Right before my last half I NEEDED new shoes and since I had been looking into this whole minimalist thing I decided I would order an extra pair of shoes (a pair of minimalist) along with my normal Asics. I figured since running warehouse offers free shipping I would just send them back if I didn’t like them. After looking into my options I decided on the Saucony Kinvara, a minimalist shoe for the neutral runner. When my shoes arrived, the Asics I normally wear had a different lacing system and it was very uncomfortable. When I put on the Sauconys I immediately noticed how light they felt in comparison to my Asics. It felt like I was wearing nothing! How could a few ounces make such a difference? I couldn’t wait to try running in them. The first time I ran in them I was hooked! I had to make myself slow down! They changed the way my foot struck the ground and I was actually running faster. Yes! the shoes made me faster! I started calling them mama’s magic running shoes. BUT, I could feel every nook and cranny on the street. After about a week of running in them my legs were feeling a bit beat-up. I could tell they were not giving my feet or legs the cushioning I needed. I started to experience pain in areas I had not hurt in a long while. Problem was I was running out of time to find a new pair of regular running shoes and I LOVED THESES SHOES! Fast-forward…after trying numerous pairs of shoes to replace my Asics, I had no choice but to run in them for my last ½, but my legs felt pretty beat-up toward the end. Since the 1/2 I have been looking into finding a new daily trainer and have found the Brooks Ghost to be a good replacement for my Asics. The only problem is when I put on the Brooks shoes they feel like lead weights now. I also notice the tendency to heel strike in the Brooks. The Sauconys promote a more mid foot strike. So what’s my conclusion…I think for injury sake and training I am sticking with my Brooks. When I drop some weight I plan to give the Sauconys another try and see how my legs feel. I love the more natural stride the minimalist shoe promotes, and I truly believe this causes me to run faster. I’m hooked on the minimalist shoes but my legs tell a different story.
Just an added note here; with my new found love for the minimalist shoe I also tried the Brooks Launch which offers a tad more cushioning. I never ran in them because they were so narrow and hurt just to put on. If these come in a wide I may give them another try later on down the road.
I would love to know your thoughts…have you tried minimalist shoes? Do you recommend them?