Tuesday, March 22, 2011

minimalist. opinion requested.

I've been contemplating for months now about trying out a more minimalist shoe, mostly for shorter runs and races (up to half mari's). I dabbled with the Nike Lunar Glide last fall, took them on one short treadmill run and wasn't a fan. They were adorable and bright shiny obnoxious pink, but didn't do the trick for me. Even still, since last fall I've wanted to slip my feet into minimalist shoes. Seeing how I wear flip-flops (or go barefoot at home) nearly every day between the months of March - October, I figure my feet can handle running in some reduced cushioned kicks. My toes love freedom!

Recently, my dear friend Lea got some Newton's and loves them. I know a few other runners who run shorter miles and have raced in minimalist shoes. So they are working for others. And since I'm not an early adopter, I have clearly waited it out to see how these shoes work for others. Plus, I'm just curious, wanting to try something new, see if lighter shoes make me faster (let's hope) and/or stronger. Or just mix it up a little on the running front. Plus, I just plain love me some shoes!

All of this begs the question, what is YOUR opinion on minimalist shoes, and do you wear them sometimes, or all the time? And if you do, which brand? I'm requesting advice here interwebs, please don't fail me now. I'd like to gather some ideas of different shoes to try on.

12 comments:

misszippy said...

Ok, I'm a newbie at this, but I have done lots of homework on it and have a great "guru" to guide me. My two cents--try plain old barefoot first. You will get more out of it than even the most minimal of shoes. Do it before your runs, just a tiny bit at a time, to get the muscle memory going before putting your shoes back on.

If you do choose shoes--a few good ones out there right now include the New Balance Minimus, Vibrams, Terra Plana EVOs.

Lisa said...

i'm considering getting saucony kinvaras as a transition shoe - after my knee treatment and stuff.

Vibrams don't work for me, feels like my little toe is being ripped off my feet (toe naturally tucks under the one next to it...i must be a mutant)

Carla @ I Run, You Run said...

Karl were the vibrams for about 9 months, since they completely solved his knee problems. Then he fractured his foot on a run. The doctor said that though it was the shoes fault (not enough cushion), it was also his fault (he should have taken a more conservative approach when he switched, meanwhile 2 months after getting it, he was already running a half marathon with it), and if he eased himself back into the vibrams, he'd get his foot muscles strength up first and there would be enough bone protection and prevent this from happening again.

So anyway, they're great, just be conservative even if you think you're adapting pretty quick to them, FORCE yourself to slow it down.

Marlene said...

I'm a maximalist. Okay, not really, but I am afraid to try anything other than my clunker motion control shoes that have worked for YEARS!

Jesse - Run To The Border said...

I love my Vibram Five Fingers. BUT, I would strongly suggest going barefoot before going minimalist, unless you have tons of self-control. MANY people, myself included, overdo it in the minimalist shoes too soon and pay for it with injuries. If you're barefoot, you won't be able to handle as much as quickly.

I have significantly fewer running injuries since using the Vibrams, even though they now only make up a tiny fraction of my total miles. But, they helped change my form, and that's been a huge benefit.

2 Slow 4 Boston said...

I'm afraid I don't have much to say/knowledge on this post, but I like to comment on your blaaag too much to pass this opportunity up.

lindsay said...

I have vibrams, racing flats, and regular "neutral" shoes. I'm not sure if I am of any help. My idea of minimalist shoes includes racing flats but I haven't compared them to the "advertised" minimal shoes. I just figure they are lighter and less-cushy so they must be minimal.

theAlmostRunner said...

i would LOVE to get some vibram five fingers, but have never tried them. just found your blog and i really love it!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Sadly, I need all the support I can get to keep from injuring myself, sorry I wish I was more help, I cant rock a minimalist shoe

B.o.B. said...

Hm. I like how you posed this question. I hate the preachy way that this topic sometimes gets covered. That being said I'm still in the middle on the minimalist shoe. Keep us posted on what you decide.

RunnuRMark said...

Well, it looks like you've had a fair amount of feedback on the more extreme end of the minimalist options. I've told you about my more conservative transition to the minimalist options. I found the Nike Free Run+ to be a very easy transition since it still offers full cushioning. It just cuts down on upper material and provides greater flexibility. I've liked the Kinvaras pretty well so far too, but they almost seem like a more difficult transition to me than the Free Run+ because of the smaller heel-toe drop.

I'd just be cautious no matter what you decide. Definitely moreso if you go with one of the more extreme options. Take it very slow with those!

Laura said...

I have not yet tried minimalist shoes. I figure that the regular shoes are working for me just fine, especially since I'm not necessarily looking to break any records. However, Vibrams are SO trendy right now, I definitely feel out of the loop by not having them. Especially when people who see me as a "running expert" want my opinion on them, and I don't have one!