Saturday, November 24, 2012

New Balance Minimus Zero Trail

In April of this year, I bought a pair of New Balance Minimus Zero Trail shoes.  Here's the link to the website.   Since then I have put almost 120 miles on them.  I switch them on and off with my Vibram Five Fingers, so it's kind of a guesstimate.

They have been great.  I usually wear socks with them, but I have also found that they feel fine without socks.  As promised on the New Balance website, they are completely odor-resistant.  I have put mine through enough gunk to know!  They also wash well in the machine.  I've put them in to wash covered in all sorts of mud and after they have hung dry, they look like new.

They grip well on the muddiest of trails, and I've run with them on pavement too.  They work great with a mid-foot strike, and I never had any issues with blisters or chafing.  I love how lightweight the Minimus Zero shoes are.  Although, they seem to attract water!  Absolutely no water resistance, whatsoever... but, paired with a warm pair of socks, it doesn't matter.  If you go out for a run in the rain, you have to plan on returning soaking wet!

I only have one complaint.  Both shoes have developed holes in the upper, right where my foot bends when running, just in the spot where the foot creases above the toe.  So, each shoe has two holes on the left and right side.  It kind of bums me out because the soles are still in good shape, and I feel like I should be able to put at least another 50ish miles on them.  However, I don't know when the hole is going to spread right across.

I really like these shoes.  And I like New Balance shoes in general, but the durability of the uppers was a disappointment.  If they make that part a little tougher, I will most definitely buy a replacement pair!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Vibram Five Fingers - Speed!

This is my first pair of Vibrams.  I had been wanting to buy a pair for a long time, but was nervous about breaking myself into them, as I had read and heard a lot about the adjustment required to get your body used to running without the cushion and heel height that a normal pair of running shoes gives.  There is definitely a break in period.  Go slow and be patient!

I bought mine at Poulsbo Running.  It was great to be able to try on a whole bunch of different styles of minimal shoes and run and hop around in them for as long as I wanted.  Sizes are different, and I highly recommend trying them on before you buy.

The style of the Speed appealed to me, because I felt like I had more control over how tight they were, since they lace up like regular running shoes. My only complaint is that the tongue isn't connected on the sides to the shoe, so sometimes it pinches... I have to wiggle it around to get it just right.

I don't generally care what my running shoes look like, but the bright blue is just a bonus!  So far, I really like them. I didn't buy the toe socks, so I have just been throwing them in the wash and hanging them to dry.  They are holding up really well.  They are sturdily made and the most comfortable shoe I have ever worn.

If you have been thinking about a barefoot shoe, I recommend the Vibrams.  You can feel every little rock, but that's part of the awesomeness of running in barefoot shoes! Right? Right!

**Update:  I have put well over 200 miles on these shoes, and they are still in decent shape.  I see some wear in the sole (which is to be expected) but the uppers are extremely durable.  They did get a little bit of a funky smell after getting wet one too many times.

I also must say that they are a fair weather shoe.  Since it has started getting colder, I definitely need to add some toe socks.  Not being able to feel my toes when running has kind of sucked.  I plan on getting a pair of Ininji or Smartwool toe socks, but even my generic Christmas toe socks held up well and fit.

Doesn't look good.... but they felt okay!

I'll definitely be buying a second pair of the Speed, but I am holding out for the tougher version.  I found out that they have the Men's style out... so I am just waiting patiently and trying a pair of Saucony Hattori and Vivobarefoot Breatho Trail in the meantime!