Showing posts with label New Balance Minimus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Balance Minimus. Show all posts

Monday, December 19, 2011

Looking for my winter running shoe

Perhaps I need some (new) balance in my running
After trying on the Kinvara 2's only to realize it wasn't the shoe for me, I'm back to rethinking my winter footwear. I really loved my original Kinvaras. In fact, I'd still be running in them except that I wore out the Kinvara's mid-sole to the point where I began experiencing knee pain. That breakdown coincided with the timing of my half marathon that I ran while injured.

Green Silence - an opportunity lost
A couple of years ago I anticipated Brook's launch of the Green Silence, their first "minimal" shoe not made specifically for racing. I couldn't wait for them to go on sale. I ended up being dissuaded by the salesperson at Jackrabbit who steered me toward the Brooks GTS 10's, a great shoe but it rides too high. I ended up switching to the Saucony Kinvaras midway through 2010.

The Hattori - great except on really cold days

The Mirage - a really good shoe but the fit is narrow

Earlier this year I tested the Saucony Mirage, a Kinvara-like shoe with some stability features. It's a great shoe and I've put in a few hundred miles in them, but the toe width is a bit narrow. I was hoping that Brook's new Pure Project line would provide a shoe that met my needs. I tried on the Pure Connect and really disliked the fit that was narrow and very tight in the arch. The other models weren't much better so I decided to look elsewhere.

After looking at many reviews, I am thinking that the New Balance Minimus MR00 may be a "good fit" for me. My hope was to find a minimal, zero-drop, road shoe that will give me a little more insulation that the Hattori's for winter running. Given that the MR00's aren't due in stores until March, I may need to get through most of winter in the Mirages on cold days and the Hattori's on more moderate days and races.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Minimalist running shoes, one year later

Mizuno Wave Universe 3
Around this time last year I was reading about two models of running shoes from Brooks that were due to hit stores in early spring of 2010. These shoes, the Brooks Green Silence and the Adrenalin GTS 10, were interesting to me for different reasons. The Green Silence was the first of many shoes since marketed as "minimally constructed", a niche that was created (or helped along) through the popularity of Christopher McDougall's book "Born to Run." I was intrigued by the concept of running in the mid-foot style and Brooks played up the small difference between the heel and forefoot height of this shoe. The flatter plane facilitates front, rather than heel striking. Brooks also played up the Green Silence's environmental friendliness through its heavy use of recycled materials, soy based dyes and water based adhesives. I was hooked and counted the days until the Green Silence shipped to stores.

Brooks Green Silence
Besides the Green Silence I was also interested in the GTS 10, the successor to the GTS 9's that I had worn and appreciated for their comfort and durability. When I visited Jackrabbit Sports to try the Green Silence I was dissuaded by the salesperson who said they lacked the structure I needed. I was then steered first to the Brooks Ravennas (that I didn't like) and then to the GTS 10's (that I bought). All was well with the GTS 10's until Saucony sent me a pair of Kinvaras. I started off running shorter distances (5 miles or less) with these shoes but slowly worked up to longer length runs. I expected to have soreness due to less cushioning and lack of stability control. However, I've never had a problem with these shoes and they are now my go-to trainers and racing shoes.

NB Minimus

Brooks has just launched the GTS 11's that are supposed to be even better than the 10's but, surprisingly, I'm not that interested. The higher heel of conventionally constructed shoes don't feel as good as they did prior to my running in the Kinvaras. I think that when my Saucony's wear out I'll either replace them with another pair, try the Green Silence or go super minimal with the Mizuno Wave Universe (3.8 oz. per shoe). Saucony just announced the Mirage, sort of a Kinvara for people who need stability and New Balance will soon have the Minimus based on the Vibram Five Fingers. So many choices now. I like this type of problem.

The Saucony Kinvara - my go-to shoe

Saturday, November 6, 2010

8 miles at Bethpage, NYC Marathon Expo visit

Fun time at the NYC Marathon Expo
Today's run (Bethpage State Park): 8.34 miles

After two days off from running I returned to Bethpage State Park today for a morning run with Dave. I had battled a cold over the last couple of weeks but I did run a number of times while I went through it.  I chose to rest on Thursday and Friday to prevent a relapse. We met at the start of the bike trail and noted the chill. I wore my Champion pants that offer slight compression and my Thriv short sleeve running shirt. I wasn't comfortable as we began but I knew it wouldn't take long until I warmed up. We both wore gloves because it's hard to keep them warm even as your body heats up from the run.

We adopted a comfortable pace, neither brisk nor slow, and moved along the route feeling good. The fall air is a runner's gift and we both appreciated it. We reached the 4 mile mark before we realized we'd covered any significant ground and continued over the Southern State to Linden Street where we turned around for the run back. At around the 6 mile mark Dave started getting stronger and I started feeling the effects of the run. That's the difference between us in terms of base. About .75 miles before the end Dave went for the hard finish and I set my mind on getting past the hill at the end. I ran hard considering my level of energy and I came in about half a minute after Dave. It was great to run for the first time since Wednesday and we covered over 8 miles in the process. Next week we'll both compete in the Run for Warriors 10K.

New Balance Minimus

Philip Hahm, Puma Faas designer
Yesterday I made my way to Jacob Javitts Center to experience this year's NYC Marathon Expo. It's a running geek's dream, the hall is HUGE as is the variety of vendors. After checking out the Brooks, NB, Mizuno, Adidas, Saucony, Newton and Paragon booths (plus the ASICS booth that is not much smaller than our local Target store) I sampled PowerBar, GU, Odawalla, Gatorade and other energy snacks. I stopped by Puma and spoke with Philip Hahm, the designer of the new Faas 500 running shoe. Interesting design, but it seemed more for a heel striker than mid-foot running. At the NB booth they showed a prototype of their new Minimus, a version created with Vibram (maker of the 5 Fingers sock-shoes). I like the Vibram concept but dislike the look of the separated toes. The Minimus looks like the perfect alternative.

Bart Yasso (l), Matt Long (r)
Grete Waitz (center in blue)

Sarah Stanley speaks

Untramarathoner Josh Cox
At the Runner's World booth I met Bart Yasso, Chief Running Officer for the magazine and author of the book "My Life on the Run." I read that book this summer and found it a good read. I also met Matt Long, author of "The Long Run", a book about his experience recovering from a near fatal accident (he was hit by a bus while riding his bike in NYC) and came back to run the marathon. I listened to ultramarathoner Josh Cox speak and also heard ultrarunner Sarah Stanley talk about her mission to educate kids on living a healthy life. Just before I returned to the office I met Grete Waitz, 9 time winner of the NY Marathon and silver medalist in the 1984 Olympics. It's a big bang for the buck -- free shuttle buses between mid-town to the Expo, free admission, lots of cool stuff to see and sample. I only wish I was part of the crowd that's there to run in the big event on Sunday. I probably won't ever get there, but at least I can get to the Expo.

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