So how does the LALO BUDs Grinder feel? They feel pretty good, considering the company is very young and still listening to its customer’s suggestions and feedback, they are going to go far. They have a great start with a good idea turned into good products. Starting from the rear to the front of the shoe, the heel portion of the shoe is great. Usually with new shoes it takes some getting used to in order to not get blisters. Not with these, I was able to wear ankle socks and stay away from blisters while maintaining great heel control.
The laces fit the dynamics of your foot the same way. The laces secure the shoe to your foot without having to wrench the laces down and threatening to destroy the shoe’s eyelets. However, as well as the laces secure the foot, they’re just a little difficult to lace, having to grip each individual eyelet as opposed to simply grabbing from the top to tighten them. I think this has to do with the double eyelet feature on both the left and right side of the shoe along with the material used to manufacture. So, if you’re looking to have a shoe you need to hurriedly get on and off, maybe try a different LALO product.
The toe box in the BUDs feels great from the beginning. It’s snug but not to the point of being uncomfortable. However, I would watch running long distances without breaking them in thoroughly. I did not allow the toe box to stretch a bit an ended up with a blister on my pinky toe. I haven’t run in them since, but I wear them everyday and there’s no irritation at all for moving around the gym.
They have a spongy bounce but not overly soft to where it is a distraction when performing athletic movements.
The BUDs comes in a good variety of colors. I tried out the Night Vision. Although the only thing the Night Vision matches with is a rainbow, if you’re wearing them to match, you’re not giving them the full potential they have. They’re sleek and definitely have the tactical vibe to them without screaming military. There are other color patterns and are awesome. They pop but aren’t eccentric.
Being such a light, rugged shoe without any visible stitching, they’re as durable as they come. These shoes are great for CrossFit workouts, traditional weightlifting, or a jog down the street (just heed the aforementioned advice). When running outdoors, rocky terrain probably isn’t the best for these, but small pebbles and such should not affect them too much, just make sure to pick the pebbles out of the bottom of them, as the soles tend to grab things. For sand running and climbing the dunes they are EXCELLENT. The wide last of the shoe allows you to displace the giving sand a bit better than a standard shoe last. Water drains immediately from them and releases from the bottom of the shoe. The shoe material is vented and also allows quick draining which in turn means quicker drying time.
My overall thoughts are: This is an excellent shoe. Great for multi-purpose use. Definitely affordable. They have a cool, lean look to them, and the colors aren’t too wild. Extremely functional. Comfortable from the start without a huge break in period. While the lace up system can be improved upon I do expect some amazing things from such a young company. If this is their first edition, then 2.0 should be pretty cool.
PROS & CONS
● Extremely functional
● Comfortable from the start
● Agile, yet durable
● Very Affordable
● Agile, yet durable
● Passive drainage system
● Donning and lace-up should be more expedient
NOTE: The Grinder fits a 1/2 size smaller even though we use the same last. We use a different construction on the upper that makes it feel smaller. When you order a Grinder, order it one 1/2 size larger than you would normally order your athletic shoes.