Ecco BIOM EVO Race Lite Shoes

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Manufacturer Description

This running shoe with low cut lace trainers is designed to combine comfort and Natural Motion. Lightweight and flexible for supreme performance with the one component midsole. Asymmetrical collar and tongue ensures an improved ankle position and support for feet. Anatomically correct foot-shaped last provides additional comfort and support from toe to heel.

Features

  • Uppers made of strong, light-weight textile
  • Unlined, breathable upper
  • One component, direct-injected PU midsole
  • Low to the ground sole construction
  • Natural anatomical last
  • Asymmetrical collar and tongue construction
  • Extremely light weight and flexible
  • Measured size 42
    • Weight – 244 g (8.6 oz)
    • Stack Height – 19 mm (heel), 14 mm (toe), 5 mm (drop)
    • Forefoot Width – 101.3 mm (4.0 in)
  • Retail – $130

YMMV Review

I have been able to test several iterations of the Ecco BIOM Footwear thus far, but with this review, there was a bit of a twist. For the first time, I had Melissa test a pair of Ecco’s. What was also exciting about this review is that this was Ecco’s lightest and most minimalist pair of running shoes yet. Exactly what I thought the BIOM Collection should be. Now the question was whether they lived up to it.

Shoe Chart - Click to See Larger
Shoe Chart – Click to See Larger

Testing

The Ecco BIOM EVO Race Lite Shoes are more of a road shoe than a trail shoe. With that in mind we tested the shoes on mainly concrete paths, roads, and sidewalks around town. Occasionally, we took them on smooth gravel paths but that would be less than 10% of the time.

Design ★★★☆☆

Appearance (15%) ★★☆☆☆

Construction (30%) ★★★½☆

Lacing (20%) ★★★☆☆

Sustainability (10%) ★★☆☆☆

Weight (25%) ★★★☆☆

Like other BIOM Shoes, the EVO Race Lite is made for Natural Motion. A couple of hallmarks of the line are strengthening of the feet, increased efficiency, and low-to-the-ground design. BIOM can help you get stronger by engaging the feet and lower legs to use natural systems for absorbing impact and propelling forward. By guiding the runner to strike the ground closer to the midfoot, it enables a smooth stride and more powerful push off. Low-profile construction enables the natural structures of the foot to fully react to the ground, creating a dynamic feel. With the natural motion design, the EVO Racer Lite has a wider toe box for more of a foot-shaped fit. It has a bio-mimicking anatomical support that helps guide the foot to its optimal natural motion path.

Stitched in Insole - Click to See Larger
Stitched in Insole – Click to See Larger

The midsole has been made as one complete unit. It is a direct-inject Polyurethane (PU) midsole. PU is much more durable than EVA foam, which is what is normally used to make shoe midsoles. The PU midsole will generally have twice the lifespan of a typical shoe. The shoes have a 5mm drop and are very flexible. The unit also comes up the back of the heel to add support there as well. The upper of the Racer Lite is made of lightweight mesh materials, and some thicker overlays to add stability and support. The mesh allows the shoe to breathe and keep the foot from overheating. One distinct thing about the EVO Racer is the tongue. The tongue is a clamshell tongue that only separates on one side. This asymmetric design holds the tongue in place well.

Top View - Click to See Larger
Top View – Click to See Larger

The lacing is fairly standard with an oval lace to help prevent it from getting untied. The only thing missing is an extra eyelet at the top for those who want to lock the heel in. These are missing that extra eyelet. On the interior of the shoe, the BIOM EVO Race Lite shoes do not have a removable insole. The insole has been sewn into the upper with minimal seams for comfort and to save weight. Speaking of weight, these are the lightest BIOM shoes I have tested, but are on the heavier side when compared to other minimalist designs. If there was a knock on the shoes, I would have to say appearance. I personally thought the men’s color was okay, but my wife was not a fan of hers. I think she said something about them every time she wore them, but she liked the shoes, so she kept grabbing them. Of course, this is very subjective.

Fit ★★★½☆

Comfort (25%) ★★★½☆

Foot Length (15%) ★★★☆☆

Foot Volume (15%) ★★★½☆

Heel Width (15%) ★★★½☆

Midfoot Width (15%) ★★★☆☆

Toe Box Width (14%) ★★★★☆

The BIOM shoes are made to fit the shape of your foot. I still find that if I get the recommended size for my foot, the shoes are too big. This seemed to be the case once again, but only slightly this time around. I do really like the shape of the shoes. Right when they go on I can tell they fit the shape of my feet. They have a wide toe box and narrower heel, which works well for me. I never tried the shoes without socks but with socks, I never had any issues. No blisters or even hot spots that I can remember. Other than running slightly big overall for my size, the shoes felt great. I loved the toe box area and how the asymmetric tongue wraps the foot in place well. The shoes may be a bit snug through the midfoot area so if you have a low to no arch this may be an issue.

Clamshell Tongue - Click to See Larger
Clamshell Tongue – Click to See Larger

I was not the only one testing these, so I will cover the female perspective as well. For her, she really liked the fit. She likes a wider toe box similar to her current favorite, Altra Intuitions. Both of these shoes have a really wide toe box. She also never had any issues with the shoes rubbing her the wrong way. She even used them for some of her workouts, and they were great in the gym as well. One of the complaints for Melissa is the lacing. Once on they were great, but she found the laces tough to manage when getting the shoes on and off. If there was one thing with the overall fit of the shoes, it would be through the midfoot which is on the tighter side.

One thing that I really like on the Ecco BIOM EVO Racers is the clamshell tongue. Several of my shoes have an issue with a wandering tongue, even with a lace loop. Since the tongue on these is permanently connected on one side, it does not go anywhere. I know that Melissa had issue with the laces, but she did like the tongue. I will also add that I did not have any issues with the lacing. To save weight, Ecco has permanently stitched the insole into the shoe. The stitching is kept at a minimum to prevent less chafing. Since I prefer socks, I never had any issues.

Performance ★★★☆☆

Breathability (15%) ★★★☆☆

Cushioning/Ground Feel (25%) ★★★☆☆

Durability (20%) ★★★½☆

Flexibility (15%) ★★★½☆

Traction (15%) ★★½☆☆

Water Resistance (10%) ★★☆☆☆

The Ecco BIOM EVO Racer Lite Shoes have been a much-improved shoe compared to the previous ones I tested. I really like how the shoes have been able to cut weight and have are very flexible. When I think of a minimalist shoe, flexibility is at the top of the list as the shoe needs to allow your foot to do the work. In these, you can do just that. The shoes do not seem to have any predetermined flex points so it moves where your foot does and not vice versa. I also feel like the EVO Racers are a great balance between cushioned and minimal. There is a little of ground feel balanced with enough cushioning that I felt like I could easily use these up to marathon distance without worrying about the impact during the race.

Outsole - Click to See Larger
Outsole – Click to See Larger

With 5mm of drop, they do have slightly more drop than I prefer, but I really did not notice it. I am generally a 4mm drop kind of guy. The upper on these shoes is made of mesh, and it has breathed well. I have tested these in temperature up to 90 degrees and never felt like my feet were burning up. Of course on the flip side of that is the lack of weather resistance. They do dry quickly if they do get wet so that is a good enough for me.

The outsole of the shoes not made of a heavy-duty rubber like many shoes out there, but I have been surprised by how well they have worn. With over 50 miles in the shoes, they still are in great condition, Melissa’s also look new. I really expected them to wear quicker than they have. This has been a nice surprise. These are definitely road shoes, but the sole does have a bit of lugging to it. I have taken them on some light trails and had no issues, but they are a bit slick in the snow and ice during the winter.

Side View - Click to See Larger
Side View – Click to See Larger

Overall ★★★½☆

Overall, this is the update the Ecco needed to make. When they first released the BIOM collection, I was very excited because I have had great luck with their dress shoes. The first BIOM shoes were not as flexible or lightweight as I expected. With the BIOM EVO Racer Lite, the shoes are both lightweight and flexible, much more of what I was looking for. The fit is good, especially in the forefoot. Through the midfoot, they can run a bit on the tight side depending on your foot shape. Both Melissa and I like these shoes quite a bit. The colors that we tested were not our favorites, but they have lots of options so you can find what works for you. The Ecco BIOM EVO Racer Lites retail for $130, which really is a steal for Ecco Shoes. I would give them a shot if you are looking for something more minimal but not all the way to minimalist. As always, Your Mileage May Vary.

Pros [field name=iFrame]

  • Lightweight
  • Good balance between cushioning and flexibility
  • Clamshell tongue stays in place
  • Wide toe box
  • Breathe well

Cons

  • Colors tested were not our favorite
  • Lacing was a bit problematic for Melissa
  • A bit tight through the midfoot

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About the Author

I am an avid runner, cyclist, swimmer, hiker, climber, skier and many other activities that would make this list too long. I started Your Mileage May Vary Reviews in Early 2011 to combine two of my passions: sports and gear.

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