Showing posts with label Merrell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Merrell. Show all posts

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.

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.

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