Thursday, June 16, 2011

Looking for my mini

I've had these Vibram KSO's for bout a year. They got to hang out a bit here and there, mostly indoors, and they got to travel to Colombia for some beach and hiking fun, but until I heard Chris McDougal and Eric Orton talk last Saturday at Bookcourt and participated in the Naked Run I hadn't dared to run in them

The transition from motion stability to neutral to minimail has been slow, but I've decided it's time to take a leap and I'm ditching my regular shoes.

While I found myself a pair of minimalists I went on a few runs in the vibrams. They were unexpectedly fun, but I think it will be a while before I'll be able to run a half marathon in them, if ever.

I'll blog about the transition, the Aha! moment, and my first few runs with the KSO's later, but for now I'm going to jump straight to the shoes.

I went to Jack Rabbit Brooklyn looking for a non five-fingers minimalists. I tried and discarded two. The Merrel Pace Glove felt great on, but felt awkward running. The New Balance Minimus Trail felt great on and off the treadmill, but there seemed too much of a gap at the heel.

Enter Zappos.

I ordered the Sauconi Hattori (above). Extremely light, but I could tell it wouldn't work for me. It has a some outer arch support protection. It was fine on my right foot, but my left one has suffered some abuse in the past which affected the fit. I've torn my plantar fascia. That sometimes makes my left foot chub and squish out to the side. With the Hattori, my foot spilled over that support and I could tell that would be a hot spot while running. If you look at it carefully, you can see a tiny skinny red arrow pointing to the spot. Clearly I need to work on my photo editing skills.

Otherwise the shoe felt amazing. Wish it had fit me better at the arch.

Next was the VivoBarefoot Neo by Terra Plana. The sizing is different and even though I used the chart, it was clownishly big. The shoes seemed very nice - flat, light, comfortable - but because of the size I had to return them without even trying them on a treadmill.

Running in my vibrams was going well, but I was too impatient to wait to return the VivoBarefoot to get new ones - and my wallet could not stand carrying too many shoes at a time while the returns went through. So I decided to hit some running stores on Friday. Will tell you about that next. For now I'll just leave you with a gratuitous picture of mud. The KSO's do very well in the mud. Everyone else's shoes were shucked off their feet while I got to keep my grippy ones. This was while hiking with my brother in the Parque Tairona last December.

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