Posted by scott on January 20, 2010
I haven’t been posting a lot lately, many time commitments coaching hockey, holidays, etc. I also tend to post more on Twitter these days since it is so easy to do from my phone, rather than take time for a post.
Having said that, I have also been writing a lot more Gear Reviews lately, and those pages don’t show up in the feed if you subscribe to this site. So take a minute to browse those pages a bit if you are interested.
I have been trying out a lot of new gear this Winter, and am happy with a lot of things I’m using. I’m sold on merino wool as a base layer. I am also in love with my GoLite Wisp windshirt – I still can’t believe how warm it is for how light it is. I took a break from FiveFingers and Feelmax shoes to test out some New Balance 100s. This is a great shoe, and I will train in these for mid-range mileage, but I still like going minimal when I can.
Sights set on the Zumbro 100 – here we go!
Posted in Feelmax, FiveFingers, Shoes | 2 Comments »
Posted by scott on December 8, 2009
My article on minimal footwear for cold weather running was in the November issue of Silent Sports magazine – see “Less is More“. This must have been a hot issue as I was unable to find it at both my local Barnes & Noble and REI. Nice going, Joel!
Our weather is supposed to be hitting hard this week, finally several inches of snow and windchills of -5F. Might be time to rollover to the Feelmax Osmas or NB790s.
Posted in Feelmax, Shoes | 2 Comments »
Posted by scott on July 9, 2009
I am finally able to talk about this fantastic new Feelmax running shoe that I have been testing – take a look:
My eyes popped out of my head when I opened the package several weeks back. This is exactly the sort of minimalist running shoe I have been on the hunt for, and I am thrilled with how it performed. This is the most minimal running shoe I have encountered that still has traditional shoe styling without adding weight or sacrificing performance. The upper is incredibly lightweight and breathable – more breathable than the Feelmax Niesa. The shoe rides very well on the foot, and with lacing you can control the snugness.
But the fantastic improvement in this shoe is the sole. It is a fantastic balance of foot protection, flexibility, and grip. The sole is approximately as thick as the FiveFingers KSO sole, possibly a bit more. But it does not sacrifice flexibility, and even feels “softer” on the ground than FiveFingers, in a curious way. I still love my FiveFingers, but these Feelmax shoes are now a staple of my running footwear. If nothing else, it’s nice to have something still very minimal to put on when you get tired of the odd looks you get in FiveFingers, huaraches, and barefoot!
I think this is a shoe that will be incredibly appealing to Chi runners and POSE runners. If you practice one of those running styles, you need to get your hands on these. Notice these footfall prints on a recent trail run:
Take careful note of what you don’t see – any ground contact under the arch. Even though there is sole material under the arch, there is no arch support. The foot is allowed to land naturally without control or interference coming from the soling structure.
Launching to the Public
These shoes will be launched to the world next week at Outdoor Fair in Germany. So drop by the Feelmax booth and give them a look if you will be there. I’m hoping to get more details soon on US availability and/or online orderability and will certainly post that when I have it.
Thank you Feelmax for giving us this fabulous shoe!
Disclosure: I have been provided a few pairs of Feelmax shoes for testing and review purposes in exchange for my non-public feedback.
Posted in Feelmax, Shoes | 15 Comments »
Posted by scott on June 17, 2009
The continuing verdict for me is that huaraches are here to stay for summer running. It is just a blast to have the tops of your feet open to the breeze in this great summer weather. I’ve gone up to 13 miles in them just fine, only a bit of chafing from the laces but I have an answer for that. Good stuff.
However I was reminded yet again that running minimal is not without its risks. My achilles was a bit sore at the beginning of a training run last week and rather than going shorter or easier, I went all out for a 7 miler – bad call. Stretching your Achilles Tendon gradually and safely is probably the most important change that happens when you start running minimal or barefoot. You have to carefully increase distance and pace, as is often preached in marathon training. The difference is that you are much more impacted by the changes. Anyhow, I’m still resting a few days and my AT is feeling better and better so I will be back at it in no time.
I still like my New Balance 790s and will be wearing those some of the time. I will likely still race in these at Superior. But Feelmax, huaraches, and Vibram FiveFingers are the staple diet for me.
Another amusing change that happens when you run minimal is that your feet get bigger. It’s a combination of letting them get more stretched, building muscles, and increases the pads on the soles (soles are not tougher from barefooting, just thicker). I’m glad I ordered a larger pair of 790s awhile back, because my toes are bumping the front of my current pair where I used to have room. As your toes spread, FiveFingers also get much easier to put on. Many people say they initially had to struggle into them, but after a year or more they are able to slip into them standing up.
Posted in Barefoot, Feelmax, FiveFingers, Huaraches, Shoes | 3 Comments »
Posted by scott on May 28, 2009
Starting last Sunday I have done all of my runs this week in my new Vibram Cherry huarache sandals:
I have put about 20 miles in, over a variety of terrain. I did 8 miles of gravel road and trail last weekend, and the rest on asphalt, concrete, and grass next to sidewalks. I am loving these! It’s just a blast when the weather is nice to feel the sun and wind on the tops of your feet. I also don’t mind the extra bit of sole protection over pure barefoot. The only downside to these is that fact anyone who looks at you thinks you are a freak – it’s a good thing I’m used to that. Actually, most people don’t even make eye contact because they are staring at your feet. These are definitely keepers.
I also received another style of Feelmax shoes for testing. They look fantastic and felt great around the house, I can’t wait to hit the trails with them. More details soon (hopefully).
Posted in Feelmax, Huaraches, Shoes | 5 Comments »
Posted by scott on April 20, 2009
I am just getting started testing some prototype Feelmax Niesa shoes that I received from Feelmax. The short version is that these shoes are fantastic!
They wear like shoes, but have an incredibly minimal sole. You get just a bit of sole protection, but plenty of barefoot feel. I have only done a few runs in them so far – a couple on road and one on trail. I was particularly pleased with the trail performance – could definitely feel changes in terrain. I was totally comfortable for my 8-mile trail run in them yesterday. They are incredibly lightweight and soft, so with socks I don’t see any chance of blistering. More to come on these great shoes!
Posted in Feelmax, Shoes | 10 Comments »