New Balance does this thing where I fall in love with a pair of their shoes and then they stop making them…or they only make them in mens sizes (damn them). This leaves me to searching for the newest and greatest shoe. Back in June my husband bought me a pair of zero drop Newtons and those they claimed a barefoot-like ride, after I ran my Marine Corps Marathon I trashed them. They were hurting me more than helping me and that was painfully clear on marathon day. I ended up switching back to my Minimus road shoes. Then, I found these babies:
When I saw them I knew I had to have them. They are the ultimate in barefoot running without having to have the funny toe thing going on with Vibrams. At under 3 oz I was super stoked when I bought them with my Road Runner Sports gift card (thanks in-laws!). I waited anxiously for them to arrive. Alas, they came 4 days later. I cracked the box open like a giddy child on Christmas morning and could not wait to put them on my feet So Minimalist I could use them as jazz shoes!
I walked around in them for a bit to feel them out. I felt really “in tune” with the ground below me. After a few minutes I decided to finally take these babies out for a short 5 miler.
The run in them was fantastic. I felt so agile in them and, most importantly, they were so much like second skin I almost forgot I was wearing shoes! I got to my turn around point fully expecting my feet to hurt but was pleasantly surprised. I felt great. I felt energized. I turned and ran the rest of the way to my house.
I did realize that after a while one of my toes felt quite sore. The shoes didn’t seem too small but after my run that became clearly obvious. I felt kind of sad because I knew I’d have to return them and wait patiently until I got the new ones. However, I was glad that at last I found the shoes I had been looking for since I realized how much I loved minimalist running shoe.
My verdict: If you are the type of runner that loves running barefoot (or close to barefoot) but don’t like the toe look of Vibrams, these are a great alternative. The hexagon bottoms allow for ultimate flexibility so you can manipulate your foot as needed while you run. There is no support or “cushion” in these shoes so if you find shoes without cushion uncomfortable, or if you need special insoles, these are not the shoes for you. These shoes allow for (and kind of force you) to mid foot strike. Heel striking is a bit harder in them since it makes you plant your foot the way it would naturally, but it is possible though I’d imagine it’d be a bit hard on your joints.
If you’re interested in getting them, be sure to order a half size larger as they run small. Also, I would recommend ordering them through Road Runner Sports or any shoe store that will allow you to buy-try-return. This is the main reason I chose to buy them through Road Runner. I didn’t want to purchase a pricey shoe (because they are a pretty penny) that I ran in once and hated. For anyone who is a beginner with minimalist shoes, I’d recommend easing yourself into running in these shoes. I’ve been using them on one run a week until my calves adjust to the demand these shoes place on them.
I hope this was helpful for someone. Let me know if you have questions about them!