Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hi, my name is Kurt and I'm a member of the Minimalist Movement

If you don't recall, I recently got a new pair of shoes; New Balance M880s. 

After wearing them at work one day and around the apartment for a bit, I came to the conclusion that they were just not going to cut it.  They felt a bit restrictive, slightly too structured for what I've become accustomed to.  So after much debating, I headed back to the store today and made an exchange.

My thought was I would try out some other running shoes and if I couldn't find anything, I'll just get a pair of Vibrams to have fun with over the winter. I had already been to Famous Footwear and I think the New Balance M690s would work well enough.  This morning, I think I tried on a good 7 or 8 different shoes. 

I'd try one on and it'd be too narrow.  The next was wide enough, but too tight in the mid-foot.  The next was good in the mid-foot, but the heel to toe drop felt funny.  I felt like I was judging a contest...  "NEXT!"  Towards the end I started thinking the Vibrams were going to happen.  Liz, the incredible person who was helping me, went looking for a different size for the New Balance Minimus Road and came back with a different box.  When she returned, she hesitantly said "I couldn't find the right size, but I think I found one last shoe that you might want to try." 

Pearl Izumi Streak II

At this point, I had surrendered myself to not getting a pair of running shoes today, but what the heck - let's try these on.  I slipped on the Pearl Izumi Streak IIs and WOW!  They felt so comfortable.  The toe box was a good width, the mid-foot wasn't restrictive, and the sole felt comfortable (it's a minimal shoe so it's not going to have funky contours).  The only odd thing I found was that the toe of the shoe curves up a bit.  Liz said that it's something Pearl and Brooks do with some of their shoes.  It's supposed to give you more propulsion by being contoured to the running form already.  It felt funny walking around, but when I jumped on the treadmill I didn't even notice it.

So that's it.  I am now another member of the Minimalist Movement, though I admit I'm transitioning slowly compared to those who went straight for tossing out their shoes and running truly barefoot.


1.  Do you own or have you ever tried minimalist shoes?
My first experience was trying on Vibrams last fall.  The Pearl Izumi Streak II are the first pair I've owned.

2.  No matter what type of shoe you use, do you have one specific make or model that you swear by?  If so, what is it?
99% of the time they replace the shoe I love by the time I need a new pair.  I should start investing in multiple pairs once I know I like them.  As a person with slightly wider feet, I've been pretty loyal to Adidas and New Balance in general.  They both seem to make shoes that fit/feel better than any other company.

3.  How many pair of running shoes do you own? (We're only counting shoes you still run in currently.)
This pair makes three.  Pearl Izumi Streak II, Adidas Swyft Cushion, and and old beaten up pair of New Balance 440s I pull out when it rains.  My Asics 2150s have been slated as work shoes; I'm too afraid to run in them and get Plantars again.

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 


Matthew Smith said...

I love them new kicks ya got there! I wonder if I would really like them, and I might just have to go check them out somewhere. Enjoy!

Aimee said...

I was given a pair of those shoes to test out and I thought they were really comfortable too!!
I'm a huge VFF/minimalist fan, so woohoo for giving them a try!!

Coy Martinez said...

I wore Asics for a long time then switched over to Mizuno's but I found that they didn't last as long as Asics. Now, with that said, I obviously wear minimal shoes from time to time and I love it. Lately I've been having some top-of-foot pain so I can only go about 5 miles.

I own about three pairs of running shoes that I use regularly.

Michael said...

A friend of mine just got those same shoes and loves them. I haven't gone totally minimalist but I do have the K-Swiss Kona series which are much lighter than normal running shoes. I love them. I still use a more structured shoe for my long runs though. I tend to try every shoe in the store on again every time it's time for a new shoe vs. just buying the same one over and over again. It's not very efficient.

Run with Jess said...

Cool shoes! I've run barefoot on a treadmill a couple times ... and gotta say I don't get it. My natural tendancy was to run practically on my tip toes! Although I would like to give the minamalist shoes a shot, but don't want to fork out the $$ for something I may not like... O'hum.

it's all about pace said...

1. the idea of buying shoes to be barefoot strikes me as funny. I'm a minimalist in that I rarely spend more than $50 on shoes.

2. I have been running in the Saucony Grid/Jazz for 14 years.

3. I have 8-10 pairs scattered between my office, my car, home