Monday, March 20, 2017

My running shoe history - 2010 through early 2017

Over the last few years, I have amassed a large number of running shoes as I have been experimenting with barefoot and minimalist running. It seems like an oxymoron that I would have so many shoes yet still consider myself a barefoot and minimalist runner, but I have had small complaints or issues with almost every pair of running shoes I have tried. So, here is what I currently have in my personal inventory today and a few comments about how I use that shoe, or what I do not like about it.

Xero Shoes Prio [03/2017] (Blue/Black, 0mm drop) - Very similar to the Inov-8 Bare XF-210 (see below), but the Prio actually has a much wider foot shaped last! Very thin sole, mesh upper, with a huarache inspired lacing system that is very comfortable and adjustable. I have only worn these for casual use so far, but I am anxious to test them out on the roads and trails as soon as the weather gets warmer. These should be great for travel!

Xero Shoes Amuri Cloud [01/2017] (Charcoal/Lemon, 0mm drop) - Huaraches with built-in straps for fast entry and easy adjustments. Ideal for casual wear, hiking, short and long distance road/paved runs, and short distance trail runs. I got these as an exchange when I returned my broken Z-Trek's. The Amuri Cloud model is very comfortable for everyday use.

Skinners [01/2017] (Black, 0mm drop) - Almost not a shoe, but they are. They are essentially a thick sock with a puncture resistant sole. I now use these when going to and from fitness classes, and for quick errands They provide warmth in cold weather, and have the best barefoot feel of any shoe I have tried. I got a few short runs in them in December/January and so far, they appear to be very warm and durable. If I go for a barefoot run and want to carry something with me as backup, these will be what I will carry since they can roll up easily.

Xero Shoes Hana [10/2016] (Black/Rust, 0mm drop) - Casual shoe, no plans to use them for running although they would probably be idea for short road runs. The toe box is wide and comfortable.


Asics Gel Nimbus 17 [02/2016] (Red/Black, 10mm drop) - Ideal for long road/paved runs. Significant padding helps when my Achilles flares up, although I often get numb toes when running with these. Maybe I need to try a thinner insole?

Inov-8 Bare XF-210 [08/2014] (Black/Yellow, 0mm drop) - Ideal for short road runs and fitness classes. Very thin soles, very ventilated uppers.
 

Vibram FiveFingers SeeYa [06/2014] (Black/Grey, 0mm drop) - Ideal for hiking and short road and trail runs. Slip-on convenience! Got the second pair at a significant discount, and figured it would be good to have a spare since I used to use the other SeeYa's so frequently.

Xero Shoes Amuri Cloud [05/2014] (Black/Charcoal, 0mm drop) - Huaraches with built-in straps for fast entry and easy adjustments. Ideal for casual wear, hiking, short and long distance road/paved runs, and short distance trail runs. I have since customized this pair with Xero's updated heel straps, and red laces for a dash of color. Unfortunately, I have experienced a few breaks in the sole, where the lace connects, and Xero Shoes have replaced these twice under warranty. They tell me they have reinforced this problem, so hopefully I am good to go now!

Inov-8 Trailroc 235 [11/2013] (Yellow, 0mm drop) - Ideal for short and longer trail runs where the terrain is not too technical. Handles mud and snow very well.

Inov-8 Trailroc 245 [07/2013] (Red, 4mm drop) - Ideal for long, technical trail runs. Handles mud and snow very well.

Altra Instinct 1.0 [08/2012] (Black/Grey, 0mm drop) - Idea for short and long road/paved runs. Some padding, but not too much. My go-to casual (and sometimes work) shoe now. The toe box is wide and comfortable.
 Vibram FiveFingers SeeYa [08/2012] (Sunburst, 0mm drop) - Ideal for hiking and short road and trail runs. Slip-on convenience! My favorite VFF's!

Merrell Embark Glove [11/2012] (Orange, 0mm drop) - Gore-Tex version of the Trail Glove, perfect for cold and wet weather. Very waterproof, but not very breathable. Can wear with or without socks and still stay warm. These rub by heels and cause blisters, even with socks, because the heel cup is very rigid, but even with that problem, I still use them when conditions warrant since they are my only true waterproof shoe.

Vibram FiveFingers KSO Trek [09/2010] (Black, 0mm drop) - Leather, ideal for colder weather hiking and short road and trail runs. These do not see much use any more, but I am holding on to them since they are discontinued and would still function well.

Semi-retired:

Hoka One One Challenge ATR 2 [03/2016-TBD] (Grey/Citrus, 5mm drop) - Originally purchased while I was experiencing Achilles flares, but caused other problems, so they are now gathering dust. I have kept them around because they are still fully functional. I did recently use them with my snowshoes and they worked well.

Vibram FiveFingers Bikila LS [10/2011] (Grey/Green, 0mm drop) - I don't use these often. I keep them by the treadmill and only use them when running indoors. They are a little big on me, but I never took the time to go back and return or exchange them for a smaller size.


Merrell Trail Glove [08/2010-TBD] (Black/Red, 0mm drop) - My first minimalist trail running shoe. After trying several VFF KSO's, I found these and used them everywhere. They fit best without socks, and then they really fit like a glove. Ideal for hiking, and short and long distance trail running. I should retire these, but since they have no padding to wear out, they are still usable!

Retired:

Xero Shoes Z-Trek [03/2015-11/2016] (Red, 0mm drop) - Used for short distance trail running, but the strap eventually broke from the sole during a run, so they were returned, under warranty.

New Balance Minimus Road MR10 [03/2012-02/2017] (Red/Black, 4mm drop) - Ideal for casual walking, and short road runs when I need a little padding.

New Balance Minimus Road MR00 [01/2012-02/2017] (Yellow/White, 0mm drop) - Ideal for casual walking, and short distance road running. They have some padding, but it is very minimal.

New Balance Minimus Trail Zero [11/2010-Unknown] (Blue/Black, 4mm drop) - Retired after I wore out the uppers to the point where they were almost sandals!

Vibram FiveFingers KSO [06/2011-07/2014] (Grey/Green, 0mm drop) - Barely used this pair, and sold these to a friend at a steep discount while they were still like-new.

Vibram FiveFingers KSO [03/2011-02/2017] (Black/Grey/Camo, 0mm drop) - Idea for hiking and short road and trail runs. I just don't use them any more as I prefer the SeeYa when I want to wear FiveFingers.


Mizuno Wave Precision 11 [2011-02/2017] (White/Blue, 14mm drop) - Used for short and long distance road/paved running while I was dealing with tendonitis in my left foot many years ago.

Brooks Cascadia 6 [2011-02/2017] (Blue/Grey, 10mm drop) - Used for short and long distance trail running while I was dealing with tendonitis in my left foot many years ago.


Saucony Progrid Kinvara [09/2010-2011] (White/Red, 10.5mm drop) - My first road running shoe. Got me through some tendonitis in my left foot when I did too much too soon with the Vibram's. These were too 'squishy' for me and they fell apart quickly.

Vibram FiveFingers Classic [05/2010-2014] (Grey/Green, 0mm drop) - My first VFF's... used these for a lot of hiking (including a trip to Sedona, AZ) and lots of casual use.

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