ZEMgear Oxygen 2 VS Belleville Mini-Mil
|Minimil: 5mm Drop|
ZEMgear Oxygen 2
These guys took forever-and-a-half to come in, probably due to my buying them on Fab.com (meaning that the company ships to Fab after a certain period and then Fab sends them to me). I finally got them today and wore them for the first time tonight. First impressions: WOW!! Awesome! Great! I felt totally aligned and honestly, quite energized. Simultaneously, I observed: These probably won't last me very long. As you can see in the photo below, the fabric on the edges doesn't actually touch the ground, but only by a scarce millimeter or two. If you're walking on anything with less clearance than linoleum, this could be problematic. For example, simply walking up concrete stairs with grit on them for grip, I worried for my shoes. These feel great. They are snug and comfortable, neoprene, and feel like Fivefingers without the toes (I do truly wish I could've gotten the tabi 'Ninja Style' shoe as well, for my own daily wear, but that wouldn't be legal for a work-shoe. Sad day). They're comfortable and super-light. I love them very much and felt like dancing all day. I mean, I may or may not have skipped everywhere I needed to go at work. Quickly, with zest, fervor, and a happy back. Be aware, though: These will indeed soak up the moisture the moment you mop the floor or drop an ice-cube on your foot (yeah, that happens). They felt like water-shoes on the drive home but I didn't care. I feel like hugging them. After all, they feel like secure little foot-hugs. Did I mention they made me prance? I got a lot of double-takes, so they're not subtle shoes (though I thought they would be) and many people asking about them. Lots of people thought they were "cool," lots of people thought they were "sooo cute!" I even had an enthusiastic "Shut UP!" (I hope that was the New Orleans style of "Shut up" that really means "with all due respect, chum, this is unbelievably neat.")
|Please ignore the swollen scarred ankle. It ignores you.|
Final NotesAll in all, I'd say that I am actually quite pleased to own both of these, even if it put me out quite a bit of money. My vote is both. I know I'm not supposed to do that, blah blah, and its not like I owe anything to either of these companies. I am pleased that they both had something available and helped me figure out if these shoes would work. I feel able to work better and within the guidelines of my workplace. I vote the ZEMgear O2 for daily wear, ease, cost, and minimalism. I vote the Minimil for durability and protection. They both have very sure niches: If you work in a wet or dangerous enviroment, go with the Minimil. If you have a softer job that can handle a light shoe, go with the ZEMgear. I'd say its my favorite, but I fear the day when I wear it out. Fortunately, my job rides the line between the two so that both have their benefits-- but both definitely have their quirks. I'd be happy to work with some company somewhere to develop the perfect work-shoe. Until then, mi amigos, enjoy the images of my dirty floor and silly little foot. Keep on truckin... and let me know if you need to know more! Certainly if you'd like to send some shoes my way............ mwahahaha.