Thursday, June 5, 2014

Volans 2, in a League of Its Own

About four weeks ago, I got a call from Asep Hadian, the product manager at League, a local (Indonesia) shoe manufacturer. Asep asked if I'd be interested to get a pair of their latest model, the Volans 2 and write a review. My response was "if I can write what I genuinely feel about the shoes, good and/or bad, sure."

Three weeks went by and the shoes did not come. I thought that my "offer" of a tell-it-like-it-is review might have scared them off.

Earlier this week, a package arrived at my doorstep.





Here's my initial impression after a couple of runs in the Volans 2:



The Volans 2 with aftermarket laces.



FIT and FINISH:

As I have wide feet, I was worried that the Volans 2 might be too narrow and constricting to my feet.




On first impression, the airy mesh upper material seems to be flexible and (hopefully) accommodating to my feet.




The above picture (my five-fingers visible) shows the Volans 2 to be wide enough. It's certainly no Altra in the toebox department, but it's comfortable enough up there, likewise the width around the midfoot area.

The photos also show the abundance of "airy-mesh" material all over the shoe. The holes (perforation) in the mesh material seems to be bigger than other shoes, for example, the Skechers GoRun series. I believe League did this to shave the weight off.

Though durability may be a concern, I am liking what I feel wearing and walking with the shoes around the house.

Kudos to League for producing a shoe that can stand toe-to-toe with international brands.

RIDE and COMFORT

At 240 grams (8.5 oz) per shoe, the Volans 2 is light, and they feel the part.





Added with the well-perforated mesh material from toe to the heel of the shoe, the Volans 2 feels minimalist.










The mesh material extends to the back of the shoe, which has a semi-soft heel collar.


In terms of overall comfort, the Volans 2 feels like a 'thin yet secure envelope' for my feet (GOOD), something which I didn't expect before putting them on.




League says the Volans 2's stack height is 22 mm heel, with 14 mm at the toe. The 8 mm drop is an anomaly, since the shoe presents itself as a minimalist, but with higher than the 0-6 mm "norm" of this genre.

Here are a few photos comparing the Volans 2 side-to-side with well-known shoes:


The League's 8 mm drop, visible when compared with the Altra Torin (RW lists the Altra as having 20 mm stack height from heel to toe, a zero-drop shoe).



With the Adios Boost.



Looking curiously as tall as the NB FF 980, albeit the League seems much more "airy."


The League with Newton Energy NR



The Volans 2 besides the Skechers Go Run 2.



Now comes the litmus test, the RIDE of the shoe. The midsole is good 'ol EVA which League names "CushLITE" Handling the shoe and feeling the airy mesh material of the upper, I had expected a soft ride similar to Skechers' Resalyte in the GoRun series. 

From the two runs that I tried them on, the ride of the Volans 2 is firmer than the Resalyte's, without being harsh to the legs and feet.

The Volans 2 is a little muted in terms of road feedback, but still giving plenty of chatter to keep our feet alert.

Overall, I am pleasantly surprised with the ride, as the feel is responsive without being harsh.


CONCLUSION

As an Indonesian, I am very happy for League. The Volans 2 is a legitimate shoe.

I didn't expect to like the shoe, but the Volans 2 is looking to be a solid part of my rotation.

Best of all would be the sticker price, which at Rp. 449.000 is equivalent to roughly US$ 37 (thirty seven US dollars).



With the inexpensive price, the overall up-to-par quality, I am giving the League Volans 2 a solid two thumbs up!




Made in Indonesia. And able to stand on its own two feet.

I am a happy camper.



As the following photos would show, the shoes themselves are no slouch either in terms of look.







******


DISCLAIMER: I received the Volans 2 as a review shoe, but I am not receiving any monetary compensation from League for this blog post. The comments herein are entirely my own.