It was eighteen months ago that I reviewed the Acceleritas3 from Icebug, and it was almost a year ago that I received a pair of the ladies’ Accleritas4 for my wife to test and review. Now, having put them through their paces in a decent amount of British orienteering races, we are ready to publish this review.
I made the comment about orienteering because, although these aren’t exclusively an O shoe, they serve brilliantly for that purpose and they have become my wife’s first choice for most orienteering events.
The first thing to say about these is that they weigh barely anything. They’re around 160g in a ladies’ US7.5 which is so light you’ll barely notice them on your feet. And the really good thing about them is that they are constructed from non-absorbent materials so they don’t gain much weight when wet.>
The ‘ripstop’ material of the uppers is very strong, withstanding abrasion from the low-lying scrubby heather, scratchy brambles, and abrasive rocks that you’ll invariably find yourself running through if you’re orienteering or properly going for it off-road. My wife has worn these for a whole orienteering season and the uppers are showing far less wear than her previous O shoes from the likes of inov-8, Adidas and Salomon. Yet despite their durability they are soft and supple allowing the shoe to flex with your foot.
The Acceleritas4 has been improved from version 3 by scooping out the heel cup a bit more to give a more snug fit, and by lowering the back so as give the Achilles tendon more freedom. The version 3s were prone to rubbing on the back of the heel but this hasn’t been a problem in the 4s.
The fit is narrow. They’re described as being built on a ‘narrow’ last which is fine for my wife’s slender feet but my wide feet just couldn’t get comfortable in the 3s which was no good for long runs (hence only testing the ladies’ versions this time round).
Their best feature however, is the part that goes under the foot. Of most interest to me is their minimalism. They have a heel-toe drop of just 4mm which puts them firmly into the minimalist shoe category. Your feet will have a reassuringly intimate relationship with the ground thanks to the flexible sole and the minimal depth of midsole – they have a small amount of cushioning in the midsole but only enough to absorb the worst impacts.
The outsole is the same as that of the 3s. It is made from Icebug’s Rubber 9 Extreme (RB9X) compound which has a remarkable ability to stick to hard surfaces and is surprisingly hard-wearing. This, combined with their aggressive tread means that you will have super traction just about anywhere. Dry rock, wet rock, loose gravel and sand, hard-pack gravel, grass, and mud. And the big deep lugs are spaced far enough apart for wet sticky mud to drop away and not clog up, leaving the soles ready to bite into your next stride.
The Acceleritas4 is a really great shoe which my wife has adopted as her go-to shoe for most orienteering races and for general terrain training runs, and she recommends them to anyone. Apart from the issue of their width, I agree with her – there’s nothing to not like. From a minimalist / barefoot running perspective they’ve got nearly everything about this shoe right, apart from the width that your forefoot needs to spread out naturally. I’m just living in hope that Icebug will produce a wide-fit version so that I can play too.