Thursday, December 30, 2010

Running shoes: Less is more (and more are coming soon)

An interesting line of minimalist shoes coming soon from Merrell

Today's run (street): 3.85 miles

I'm really loving the blog Minimalist Running Shoes where they review some of the lesser known brands and models on this eponymous site. Like the shoes they cover, the site is simple, with a handy method of rating the shoes against a number of criteria. I just read about Merrell's upcoming (for 2011) line of "barefoot" running shoes: the Trial, True and Tough Glove models. There are also woman's versions called Pace, Power and Pure. There are many minimalist shoes on the market or coming in 2011 and this conflicts me greatly. I already own seven pairs of running shoes (plus a few pair of retired trainers) and it's hard to justify another purchase.

I've been fortunate to acquire a number of these pairs through the review process so that's another channel to pursue. I love the Saucony Kinvaras that have helped me transition to a more neutral, mid foot, style of running and the smart thing would be to buy another pair after my current ones wear out. However, if I do that I won't have the opportunity to try the Merrell's, the New Balance Minimus, the Brooks Green Silence and a bunch of other minimalist models that sound compelling. Borrowing from that old cliche: so many running shoes, so little time.

This morning I went for my third run with the Karhu Fast 2 Fulcrum Rides. My plan was to go out normally and adjust my pace with the conditions. I started out well and the shoes were fine, although I do wish the differential between the heel and front foot was smaller. The mid-sole is chunky and that helps with impact with a mid-foot strike but I've become used to a lower riding shoe. I ran in my Brooks on the treadmill yesterday and while that has a fairly built up heel, the GTS 10 feels more stable. I enjoyed the run for the first few miles. It helped to be back on the street in the cold (but not frigid) air. I did need to be careful in some spots where snow, ice and slush remained on the road. I stayed hyper alert for cars and trucks on those narrow sections but happily there were no close calls.

By the end of the third mile I began to tire and worried that I may be getting sick. The anniversary of last year's illness and the multiple times I've caught the flu during the last week of the year make me a little paranoid. I finished just shy of four miles. I'm mildly concerned that I've lost a little base conditioning over the last few weeks but I'm certain it's related to other factors. My hope is to do at least one more long distance run before I return to the office next week. In the meantime I've been focusing more on getting in a few extra daily miles during this week.

2 comments:

  1. Merrell's running shoes are impressive and I look forward to trying this product this year. You forgot to mention Zem shoes. This is also one of most popular barefoot shoes just like Merrell. The only difference is that it's much lighter like sock. It's very durable and comfortable to wear. If you're not familiar with it. Check out the site here.

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  2. That's also a good resource for info on barefoot style shoes. The Zem is intriguing. I'll write about it in a future post.

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