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Archive for the ‘Shoes’ Category

Top Secret! The New Balance Minimus Zero is Coming!

Posted by scott on August 2, 2011

Wow, I seriously can’t keep up.  I have bagged about 200 miles in my New Balance Minimus shoes this summer, and haven’t yet taken time to write my review.  Shame on me!  I am loving them, my main or only complaint so far is a bit on purism… there is a slight heel lift.

Guess what?  That will be gone next Spring.  Check out these early release New Balance Minimus Zero shots.  They are going to zero drop!  I can’t wait to see more on these shoes, and test them out when the time comes.  Good stuff!



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1000 Miles on My Vibram FiveFingers KSO !!!

Posted by scott on July 25, 2011

I crossed a big milestone on the Munger State Trail near Hinckley, MN last Sunday – 1000 miles on my Vibram FiveFingers KSO.  I am still a huge fan of these, and they are my usual go-to shoes.  They are still in great shape, and have many more miles on them.  I will post a more detailed 1000-mile review soon.

More good miles to come, thanks for the memories KSOs!!



Posted in FiveFingers, Shoes, Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

New Balance 100 Review and Giveaway

Posted by scott on January 22, 2010

I had the chance to test a pair of New Balance 100s recently – very nice trail shoes.  My detailed review of the New Balance 100s includes a drawing for a free pair if you leave a tweet or comment by tomorrow, Saturday, January 23.  Give them your own test ride!

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New Gear Reviews

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 »

Minimal Footwear for Winter Running in Silent Sports Magazine

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 »

Say Hello to the New Feelmax Running Shoes

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:

Feelmax running shoes - solesFeelmax running shoes - flex 1

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:

Feelmax running shoe - print 3Feelmax running shoe - print 2

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 »

Minimal Footwear Is Here To Stay

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 »

Huarache Week

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:

Huarache Sandals - 4mm Vibram Cherry

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 »

First Miles in the Feelmax Niesa Shoes

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!

Feelmax Shoes

Feelmax Shoes Folded

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 »

Good Running Times in Cozumel

Posted by scott on March 23, 2009

Our family is just back from a week in Cozumel and we had a great time.  We were there with friends, which was great for us and great for the kids – lots of fun at the beach, snorkeling, and hanging out.  My older son and I even gave scuba a try.

I also managed to get my highest running mileage week in since taking an injury break last November – 25 miles and a long run of 9 miles.

image credit:  star5112 at flickr

image credit: star5112 at flickr

Running in Cozumel was a great time – got to run with friends whom I normally don’t run with, which was even better.  We usually just ran a service road towards town (we stayed on the North end, so this meant going South).  I convinced everyone to head North on the first day and that turned out to be a fun adventure.  Within .5 mile the road turned into dirt with tons of potholes and no evident civilization other than pickup trucks full of day labors.  Our reward at the end of 2.2 miles was a sewage treatment facility!  We turned back, and I had no more say in running routes.

I repatriated my huaraches, putting on 16 total miles in them.  This was the first time I have run in them without Injinjis.  They were great!  I’m going to love these in the summer.  It was nice to have cool feet in the hot weather, and not look quite as odd since we were near the beach (OK, I still looked very odd).

The banner run of the week was a 9 mile from our hotel (El Cozumeleno) down to Chankanab park.  This was a ton of fun – my longest run post-injury.  It was also fun to talk convince my buddy Matt mid-run that we could first turn out a 4-mile out-and-back route into a point-to-point, and then stretch the planned 8 into 9 to make a true destination run.  Good times!  Also fun to run with light gear in the heat after all this bundled up cold weather running.

Posted in Huaraches, Shoes, Training | 1 Comment »