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Barefoot/Minimalist Running Shoes. Is Anyone Trying Them?

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Barefoot/Minimalist Running Shoes. Is Anyone Trying Them?

Post by Dave Tuttle on Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:32 pm

Well my calves are still bawling from transitioning into my new 0 drop running shoes too quickly. I've been running in minimalist style shoes with a heel to toe drop of 4 to 8mm for a couple of years so I thought I could handle the 0 drop with little difficulty. I ran in them 3 days in a row for a total of 14 miles last week and it was obvious that I need to slow down and ease into them. They feel really good and I think they're going to be the best yet for me but I've got to let my legs get used to the extra stretching necessary for the 0 drop. I never would have thought that just 1/4 to 1/3 of an inch less drop would need a prolonged transition but I think it will be worth it in the end. They feel very natural to me. I'm a mid foot striker and have been exploring minimal style shoes for quite a while. I find that for me they allow a more fluid stride with less jarring and particularly from heel striking on the down hills. My bad back seems to like them too.

The shoe I'm trying now is the Saucony Virrata. It's marketed as a barefoot ride yet with enough cushioning for adequate protection and that is an accurate description IMO... They must be somewhat like Gary's famous 1960's racing flats.

Anyone else have any experience with minimalist or barefoot shoes?


Last edited by Dave Tuttle on Sun Mar 29, 2015 9:22 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Barefoot/Minimalist Running Shoes. Is Anyone Trying Them?

Post by Dave Tuttle on Sun Apr 28, 2013 2:39 pm

The second week went a lot better than the first... Ran about half my miles in the new 0 drop shoes on alternate days with no muscle pain. Unfortunately they feel so good that I run faster than I should every time I'm in these shoes so I ended up too tired and had to cut my Sunday long run short today.

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Re: Barefoot/Minimalist Running Shoes. Is Anyone Trying Them?

Post by echoguy on Sun Apr 28, 2013 7:01 pm

I'm a forefoot striker Dave and tried Newtons a few years ago. I had calf trouble just walking in them, so they sit brand new in my closet while I now stay with my tried and true neutral shoes. (Asics Nimbus and Brooks Glycerin)

BTW, if you are heal striking on downhills, you should try leaning forward just a little. That will bring you to your forefoot, shorten and quicken your stride. Most importantly it keeps you from braking and slamming your heals into the ground. It is an old cross country trick, but I have found it very helpful.

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Re: Barefoot/Minimalist Running Shoes. Is Anyone Trying Them?

Post by Dave Tuttle on Mon Apr 29, 2013 5:52 pm

echoguy wrote:I'm a forefoot striker Dave and tried Newtons a few years ago. I had calf trouble just walking in them, so they sit brand new in my closet while I now stay with my tried and true neutral shoes. (Asics Nimbus and Brooks Glycerin)

BTW, if you are heal striking on downhills, you should try leaning forward just a little. That will bring you to your forefoot, shorten and quicken your stride. Most importantly it keeps you from braking and slamming your heals into the ground. It is an old cross country trick, but I have found it very helpful.

I'll try that Brian, thanks. My back and my knees don't like the pounding they get going down hill so anything to smooth it out will help. Normally I try to hold back to avoid the jarring... Maybe I need to let it rip a little more.

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Re: Barefoot/Minimalist Running Shoes. Is Anyone Trying Them?

Post by echoguy on Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:26 pm

It takes a little practice, but all you need to do it lean forward a little to move your chest just an inch or so forward. That throws your balance just a little off. It is uncomfortable at first, but you get used to it. in order to run in minimalist shoes, I think you will need to do this or walk down hills.

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Re: Barefoot/Minimalist Running Shoes. Is Anyone Trying Them?

Post by kodi30 on Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:53 am

I've always been a really bad heel striker, flat footed, wore custom orthotics and motion control shoes. I got rid of the orthotics a couple years ago and switched to stability shoes without a problem. Last year decided to work on the more midfoot landing. I'm still working at it. I've gone through a couple pair of Brooks PureCadence and like them. I recently bought a pair of Newtons (on sale for 1/2 price!) and have only worn them 3 times. They certainly are different but comfortable. I still do some hill striking but a big improvement. I keep a pair of Brooks Ravenna or something similar around since I walk on days I don't run. What I really need are some shoes that have jet engines attached. Smile

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Re: Barefoot/Minimalist Running Shoes. Is Anyone Trying Them?

Post by Marc Thayer on Sun Aug 25, 2013 9:20 am

Some interesting articles linked as well
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/08/20/213882836/golden-arches-human-feet-more-flexible-than-we-thought

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Re: Barefoot/Minimalist Running Shoes. Is Anyone Trying Them?

Post by Dave Tuttle on Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:44 pm

Thanks for posting Marc. It makes sense to me.

Just ordered 2 more pairs of my new favorite 0 drop minimalist shoe... They have a neon green sole Rachel!

http://www.roadrunnersports.com/rrs/products/SCN1038/

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Re: Barefoot/Minimalist Running Shoes. Is Anyone Trying Them?

Post by twal on Mon Aug 26, 2013 8:57 am

Here's what I've observed with minimalist shoes.

Day 0 - I'm trying out my new minimalist shoes.

Day 30 - I love these shoes. I'm going to buy a few more pairs.

Day 90 - My doctor says I'm got to stop running for 3 months because I have stress fracture/achillies tendonitis/ chrondomalachia/plantar fasciitis/ etc.

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Re: Barefoot/Minimalist Running Shoes. Is Anyone Trying Them?

Post by Rachel August on Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:32 am

tutt wrote:Thanks for posting Marc. It makes sense to me.

Just ordered 2 more pairs of my new favorite 0 drop minimalist shoe... They have a neon green sole Rachel!

http://www.roadrunnersports.com/rrs/products/SCN1038/
Nice Dave! I really like the green! You know, I've been thinking....if I forgo the shoes altogether and go barefoot - I'll be able to
1). save money and 2). show off the pretty colors I put on my toe nails..... just saying.

That might be a while though....still not running in these for more than 3 consecutive miles -

http://www.saucony.com/store/SiteController/saucony/productdetails?productId=4-111910&stockNumber=10173-1&skuId=410173-1M060&selectedWidth=M&selectedSize=6.0&showDefaultOption=true&directURL=true&CID=cse_googleprodsrch_Women's%20Mirage%203&gclid=CKbUoZ2bm7kCFY1FMgodthcAGQ

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Re: Barefoot/Minimalist Running Shoes. Is Anyone Trying Them?

Post by Rachel August on Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:34 am

twal wrote:Here's what I've observed with minimalist shoes.

Day 0 - I'm trying out my new minimalist shoes.

Day 30 - I love these shoes. I'm going to buy a few more pairs.

Day 90 - My doctor says I'm got to stop running for 3 months because I have stress fracture/achillies tendonitis/ chrondomalachia/plantar fasciitis/ etc.
Very sorry to hear this!!!!

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Re: Barefoot/Minimalist Running Shoes. Is Anyone Trying Them?

Post by kodi30 on Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:28 am

Dave, I like the looks of the shoe...and the price too. I used to run in Saucony and still like them. Even if they don't make you go faster, the looks will seem that way. Might have to consider trying them although that's really lightweight for me.

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Re: Barefoot/Minimalist Running Shoes. Is Anyone Trying Them?

Post by Dave Tuttle on Mon Aug 26, 2013 5:46 pm

This particular shoe has a bit more cushion than most minimalist shoes and with 400 plus miles, they still have some life left in them.

Everyone is different of course but I haven't had any problems going to less shoe... I did it carefully though. Prior to these shoes I wore out 3 pairs of another brand of low stack minimal shoes so I've logged well over two thousand miles in them now with no injuries. Actually, the reason I went this route in the first place was that I've been dealing with back problems for about 4 years and I wanted to lessen the jarring on my spine. I think the low stack has helped considerably.  

I like your painted toe nails idea Rachel but even if you're not quite ready to go barefoot in Syracuse, we'll still have the best looking shoes there... Unless Mel decides to enter the coolest shoes competition.   Cool

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