One writer puts earth-first label Veja’s latest Impala trainers through their paces to see whether they live up to the hype.
I’m a big fan of Veja. I’m not sure whether it’s the number of them I see pounding the pavements of Hackney (where I live), or whether it’s their splashy bursts of rainbow shades that have drawn me in since the label’s inception in 2004.
But when I hear that a brand that I love – nay, any brand whatsoever – has branched out into running trainers, no matter how eco-conscious they might be, I switch off. I am by no means a fitness aficionado, so why would a new pair of running trainers pique any form of interest for me?
There’s something different about Veja though. Because when an email lands in my inbox from a brand whose shoes I love about a new launch made from rice waste, even my ears prick up.
Crafted from engineered mesh, rice mesh and Amazonian rubber, Veja’s new Impala silhouette – which is the label’s first indoor training shoe – is not only a sight to behold, but also eco-friendly and, apparently, comfortable. But what kind of a journalist would I be if I took somebody at their word? Not a very thorough one, so I put a pair of Impalas through their paces at a Blok high-intensity class – and these are my honest thoughts on the shoes.
These are trainers that look good and feel even better. For anybody who tends to shy away from the overtly finess-esque trainers that have flooded the market, Veja’s Impalas hit the sweet spot between functionality and wearability with panache. They’re the only fitness trainers I’ve ever seen that not only look good at the gym, but are also crying out to be paired with a floor-sweeping floral dress too. Two birds, one stone.
I have wide feet, which has often made finding well-fitting workout trainers nearly impossible. The Impalas felt like walking on a marshmallowy cloud, however, even as I spent an hour jumping and squatting and lunging. While normally my feet feel a pinch while exercising, this time there was nothing and I went on to wear them all day. A seriously malleable trainer that ticks all of the boxes.
I have flat feet, so for me, it’s important that trainers support and grip properly. It would be an understatement to say that I couldn’t feel the trainers while I was exercising, only a powerful force on my feet that propelled me and offered just the perfect amount of bounce. After years of poorly fitting and poorly performing trainers, I feel like Goldilocks felt when she found the bed of her dreams.
Value for money
At £105, I would say that Veja’s Impala trainers are fantastic value for money thanks to the fact that they work as well in the gym as they do in real life. These are trainers that will take you from barre to, well, bar with minimal effort and that alone makes them worth every penny.
The Veja Impalas have answered all of the trainer prayers I didn’t even know I needed answering. They’re cool, cosy and comfortable, and really, what more is there to desire in a trainer?
Images: courtesy of Veja