Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Flex Classic - my review {UPDATED}

About two and a half weeks ago, I did post on the latest Zumba shoes. In the time since, I have acquired myself a pair of Flex Classic's. In black. The neon pink ones that I was originally going to get were sold out in my size...and all but three other sizes too...sigh.
I posted both of the images you see above to my Facebook and asked my friends and family which one they thought I should get. The vote was 11-Pink, 1-Black. Well, in the time it took me to gather opinions and make my decision, the pink ones were gone. Black it is! The only reason I was even considering black was out of nostalgia since my first pair of shoes was a black pair and I've never had another black pair since....until now... Lousy nostalgia! Oh well, at least the black pair came with a set of pink shoelaces. I bought the Flex Classic's because the description proclaimed that the shoes were created with "Z-slide", something that would allow them to glide on all surfaces including carpet.
This is what the bottom of the shoe looks like. That green circle is the pivot ball, and it and the green zig-zag are made out of something that I'd describe as "fuzzy". I can feel that there is definitely less drag when that part of the shoe moves across carpet. However... Less drag is not zero drag. I wound up having to tape the bottom of these too, just like any other shoe that I'd wear while dancing on a carpeted floor. I feel like the "glide zone", is too low by maybe half an inch. If it were up just a little more, I think it would work much better for me.

So, my plan to put these shoes and their "Z-slide" to work teaching my class at the church has fallen a bit flat. Which is kind of a bummer because honestly, that's the only reason I bought them. So far, I have worn these on carpet as is, on carpet taped up, and on a hard floor in a school cafeteria. They have worked the best by far on the floor, but I suppose that's no big surprise.

Here's what I really like about these shoes:
1) The top is all nylon and extremely breathable.
2) The support in the shoe is really good. I can tell because my ankle hasn't been bothered at all from wearing these. If anything, it's actually better.
3) They don't weigh me down. Each of these shoes weighs 8.1 ounces which is more than half an ounce heavier per shoe than I'm used to with my Z-Kickz II's.
4) Very good shock absorption.
5) They are available in half sizes

So, what I'll probably wind up doing is saving my new Flex Classic's for my regular class with Jae and any other Zumba related events (ahem, ZIN Jam...) and continuing to tape my Z-Kickz II's and just use those to teach in.

Best advice: You snooze, you lose. I've said before that when you're shopping from Zumba's online shop, it's good to stop and consider carefully your purchases because what you're buying is very specialized and likely not something you're going to use everyday. However, you snooze, you lose is a caveat to that because once something is sold out, it's sold out. It was suggested that I wait for the shoes to be back in stock. Back in stock? This is Zumba, there is no "back in stock" there's only "the next new thing".

UPDATE: It's March 14th and it's been almost two months since I originally wrote this. I've been wearing my Flex Classics to class and my Z-Kickz II's to teach in. That has been working out well, but for an entire month after I wrote this, I kept getting blisters on both of my baby toes while wearing the Flex Classics. After a while, I started planning for this eventuality and I would wrap my toes in band-aids before I ever put those shoes on. That let the existing blisters heal and kept new ones from forming. If you're wondering why I kept wearing them, well the fact is that I couldn't return them. Zumba doesn't take back shoes once they've been worn; "tried on" and "worn" are two different things. I needed to figure out a way to make them work or they were just a waste of money. No way was I going to let that happen!
On February 23rd, exactly one month after I first wrote this post, I wore the Flex Classics to a ZIN Jam. It was my first Jam and it was an intense experience, 3.75 hours of dance with a five minute break; a lot of work but a lot of fun too. The first class I went to after the Jam, I forgot to wrap my toes. Guess what blisters. Funny how a 3+ hour Jam will break in a pair of shoes... So, the moral of this particular story is that the Flex Classics need a lot of breaking in. Although even then, it's not a sure thing. Last Wednesday Jae's class got bumped from its usual place, apparently it was needed for a PTO meeting. The place we were moved to for this one night had a very different floor and by the end of class I was wishing I had put some band-aids in my dance bag. I had a pretty bad blister on my left baby toe (just the left, the right was perfectly fine). I'm not going to stop using these though. One, I spent too much on them to just let collect dust in a closet. And two, after all this time, they are almost just right...can't give up now can I?

I am neither affiliated with or endorsed by Zumba Fitness (aside from being a licensed instructor) - Just an interested shopper with an opinion!

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