially – mesh with some suede). It has a quick-lace system which I initially thought was strange (not having ever owned shoes with this system) but it’s actually very clever as it seems to tighten the entire shoe more effectively than laces do and as the name suggests, it’s quick! The insole is attached with an adhesive but can be removed. While only available in a grey and red colour combination, it’s muted and unassuming, suiting males and females alike.
With a 2.5mm outsole it is very easy to feel the obstacles under foot. The shoes come with an insole that can be removed to increase sensitivity further. I would not recommend using this as a first shoe if you’re not used to minimalist footwear or barefoot activity, ease your way into it.
Extremely flexible – we’re talking fold them up and put them in your pocket type flexibility. The top of the shoe mouth sits below the ankle allowing for full range of motion. The shoe fits snug around the heel and hugs the sides of your arch and then opens up into a wide toe box. The wide toe box took me a bit of getting used to because you can feel the front of your foot move around within the shoe while running and jumping, because it doesn’t squeeze your toes together. I’m very accustomed to them now, find them very comfortable and after some solid training sessions I could still go on wearing them and feel comfortable.
Feelmax claims that regular use of the shoe can see the sole lasting at least 1000km and they say they are aware of clients running more than 4000km in a single pair before wearing out. After one casual training session there appeared to be no wear on the sole. It has now been 5 months since I started training in them and the only thing to break so far is the join on one of the quicklace systems. I’ve tied the ends together and while it doesn’t work as well it still feels the same. A small piece of the sole has started coming away from the upper but has not had any impact on training. While they haven’t got any holes yet, the tread under the toes is starting to wear thin and looks like it will be the next thing to go.
The sole felt quite plasticy and slick during the first training session but as time goes by the rubber does get grippier. There is almost no friction at all in the wet.
The thin sole will make the Osma 3 a difficult shoe to fix but it wouldn’t be hard to add your own sole to it. I put mine through the wash after a few months and line dried them in the sun and they turned out fine. However, Feelmax recommends:
“Wipe dirt off with a damp cloth or take a soft brush and rub the dirt off. If you would like to wash your Feelmax, we recommend hand wash at low temperatures, about 30ºC, with mild detergent. Do not use conditioners and do not spin-dry.”
Providing we did our research correctly, non-Finnish residents can purchase the shoes tax free at 80.56€ + 19.90€ for shipping to NZ (approximately $166 NZD at the time of this review).
- The weight, flexibility and fit make it a great shoe for working on foot strength and proprioception, but a high level of foot/ankle strength as well as being accustomed to minimal footwear and barefoot training is required for this to be used as a regular training shoe.
- While the mesh allows it to dry quickly, it’s not a good wet weather shoe as it will immediately take on water and the grip is nonexistent in the wet.
- You can wear these shopping or out with friends and still feel comfortable and able to run and jump on something you might see, making them an excellent casual shoe.
- Despite the expense, I would consider buying a new pair when these ones wear out, I quite like them.
Overall Score: 3.8/5
Thank you again to Matt and Hannah Beames for the photography and a very big thank you to Feelmax for not only providing us with the Osma 3 but other models as well. Watch this space for more Feelmax and other shoe reviews to come.