Monday, March 14, 2011

What's next after my Kivaras?

Merrell's new Trail Glove
I'm pleased with the way I feel this morning after yesterday's long run. Sunday was a busy day and I spent a lot of  time on my feet. I thought I might experience some second day aches and pains but after a sound sleep I woke up feeling fine. With almost 400 running miles on my Kinvaras I'm fully convinced that a lower, more minimal running shoe works well for me and the very small differential (drop) between forefoot and heel has strengthened my calves and ankles. Despite being a video-documented pronator I've had few troubles running in this neutral shoe. My dilemma these days is choosing a different shoe than the Kinvara when running on hard surfaces.

I love the Brooks GTS-10's that were my go-to show prior to acquiring the Kinvaras. Ironically, although I have seven pairs of running shoes I really don't feel like I have that many choices. My Helly Hansens are great for tough trails but not a shoe that I like to wear on the road. My Adidas Responses work well on vacation, doing double duty as a trail or street running shoe and also for walking. But as a daily trainer they are just built too high. That leaves me with the Skecher's Resistance Runners (at best an occasional training tool), the Karhu Fast 2 Ride (a good shoe but not for me) and the Saucony Grid Tangent (a light stability shoe whose only negative is its conventional build). Finally, the higher platform of the Brooks has discouraged me from pulling them out of the cabinet as often as did in the past.

Last week I stopped by City Sports and tried on the Merrell Trail Glove, a zero-drop minimal trail shoe. I loved its wide toe box and light weight but my foot felt off balance toward the front. I want to try the NB Minimus next, as well as the Brooks Green Silence and the new Saucony Mirage. I'm concerned that I'll soon wear out the Kinvaras and I'm definitely going to replace them with something as minimal. I love to try out new running shoes but I've really learned to love the Kinvaras. I look forward to struggling with that decision.

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