"Breaking in the Elevate Lite" with Kevin Franzén
While attempting to gage the opinion of our new parkour shoe, the "Elevate Lite", we realized we needed to seek out someone who utilizes them actively. Someone who has the feeling of the first Elevate from our collection fresh in their mind and holds a familiarity for every seam, stitch, and curve. A real Farang shoe Connoisseur... This is where Kevin came in.
Below are the thoughts, opinions, and spiritual guidances of shoe guru Kevin. He knows what's up, so... get to reading!!!
Farang’s elevate vs elevate light
Team Farang’s shoes elevate have long been one of — if not my favorite shoes to train in. I have gone through about five pairs in the last two years, not making a single effort to try something other since I was convinced there were no better shoes for me. After their quick sell out, I was left scavenging Instagram searching for people with my shoe size who had decided the elevate just was not for them. So far, I had been lucky and found a few people who were willing to sell me their pairs, but it did not feel like the most sustainable way of acquiring shoes. I am sure you could imagine my excitement when Team Farang announced they were releasing new shoes and on top of that decided to send me a pair to test them since I had been wearing their old model for so long.
I have now been wearing their new model - “Farang elevate light” for almost two months and I have got a good feel for the shoes. Here is my review and comparison between the new and old Team Farang shoes.
Starting off with the most crucial part of a parkour shoe’s design – and my favorite part of both the shoe designs – the sole. In my opinion, Team Farang has chosen one of the best soles for a parkour shoe and wisely implemented it into their new design, as well. It features a full rubber sole with unbelievable grip and good long lasting material. I would describe it as a slightly thicker thin sole, meaning it has the same feel and control as a thin sole, but is still thick enough to allow you to take drops. Its slightly elevated and padded heel helps to minimize heel bruises, while not impacting the overall balance of the foot. There is very little I can say about the grip that has not been said before. It is simply amazing. I have not encountered one surface or material that these soles have not had great grip on. Whether you are training on wood, metal, stone, marble or concrete, these shoes got you!
A big change that was made about the new elevate lights was the overall fit and material being used. The new model features a knit-like mesh around the whole foot and makes for a breathable and light shoe. And when I say very light I mean very light! It is probably the lightest shoe I have ever worn. On top of that the new material resulted in a quicker “breaking in” period and less blisters compared to regular shoes for me. I would recommend microwaving your shoes for about twenty seconds and putting them on immediately afterwards. I do this to all my new shoes to speed up the breaking in process. Team Farang only sells every other size. If you can not find your size I would recommend taking the smaller option since the mesh material allows the shoes to form around your feet. I think going with the bigger option would result in loose space for your toes, which can be quite uncomfortable.
Now, you may be asking yourself ,“How does this new material affect the durability of the shoe?” As previously mentioned, the sole is an exact replica of its predecessor and therefore lasts just as long. (A very very very long time) My biggest concern was the rest of the shoe. How would this new thinner mesh-type material hold up against countless hours of training and jumps? It seems as though Team Farang had had this question in their heads, as well. They implemented a rubber outer lining around the high stress areas of the shoe, similar to skateboarding shoes. This application helps keep the shoes intact and supportive for a good bit longer. However, it does not hold up to its predecessor when it comes to longevity. The first edition of the Farang elevate had a slightly more robust design with longer lasting material, which did make them a little heavier than the 2022 model.
In reality, this was my main concern and disappointment when it came to the new shoe. I train a lot and intensely, so having a long lasting shoe is essential. It is still surprisingly durable for such a light design and I haven’t seen a major breakage yet. However, it doesn't feel as tough and long lasting as the first model. I think this comes down to two things…
Price and design
Mainly, I think it comes down to the price range these shoes are in. Compared to their older model, the new Farang elevate - light is about $25 cheaper.
The main complaint I heard about Team Farang's first shoes was the price. Many people could not afford taking the risk of getting and trying out $110 shoes they didn’t know if they would like or not. I myself was hesitant about getting their first design, as well, due to the price but ultimately decided to give it a go. I think Team Farang took these complaints into consideration while designing the new model and trying to make a more affordable design. Of course, they still wanted to keep what was great about the old shoe, such as the sole. Although the newer model still costs $85 dollars, it has made it more accessible for people to purchase parkour shoes. And if more people start to wear, tear and purchase these shoes, ultimately it will become a lot cheaper to produce them since most factories discount their prices gradually with the amount of pairs you order.
I think a smart move for Team Farang would be to start reproducing their old shoes with the new ones. This would mean that those who want to try their older model but aren’t sure if they will like it, can try out the lighter, cheaper model first. It would also mean that people who prefer lighter and more breathable shoes would have a good option. Furthermore, I believe having a cheaper model is a great option for parents who are looking to purchase shoes for their kids. Paying $110 for shoes your kid is going to outgrow in a few months doesn’t seem like the most economical decision.
I believe the second reason these shoes are not as long lasting as their first model is their weight. I mean, it is in the name. Team Farang has tried to create light shoes for those who prefer that compared to a thicker, bulkier design. Making lighter shoes, you of course have to minimize the design quite a bit. Instead of making their sole a lot thinner or using a different rubber with worse grip, Team Farang decided to change the upper body from its previous heavier, robust and long lasting material to the new thin, weightless mesh. In the end, I think changing the upper body instead of the sole was the best decision for making a lighter model. But how does this affect the overall shoe? Is it a waste of money or a worthwhile investment?
Overall, the Farang Elevate - Lights is still a great shoe. It features my favorite sole to this date and will therefore always be a trustworthy pick. I have grown more and more into the idea of wearing lighter shoes, but I’m still on the fence about it. Concerning their longevity, as I am writing this I am on my way home from a month-long trip consisting of filming for me and my friends’ brand KIPA. I have been training for 7 hours everyday, for an entire month and the shoes are still fully intact. Mind you, it has been outdoor training which usually results in a much quicker wear and tear. Unfortunately, I do sense that the new model will break quicker than the older one. Nonetheless, they are still great shoes which I would recommend if you are looking at changing up your footwear. Repeating myself, the sole on this shoe is something else…
Grip - Outstanding
Fit - Comfortable
Longevity - Low/Medium
Weight - Very light
Price - Medium
csc - May 10 2023
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