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My Minimalist Running Shoe Comparison

  • Wednesday, August 04 2010 @ 10:59 PM UTC
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Running and Fitness

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Below is a list of my running footwear, how many miles I have put on them, and some opinion about each.

I also thought it would also be amusing to include my wife's initial reaction upon first seeing each type of shoe.

Sorted by mileage:

* Nike Free Run+
63 miles
My Nike Free Run Plus have become my primary training shoe and are getting most of my mileage. They are forgiving for tired legs or sub-optimal technique (remember that I am using a fore-foot or mid-foot strike). The heel is raised higher than I would like, but for now I'm happy the Frees. They work well on both road and trails and are allowing me to run plenty of miles. I've started to see signs of wear in the seams so it will be interesting to see how long they last.
Wife: "How much did THOSE cost?"

* Barefoot
13 miles
I run barefoot as much as I can. The soles of my feet are the limiting factor here. As my technique improves I am able to go further and faster on asphalt and concrete without rubbing blisters on the bottoms of my feet... but most of my barefoot miles are on trails. My favorite barefoot route is about 2.5 miles.
Wife: She only makes comments when I leave muddy footprints on the floor.

* VFF (Vibram FiveFingers) Bikila
13 miles
I described these in Vibram FiveFingers Bikila. I have a love/hate relationship with my VFF. On one hand, my fastest training run pace this year was in my Vibrams. On the other hand, they sometimes trigger Top of Foot Pain (TOFP) / Tendinitis.
Wife: They look "bionic" or like "virtual reality gloves for my toes".

* Huarache Sandals
7 miles
I described these in Huarache Sandals. I have not put many miles on these. On my easy days I tend to grab the VFF or just go barefoot instead of messing with the huaraches. The lacing takes me too long and the knot under the toe is still bothersome.
Wife: "Those look ridiculous." I think the fact that I chose purple shoe laces did not help here.

* RunAmoc
4 miles
I have said before that I really wanted to like my RunAmoc running moccasins from Soft Star Shoes. They just don't fit right for me to run in them. I do like to wear them as casual shoes, though. Being bright red, they tend to attract a lot of comments. People ask if they are comfortable and absolutely they are.
Wife: "Those look hideous" and "Are you really going to wear those in public?"

By the way, I'm tracking my mileage at dailymile. By attaching "gear" to each workout I can easily keep track of how many miles are going onto each footwear.
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