Iguanas may not be known for their speed, but if you stand at the finish line of an ultramarathon you may be surprised at who finishes first. Pure Poly polyurethane sole these shoes are 100% MADE in the USA.
10/10, 12/12 (aggressive)
Ron Neely (verified owner) –
I’ve been trail running in Iguana Racers since July 2014 and have logged about 500 miles on them since then. Two or three times a week I run about an hour on the same course that includes a mile or so of pavement, some gravel roads, and about 5 miles of great trails. In September I ran a half marathon on gravel roads in my Iguanas.
My Iguanas feel good on any surface, but on the trails is where they really feel the best to me. I’ve been running for the better part of 30 years and I’ve tried all kinds and brands of shoes. Nothing I’ve worn so far feels like my Iguanas. The first time I put them on it felt like I was wearing slippers. But as soon as I ran down a gravel road I realized how much protection I was getting. The polyurethane soles do an excellent job of letting my feet feel the ground and at the same time protecting them from sharp rocks and tree roots. I used to fear gravel roads because I wore shoes with hinged soles, and when you get a rock in one of the hinges there is not much between you and the rock. I never worry about that in the Iguanas.
Iguana Racers look cool, and a lot of people ask me about them. When I try to explain what they feel like I often use the analogy of road bikes and mountain bikes. You can ride a mountain bike on the road and vice versa. But if you really want to appreciate the bike ride, you should ride a mountain bike on the trails and a road bike on the road. Likewise, if you really want to appreciate a trail run, you need to run in a shoe that is designed specifically for that purpose, like the Iguana Racer. Iguana Racers are by far the best trail shoe I’ve ran in and I recommend them to anyone who wants to feel the earth beneath their feet without worrying about the stuff that hurts.
Jordan Stafford (verified owner) –
The polyurethane sole of the Iguana does a great job of providing flexibility without sacrificing cushion. Having done a few 20+ mile runs on the trails in these, the Iguana hasn’t left me wanting more cushion. This is where the polyurethane sole is so much nicer than the traditional EVA. The Iguana has great ground feel, my foot can react instantly to sharp or unstable surfaces but at the same time it gives amazing protection from the same surfaces. In my opinion is what makes the Iguana soo much different. I can feel the ground as if I’m running in a minimal shoe but the sole protects the foot like a heavier, thicker shoe. This comes from how the polyurethane absorbs force vs. the EVA foam. EVA absorbs more force in one direction (up and down in the case of a shoe); polyurethane spreads the force out over a larger area.
I’ve put around 90 miles, 4-20 milers and a couple easier runs, on the Iguana so far and I am really having fun running in them. They are light, flexible, and let me go for long miles on trails without a second thought about what’s on my foot. This is a shoe that I look forward to putting on my foot and then I can forget it’s there until someone reminds me of how cool they look.
First off, I love these shoes. They are probably the most comfortable pair of any footwear that I’ve ever slipped on. Just ran my first marathon in them in the Jemez mountains outside of Santa Fe. Prior to the race, I trained in them for about 6 weeks. All of my training runs were on varied mountain and mesa top terrain outside of Taos, NM in March and April. Some of the higher up ground still had variable amounts of snow for long stretches of trail. These shoes handled everything including admirably and gave me the feeling of increased speed given their light weight and true minimalist design. I usually run sockless with these and have had no complaints with overheating due to the fine mesh uppers. Unfortunately however, it is also because of the minimalism of the fabric that my shoes have twice been punctured on their body by branches. These holes have progressed since then. In addition, I have begun to observe deterioration of the mesh material where it meets the outsole on both feet, primarily on the outside edges but beginning to also show on the instep. I have owned these shoes for exactly 2 months now, and am disappointed with the perceived premature break down of the material. At this rate, I doubt that they will be in tact in a month or so, given regular use (4-5 trail runs a week). My disappointment is exacerbated by the fact that I truly do love these iguanas. For the $100 price tag though, I would have hoped for better longevity. Perhaps this is to be expected when you endeavor in footwear with not much in the way of structure. Im thinking that my next pair of trail runners will probably be in the huarache style in order to save money.
Greg, Thanks for the feedback. This venture is about more then just making a running shoe..Its about doing the right thing! If you aren’t happy I will refund your money in full. Or if you think we could use your feedback to make an improvement I will give it a shot and you can be the first to try it. On us! Sounds like some simple reinforcements might do the trick. Please send me some photos and I will see if we can make some adjustments for you.
Jeff Gallup (verified owner) –
Hands down, my favorite trail running shoe! I even broke the rules and ran a 50K in these right out of the box.. they just felt that good. These shoes disappear once you get running.. so comfortable, and a perfect blend of protection and minimalist feel. Full review here: http://barefootinclined.blogspot.com/2015/01/look-out-nike-and-adidas-carson.html
Joey Delgado (verified owner) –
I love the Iguana. They fit around your foot like a sock with a cushioned sole. They are the only cushioned Zero Drop shoe that can be described as minimalist. No structure, no support, just a cushioned sole that allows the foot to move naturally, The polyurethane sole is very durable. I’ve logged about 600 trail miles on mine and there are barely any signs of wear.
Mike Freud –
50 miles in and I can report that this is the quintessential minimalist running shoe.Congrats to Carson for getting it right. As a Born To Run disciple who owns all 3 versions of Merrell Trail Glove and ViviBarefoot Primus Trail shoes prior to this purchase, I can honestly say that this is the most comfortable out of the box and best looking trail running shoe I have ever owned. All this and made in America! I regularly run on trails strewn with rocks & roots and needed a little extra cushion which the Iguana provided while maintaining minimalist 0 drop. I also have a wide foot which sadly wore right through my Primus upper material after 150 miles. Will report back after 200 miles to provide update on this great shoe.
G. Hoff (verified owner) –
Best shoes I’ve ever run in. Unbelievably comfortable. Glad to see a shoe 100% made in America that is bar far the most comfortable I’ve ever owned. Thanks Carson Footwear for making a great shoe.
jdjurkoic (verified owner) –
These are probably the most comfortable running shoes that I have ever worn. Great for running on any surface (I’ve been using them largely on the road) or just taking to the gym. Carson Footwear has earned a long-time customer.