Run Like Monkey

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Feelmax Osma Running Shoes

Feelmax running shoes - solesModel
Feelmax Osma Running Shoe (originally called Johka)

80 miles (January 2010)

Comments – January 2010
I think the Osma is one of the best shoes to have come along in the running world.  I still don’t know anything about US availability and am trying to get those details from Feelmax.  But I absolutely love running in these.  They are incredibly lightweight (130 grams), are entirely flexible, and have just enough sole for foot protection but no artificial support.  I highly recommend these for minimalist running.

Comments – June 2009

This is exactly the sort of minimalist running shoe I have been on the hunt for, and I am thrilled with how it performed.  This is the most minimal running shoe I have encountered that still has traditional shoe styling without adding weight or sacrificing performance.  The upper is incredibly lightweight and breathable – more breathable than the Feelmax Niesa.  The shoe rides very well on the foot, and with lacing you can control the snugness.

But the fantastic improvement in this shoe is the sole.  It is a fantastic balance of foot protection, flexibility, and grip.  The sole is approximately as thick as the FiveFingers KSO sole, possibly a bit more.  But it does not sacrifice flexibility, and even feels “softer” on the ground than FiveFingers, in a curious way.

Feelmax running shoes - flex 2Feelmax running shoes - flex 1

I still love my FiveFingers, but these Feelmax shoes are now a staple of my running footwear.  If nothing else, it’s nice to have something still very minimal to put on when you get tired of the odd looks you get in FiveFingers, huaraches, and barefoot!

I think this is a shoe that will be incredibly appealing to Chi runners and POSE runners.  If you practice one of those running styles, you need to get your hands on these.  Notice these footfall prints on a recent trail run:

Feelmax running shoe - print 1Feelmax running shoe - print 2

Take careful note of what you don’t see – any ground contact under the arch.  Even though there is sole material under the arch, there is no arch support.  The foot is allowed to land naturally without control or interference coming from the soling structure.

As of July 2009, this shoe is just now being released.  I will update as soon as I’m aware of when this shoe will be more easily available.

Disclosure: I have been provided a few pairs of Feelmax shoes for testing and review purposes in exchange for my non-public feedback in addition to blog reviews.


18 Responses to “Feelmax Osma Running Shoes”

  1. […] Feelmax Running Shoes […]

  2. Red Runner said

    Blimey! After reading your previous post, I’m waiting with anticipation for my Feelmax Niesa to arrive in the mail. Now, I’ve just seen this review and I can’t wait to find out more about these running shoes!

    The photos make them look tantilising and they wouldn’t look out of place in any race!

    A great review!

  3. rob said

    wow! those look great. i also just got my niesas in the post the other day. i have a question: are the soles the same as the niesa as far as you can tell, or are they thicker or more durable still?

  4. Justin said

    I am also curious on how they compare to the Niesa. I need a minimalistic shoe for running on concrete and I’m wondering which shoe would be the best for me.

  5. scott said

    The soles of these running shoes are very different from Niesa. Niesa is an extremely thin sheet of a Kevlar-based material. It’s puncture resistant but not terribly durable for running. Niesa is meant as more of a walking/lifestyle shoe but they are still fun to run in.

    The Johka has a rubber-based sole that is a bit thicker and built with a last that is much better suited to running.

    Justin – if you run on concrete you should seriously consider barefooting at least part of the time. I think smooth concrete is actually the best barefooting surface. Personally when the weather is nice, I prefer huaraches. I also wear both Feelmax and FiveFingers and both work just fine on concrete. There is just a lot of personal preference between those two styles you have to sort out, try on, see which fit you like better, etc. Niesa is a decent shoe, but I don’t think it last long enough for most runners to justify the cost.

  6. Huzefa said

    >Niesa is a decent shoe, but I don’t think it last long enough for most runners to justify the cost.

    I appreciate your honest feedback. I was surprised with all that hype about how “extremely” durable that 1mm sole is.

  7. Kris said

    You can find Feelmax Shoes for sale at Look for more styles to be arriving soon!

  8. Erik said

    Any word on US availability?

  9. Andrew said

    Any uodate on the Osmas? Are the soles waterproof?

  10. scott said

    @Erik – I just checked and I believe they will be online very soon in the US. I will update this page (and Twitter at as soon as I know anything.

    @Andres – Waterproof is a pretty strong word, but they are definitely water resistant. It’s no problem to run on web pavement or very shallow puddles with these and not get wet. But consider that they are extremely low to the ground and the upper is very light. In slushy conditions or very wet conditions the upper will get wet through splashing.

  11. Erik said

    I put in an order with, but I guess its still not being shipped out yet.

  12. scott said

    My understanding is that they will be available very, very soon from EO. Will post when I know anything!

  13. […] Feelmax Osma Running Shoes […]

  14. roger said

    Barefoot Ted has a link for a US distributor:

  15. […] – Running and Rambling 2 – Run like monkey March 12th, 2010 | Category: Feelmax Osma, […]

  16. laura said

    I received my Osma’s from Extreme Outfitters about 2weeks ago, they are terrific

  17. Bill said

    extremeoutfitters no longer carries Feelmax for men which means there are 0 distributors in the US.

  18. scott said

    Man, thats a drag! Fortunately the US market is starting to catch up with some actual minimal offerings. I still really like those Osmas, though.

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