I recently wrote about how much I’ve been enjoying my Saucony Kinvara. I have been running a lot faster with ease lately while wearing them. I’m not silly enough to think that switching shoes magically made that happen (years of conditioning might help too?) but I truly think they are helping me run more efficiently and dropping some extra shoe weight makes the practice feel better.
I’m really intrigued by the minimalism movement and I just wanted to spotlight a few of the minimal shoes that are going to be hitting the market soon.
The Minimus lineup includes a road running, trail running and a lifestyle shoe. They have a 4mm drop heel-to-toe drop. The toebox on these shoes is made a little wider, to promote the natural expansion the foot does on ground impact. The shoe has no insoles and the whole thing is designed to promote a midfoot strike. The soles are made by the godfather of minimal running shoes, Vibram. The official specs say it is 6 oz. or 50% lighter than a traditional shoe. I’m assuming that is probably for a men’s shoe, since my regular shoes aren’t 12 full ounces! These shoes are scheduled for a March release and I know my local Fleet Feet store will be getting them in store so I can try them on (and probably pick up a pair).
The Nada is an ultra-lightweight, 3.5 ounce shoe that comes in a minimalist running starter kit designed to increase foot strength, improve posture an alignment, increase running efficiency and reduce injury. A DVD developed by Phil Wharton, a musculoskeletal therapist & stretching guru, on transitioning safely to minimal running is included with each pair of these shoes. It has a zero heel drop and can be worn by runners, walkers or anyone who wants to wear minimal shoes in their life. The shoe retails at $80 and will be out in March or April. I don’t know of any local running stores that sell this one, so don’t know if I’ll get a chance to try it on.
The Hattori is an interesting zero drop shoe that doesn’t have laces, it’s secured by a velcro strap system. The men’s shoe weighs in at 4.5 ounces so I’m assuming the women’s shoe will be even lighter. There is a surprising lack of info about this shoe directly on the Saucony site… but there is plenty of rumbling about this shoe on various blogs & forums. However, most have the same info… it’s lightweight, flexible, will be about $80 and should be available by the summer of 2011. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what the word is on this one as it gets closer. I applied to be a wear tester and was told no because I need to be a solid size 8. (I should have just said I was, since all of my running shoes are an 8 now!)
I’m excited to see all these new options. I have a pair of Vibram Five Fingers and well… I haven’t done much running in them. I find them kind of hard to put on and if I wear them too long, my pinky toes ache really badly. I think it’s purely because it’s strengthening the weak, under-used muscles… but it’s a challenge. But once I have them on, I really like taking #JadeTheBoxer for walks while wearing them.