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Posts Tagged ‘minimalist’

Hoka One One Trail Running Shoes

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

hoka-one-one-trail-running-shoesThe Hoka One One Trail Running Shoes movement may be moving down the trail next.  From minimalist trail running shoes comes the complete opposite, the Hoka One One.  The Hoka One One was invented by Nicolas Mermoud and Jean Luc Diard of France, who had previously worked at Salomon.  From an adventure race in Sicily was born a love for running over mountains and on trails.  Nicolas and Jean wanted a trail running shoe that they could fly downhills even if they were heel striking (opposite of minimalist again).  They came up with the Hoka One One Trail Running Shoes.

The Hoka One One soles are 2.5 times larger than traditional trail running shoes which is what sets them apart from other trail runners.  Hoka claims the foam gives a 30% softer ride and is able to dissipate 80% of the impact of a heel strike.  Even though the shoes look bulky, they are relatively light, 15% lighter than traditional trail running shoes.  There is a 13 cm rockering profile at the toe which provides a spring in your step when running on flat or uphill terrain.  According to Hoka, the low ramps angle also allows for tremendous confidence running downhill, engaging the gluteus and lower back, as opposed to isolating the quads like traditional downhill trail running.  The bottom of the shoe has 50% more surface area so you run straight over rocks and roots without feeling anything or changing your stride.  Like a mountain bike barreling down a hill rolling over every obstacle in its path rather than avoiding them.  The sole is etched with large lugs, also like mountain bike tires, for the best possible grip.  The Hoka One One was invented so trails runners could run fast over any surface and any terrain.

What do you think?  Anyone ever try these?

New Women’s Vibram Five Fingers Minimalist Running Shoes

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

I went to Outdoor Retailer this year and got some good information about the new and the old models of Vibram FiveFingers coming out.  Here is some information from Vibram themselves that may help you make your decision about which one is best for you:

New Women’s FiveFingers Jaya(MSRP $85.00) The Vibram FingeFingers Jaya fosters grace and power in a minimalist design.  Created specifically for the modern fitness enthusiast, the stretch nylon upper and padded collar comfortable secure the foot during exercise.  The athletic upper provides coverage that will secure the Jaya on the foot.  The 5.5 mm EVA sole makes the Jaya one of the lightest models in our collection.  Strategically placed Vibram TC1 performance rubber pads provide grip and durability to this unique sole design.  The Jaya can be worn for a variety of indoor and outdoor fitness activities requiring balance, agility, and power.  These shoes are great for fitness and after sport.

New Women’s Five Fingers Jaya LR(MSPR $100) Sleek leather overlays and feminine topline differentiate the Vibram FiveFingers Jaya LR.  Don’t be fooled, this new model for Spring 2011 will stand up to high reps and grueling intervals – all in a foot-flattering design.  The 5.5mm EVA sole makes the Jaya LR one of the lightest models in our collection.  Strategically placed Vibram TC1 performance rubber pads provide grip and durability to this unique sole design.  The Jaya LR can be worn for a variety of indoor and outdoor fitness activities requiring balance, agility, and power.  These shoes are great for fitness and after sport.

vibram-five-fingers-womens-treksportWomen’s FiveFingers Treksport ($99.95) Building on the success of versatility of the KSO and KSO Trek, Vibram FiveFingers presents the TrekSport.  Our TrekSport offers a 4mm EVA midsole for plating and protection and a lightly cleated 4mm Vibram performance rubber outsole for added traction on a variety of surfaces.  The Coconut Active Carbon upper offers natural breathability and abrasion resistance for maximum performance during your outdoor and athletic pursuits.  This shoes is good for light trekking, climbing/bouldering, running, and fitness.

Women’s FiveFingers KSO Trek($125.00) The Women’s KSO Trek is more rugged version of our popular KSO.  The vibram-five-fingers-womens-kso-trekkangaroo leather upper and sock liner are soft against the foot, yet strong and tear resistant, with outstanding breathability.  A 4mm EVA midsole offers plating protection from stone bruising, and lightly cleated 4mm Vibram performance rubber outsole delivers improved traction on trails and over more rugged terrain.  These shoes are great for light trekking, running, climbing/bouldering, and fitness.

vibram-five-fingers-womens-flowWomen’s FiveFingers Flow($90.00) The FiveFingers Flow was specifically designed for use in water or in cooler temperatures.  A 2mm Neoprene upper and EVA footbed provide thermal insulation and protection.  The sole features razor siped IdroGrip performance rubber for added slip resistance over a variety of surfaces.  While more slip resistant, the IdroGrip rubber is a marking compound.  These shoes are great for light trekking, climbing/bouldering, running, and water sports.

Check out more Women’s Vibram FiveFingers.

Or check out some Men’s Vibram FiveFingers styles.

Women’s Minimalist Running Shoes: Vibram Five Fingers

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

After days of going over Men’s Vibram FiveFingers, it’s the Women’s turn now.  Vibram had their new collection of minimalist running shoes along with their old favorites at Outdoor Retailer this year.  They told me all about them and here’s what they said:

New Vibram Women’s FiveFingers KomodoSport: (MSRP $100) With today’s athlete in mind, Vibram FiveFingers has raised the intensity with Vibram FiveFingers KomodoSport.  This aggressive multisport design inherits what we love about the KSO with functional improvements that appeal to the most active fitness enthusiast.  For the first time ever, Vibram introduces a stitch-free, seamless 2mm footbed to reduce friction.  Heel and instep hook-and-loop closures help secure the stretch nylon upper to the contours of your foot-just like a second skin.  The KomodoSport wouldn’t be complete without a 4 mm Vibram TC1 performance rubber outsole which provides the grip and protection you need for a variety of cross training activities.  These shoes are good for running and fitness.

vibram-five-fingers-womens-kso1Vibram Women’s FiveFingers KSO($85.00) Over the last two years, the KSO has become the most popular model for women due to its comfort and versatility.  A thin, abrasion-resistant stretch nylon and breathable mesh upper wraps your entire forefoot to “Keep Stuff Out,” and a single hook-and-loop closure helps secure the fit.  A non-marking 3.5mm Vibram TC1 performance rubber outsole is razor-siped for a sure grip, and a 2mm EVA insole enhances plating protection and comfort.  These shoes are good for light trekking, climbing/bouldering, running, fitness, after sport, water sports, yoga and pilates.

Vibram Women’s FiveFingers Sprint: ($80.00) The lightweight and open design of the Sprint has made the is model a long-time vibram-five-fingers-womens-sprintfavorite.  Adjustable hook-and-loop closures across the instep and around the heel deliver a comfortable, secure fit.  A thin stretch nylon fabric comfortably follow the contour of the foot.  And a flexible, non-marking 3.5mm Vibram TC-1 performance rubber sole is razor-siped for improved flexibility and slip resistance.  These shoes are good for climbing/bouldering, running, fitness, after sport, water sports, yoga and pilates.

vibram-five-fingers-womens-classicVibram Women’s FiveFingers Classic: ($75.00)From day one, the FiveFingers Classic has drawn the attention and praise of the press and active barefoot enthusiasts alike.  Available for women and men, our original FiveFingers design takes a more casual and minimalist approach to barefooting.  The upper features a thin stretch nylon fabric that fits low on the foot.  Our non-marking 3.5mm Vibram TC1 performance rubber soles are razor siped for improved flexibility and slip resistance  over a  variety of terrain.  These shoes are good for fitness, running, after sport, yoga and pilates.

vibram-five-fingers-womens-bikilaVibram Women’s FiveFingers Bikila($99.95) Unlike any running shoe on the market today, the Bikila was the first model designed specifically for a more natural, healthier, and more efficient forefoot strike.  While many have been running in their Vibram FiveFiners for years, the Bikila is Vibram’s first model designed specifically for near barefoot running.  Built on an entirely new platform, the Bikila features a Dri-Lex covered 3mm polyurethane insole (thickets under the ball) and a 4mm anatomical pod outsole design that offers more plating protection, and distributes forefoot impact without compromising important ground feedback essential to a proper forefoot strike running form.  A more athletic padded collar and topline, a single hook and loop closure, a 3M reflective surfaces, and tear resistant TPU toe protection finish off this breakthrough design.  These shoes are great for running and fitness.

New Vibram Women’s FiveFingers Bikila LS(MSRP $100) Following in the footsteps of the original Vibram FiveFingers Bikila, the new Bikila LS offers a closed speed lace system to accommodate the wider foot or higher instep.  It shares the same revolutionary platform as the Bikila, featuring a Dri-Lex covered 3mm polyurethane insole (thickets under the ball) and a 4mm anatomical pod outsole design.  This combination provides superior plating protection and distributes forefoot impact without compromising essential ground feedback.  The bIkila LS upper is constructed of Coconut Active Carbon for natural breathability.  An athletic padded collar and topline, 3M reflective surfaces, and abrasion resistant PU toe protection add to Bikila LS road worthy design.  The defining feature of the Bikila LA is its closed quick lace system assuring a custom fit for a wider range of foot types.  These shoes are great for fitness and running.

Check out more Women’s Vibram FiveFingers.

Or check out some of the Men’s Vibram FiveFingers styles.

Men’s Vibram Five Fingers Minimalist Running Shoes

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

I went to Outdoor Retailer a couple of weeks ago and checked out the Vibram Five Fingers booth.  Although they didn’t allow me to take any pictures (must be some top secret technology they’ve developed) I was able to get the run down of their new FiveFingers minimalist running shoes and some more information on their older models too.  Check them out:

New Men’s Vibram FiveFingers Bikila LS (MSRP $100.00) Following in the footsteps of the original Vibram FiveFingers Bikila, the new Bikila LS offers a closed speed lace system to accommodate a wider foot or higher instep.  It shares the same revolutionary platform as the Bikila, featuring a Dri-Lex covered 3mm polyurethane insole (thickest under the ball) and a 4 mm anatomical pod outsole design.  This combination provides superior plating protection and distributes forefoot impact without compromising essential ground feedback.  The Bikila LS upper is constructed of Coconut Active Carbon for natural breathability.  An athletic padded collar and topline, 3M reflective surfaces, and abrasion resistant PU toe protection add to Bikila LS road worthy design.  The defining feature of the Bikila LS is its closed quick lace system assuring a custom fit for a wider range of foot type.  These shoes are made for running and fitness.

vibram-fivefingers-mens-treksportMen’s Vibram FiveFingers TrekSport($99.95) Building on the success and versatility of the KSO and KSO Trek, Vibram FiveFingers presents the TreakSport.  The TrekSport offers a 4mm EVA midsole for plating protection and a lightly cleated 4mm Vibram performance rubber outsole for added traction on a variety of surfaces.  The Coconut Active Carbon upper offers natural breathability and abrasion resistance for maximum performance during your outdoor and athletic pursuits.  These are shoes are made for light trekking, climbing/bouldering, running, and fitness.

Men’s Vibram FiveFingers KSO Trek($125.00) The Men’s KSO Trek is a more rugged version of our popular KSO.  The vibram-fivefingers-mens-kso-trekkangaroo leather upper and sock liner are soft against the foot, yet strong and tear resistant, with outstanding breathability.  A 4 mm EVA midsole offers plating protection from stone bruising, and a lightly cleated 4mm Vibram performance rubber outsole delivers improved traction on trails and over more rugged terrain.  The Vibrams are good for light trekking, climbing/bouldering, running, and fitness.

vibram-fivefingers-mens-flowMen’s Vibram FiveFingers Flow($90.00) The FiveFingers Flow was specifically designed for use in water or in cooler temperatures.  A 2mm Neoprene upper and EVA footbed provide thermal insulation and protection.  The outsole features razor siped IdroGrip performance rubber for added slip resistance over a variety of surfaces.  While more slip resistant, the IdroGrip rubber is a marking compound.  These are good for light trekking, climbing/bouldering, running, and water sports.

Men’s Vibram FiveFingers Classicvibram-fivefingers-mens-classic($75.00) From day one the FiveFingers Classic has drawn the attention and praise of the press and active barefoot enthusiasts alike.  Available for men and women, our original FiveFingers design takes a more casual and minimalist approach to barefooting.  The upper features a thin stretch nylon fabric that fits low on the foot.  Our non-marking 3.5mm Vibram TC1 performance rubber soles are razor-siped for improved flexibly and slip resistance over a variety of terrain.  These are good for barefoot runners, fitness, yoga and pilates.

Check out more Vibram FiveFingers Men’s Styles.

Or check out some of the Women’s Vibram FiveFingers.

Men’s Vibram FiveFingers Minimalist Running Shoes

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

At Outdoor Retailer this year Vibram had a lot of action at their booth.  Probably because of the surge in popularity that they have seen lately.  The reps from Vibram wouldn’t let me take any pictures (must be some top secret stuff), but they did show me all of the new styles along with the old ones and gave me some information to take home with me.

Vibram Five Fingers is a revolutionary footwear design that allows our anatomy to work naturally and move more freely.  According to Vibram, Five Fingers is footwear that can actually help make the foot healthier, that can strengthen muscles in the feet and lower legs, improve range of motion and increase sensory reception import to balance and agility.  Vibrams make running safer and healthier, bnew-picturey encouraging forefoot strike and a more natural running form that creates less impact on the knees, hips and lower back.  After running for many years and being injured, Vibram has my attention.  Whether you are trail running, road running, or cross-training, Vibram Five Fingers has a style for you.  Here are the styles that Vibram has in store for Men to go running in:

NEW Men’s Vibram FiveFingers Komoto Sport (pictured left): (MSRP $100) Vibram FiveFingers has raised the intensity with the Vibram FiveFingers KomodoSport.  This aggressive multisport design inherits what we love about the KSO with functional improvements that appeal to the most active fitness enthusiast.  For the first time ever, Vibram introduces a stitch-free, seamless 2 mm footbed to reduce friction.  Heel and instep hook-and-loop closures help secure the stretch nylon upper to the contours of your foot-just like a second skin.  The KomodoSport wouldn’t be complete without a 4mm Vibram 4mm TC1 performance rubber outsole which provides the grip and protection needed for a variety of cross training activities.  These shoes are great for running and fitness.Vibram Five Fingers KSO Men's

Men’s Vibram FiveFingers KSO: ($85.00) Over the past two years, the KSO has become the most popular model for men due to its comfort and versatility.  A thin, abrasion-resistant, stretch nylon and breathable mesh upper wraps your entire forefoot to “Keep Stuff Out,” and a single hook-and-loop closure helps secure a fit.  A non-marking 3.5mm Vibram TC1 performance rubber outsole is razor-siped for a sure grip, and a 2mm EVA insole enhances plating protection and comfort.  These shoes are great for light trekking, climbing/bouldering, running, fitness, after sports, water sports, yoga and pilates.

vibram-five-fingers-sprint-mensMen’s Vibram FiveFingers Sprint: ($80.00) The lightweight and open design of the Sprint has made this model a long-time favorite.  Adjustable hook-and-loop closures across the instep and around the heel deliver a comfortable, secure fit.  A thin stretch nylon fabric comfortably follows the contour of the foot.  And a flexible, non-marking 3.5mm Vibram TC1 performance rubber sole is razor-siped for improved flexibility and slip resistance.  These shoes are great for climbing/bouldering, running, fitness, after sport, water sports, yoga and vibram-five-fingers-bikila-menspilates.

Men’s Vibram FiveFingers Bikila: ($99.95) Unlike any running shoes on the market today, the Bikila was their first model designed specifically for a more natural, healthier, and more efficient forefoot strike.  While many folks have been running in their Vibram FiveFingers for years, the Bikila is their first model designed specifically for a more natural running experience.  Built on an entirely new platform, the Bikila features a Dri-Lex covered 3 mm polyurethane insole (thickest under the ball) and a 4 mm anatomical pod outsole design that offers more plating protection, and distributes forefoot impact without compromising important ground feedback essential to a proper forefoot strike running form.  A more athletic padded collar and topline, a single hook and loop closure, 3M reflective surfaces, and tear resistant TPU toe protection finish off this breakthrough design.  These shoes are good for running and fitness.

Check out more Vibram FiveFingers Men’s styles.

Or check out some of the Women’s Vibram FiveFingers styles.

New Balance 101 Minimalist Trail Running Shoes Review

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

new-balance-men-101-minimalist-trail-running-shoesI got to take home a pair of the new New Balance 101 Minimalist Trail Running Shoes from Outdoor Retailer a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been taking them for test spins on my trail runs ever since.  I’m not new to New Balance minimalist trail running shoes, I checked out the 101′s father, the New Balance MT100 minimalist trail running shoes a while back and really liked them.  The 101s have the same genes as their father, but they have a personality all of their own.  Acting like your father isn’t cool; unless your dad is Willis Haviland Carrier or something….

The New Balance 101 minimalist trail running shoes have the same exact sole as their father.  Just like the 100s, “The heel of the shoe is made up of cut outs for rear traction.  This really helped when I was runningnew-balance-101-minimalist-trail-running-shoe over some sandy and rocky terrain as I was able to push off better.  The midsole tread looks like someone took an ice cream scooper and scooped out pieces of the sole.  My guess is that this is to reduce the weight of the shoe, as well as increase flexibility and breathability.  You won’t be getting any dirt, mud, or rocks caught in these cylinder shaped holes.  The front tread is made up of some smaller ice cream scoops but mostly squares around triangles which lend for good traction while still giving you ample feeling of the trail.”  Honestly, who quotes thyself?  I do I guess.  The midsole is very flexible which allows the shoe to bend like your foot does, giving you the minimalist feel.  However, the soles are tough enough (are you tough enough NKOTB?) that I’ve run on all types of gnarly terrain in these babies and the bottom of my feet haven’t hurt yet.  This son understood what his father meant when he said to make sure to always have protection.

new-balance-101-minimalist-trail-running-shoesThe biggest difference in the New Balance 101 is the shape of the front of the shoe.  The protection strip in the front is made of a sturdier plastic and covers more area than the MT100s did.  An upgrade for sure.  The toe area also seems to be wider than than the New Balance Trail 100s too.  I really like this difference because it gives my toes more freedom to move around while I run, allowing the shoe to harness the benefits of minimalist running.

There is less cushioning in the New Balance 101s than the 100s, but you won’t notice it when you run.  They’re minimalist trail running shoes, so if you looking for cushioning then you should check out a pair of cushioned trail running shoes, not these running shoes.  There is an area for your foot to rest if you have high arches, but the NB 101 minimalists don’t have any arch support.  It’s about time you stopped supporting your arches, they’re well over 18 now.

The upper is a synthetic mesh which keeps the New Balance 101 Minimalist Trail Running shoes dry and breathable.  I ran these straight through a couple of creeks and new-balance-101-minimalist-trail-running-shoe-reviewthey were dry in a matter of steps; as you can see from my picture to the right!  They also have New Balance’s Sure Lace technology but let’s get serious, did shoe laces really need new technology to keep them from becoming untied?  I have my own Sure Lace technology, it’s called double knotting.  There is more fabric on the lip of the tongue (make sense?) than the New Balance MT 100s which is nice because it keeps the ultra-lightweight tongue from getting stuck down in your shoe.

Overall, these are very legit minimalist trail running shoes.  Not many changes from the New Balance 100s, but if it aint broke, don’t fix it.  New Balance did come out with the new fly green color.  Check out the other colors when New Balance releases the 101 Minimalist Trail Running Shoes to the public!  Hope you enjoyed the sneak peek!

Terra Plana Vivobarefoot Evo Running Shoe Review

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

vivobarefoot-evo-minimalist-running-shoesGalahand Clarck, a 6th generation shoemaker, took over eco-friendly shoe company Terra Plana.  At the time he noticed an old university friend of his who introduced him to the benefits of natural movement.  Clark, who previously lived in China already understood the importance of foot health through his exposure to Eastern medicine, began talking to experts, coaches, and biomechanic experts.  In 2004, with the help of podiatrists and movement specialists, Terra Plana developed Vivobarefoot with a mission to improve posture, sensory perception, and general well-being.  Weird, I thought Chris McDougall was the first person to realize the benefits of barefoot running.

The Vivobarefoot Evo has a patented vivobarefoot-evo-minimalist-running-shoe-reviewultra-thin puncture resistant rubber sole which allows Vivobarefoot to offer all the health benefits of being barefoot with the protection of normal running shoes.  I started running in these on the roads, but quickly moved to the trails and they held up just as well on the tough terrain of trail running.

The bottom of Vivobarefoot Evo is made of an ultra thin rubber that is very bendable.  You can fold these shoes in half and stick them in a backpack if you decide it’s time to run naked; barefoot I mean.  Although the bottom is thin, it is still made of very tough rubber.  You barely feel the ground in these shoes when running on any type of surface.  The soles have small hexagons evenly across the entire bottom except for where the arch is.  I hypothesize that this is to save some of the weight from the shoe, why put traction on a portion of the shoe that doesn’t touch the ground?  These lightweight minimalist running shoe soles protect your feet and have something that your feet don’t, traction.

The upper is made of a very thin fabric with a plastic honeycomb on it.  Apparently it’s a TPU cage with lightweight mesh and microfiber reinforcements to provide maximum breathability.  Well I can attest that they breath really well, and you don’t even feel the sides of the shoes when running which gives even more of a barefoot feel.

vivobarefoot-evo-minimalist-running-shoeThere is a thin insert in the bottom of the shoe that gives you a little cushioning.  Although there is cushioning, it’s done the right way for a minimalist running shoe, it’s distributed evenly across the foot so your running style doesn’t favor landing on your heel like in traditional running shoes.  The shoes are made to fit loose so your foot can move naturally like when barefoot running.  The front of the shoe is wider than the back to allow your toes to move around while running.  However, this makes for a loose fit with a tighter fit in the heel so your foot doesn’t come out of the shoe.  I got blisters from the heal the first time I ran in the Vivobarefoot Evos but I blister easily, just make sure you wear socks with these shoes the first couple of times you run in them.

I also really like the look of them.  They look a bit like a 80s European style, which of course is awesome.  I plan to wear these out around town so I’ll always feel like I’m barefoot!  These shoes are perfect for anyone who wants to make the transition to minimalist running shoes, just remember to also change your running style when making the minimalist transition and get on the trails!

Minimalist Running Techniques and Instructions

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Above is a video of a test run with minimalist running shoes, Vivobarefoot EVOs, I did with Lee Saxby at Outdoor Retailer.  Lee cured Chris McDougall’s, who authored the book Born to Run, plantar fasciitis with his minimalist running techniques and instructions.  So I jumped on the treadmill to see what Lee could teach me about minimalist running to cure my own knee injury.  Since I was on a treadmill and not running a lot of miles the pain difference in my knees between the minimalist running shoes and my trail running shoes was marginal; however, I did learn how to run in minimalist running shoes.  Many runners overlook the fact that you need to change your running style when making the transition to a minimalist running shoe.  Before you put on your new vibram five fingers or minimalist running shoes and go for a 20 mile run you need to make sure you are running in them properly.  Here are some tips on how to correctly begin running in minimalist running shoes:

Head and Chest Forward: Minimalist runners should keep their head and chest leading their body, not leaning back which is what most of us do when running.  Make sure not to lean forward at your waist but rather tilt at the ankles.  This will help your feet strike underneath your body instead of in front of it.

Strike Under Your Body: Minimalist runners need to strike directly underneath their body so their center of gravity is positioned directly under the foot strike.  As the foot makes contact with the ground, tendons, and elastic components of certain muscles stretch beyond their natural length, thereby capturing and storing injury from the impact.  If you strike directly under your body, the rest of your body absorbs the impact instead of your knees.  The timed and coordinated muscle actions direct the energy back into the ground, sending your body upward and forward instead of side to side.

Arms swing Forward and Back: Minimalist runners want to make sure their arms move forward and back and have little side to side movements.  This allows your body to run straight up and down without encouraging movement in the rest of your body from side to side, which leads to injury.  Your elbows should never cross forward past your torso.  Keep them close to your chest with a compact swing.

Land on the front of your Foot: Minimalist runners need to make sure that they land first on the front of their foot rather than their heel.  Part of the debate around minimalist running shoes is that traditional running shoes have cushioning in the heel which has lead runners to begin heel striking rather than a natural front foot strike.  As you can see from my video, most of us strike on the back of our heels, concentrate on landing on the balls of your feet.  Remember, you don’t have to run on your toes; allow your entire foot to touch the ground, just roll from your toes all the way back to your heels.

Rhythm: Concentrate on developing a rhythm by counting 1,2,3,4 over and over as you run.  This will keep your strikes balanced, mitigating emphasizing one leg over the other in your new minimalist running mechanics.

Unfortunately, Lee suggests starting on the roads to hone the technique before running on uneven surfaces like trails.  I suggest you don’t have to do everything Lee tells you.

New Balance MT100s Trail Running Shoe Review

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

new-balance-mt100-trail-running-shoeI first became injured on May 19th of last year with Jumper’s Knee.  Over the past year I have been nursing this injury, never fully recovering.  I have undergone countless physical therapy sessions, MRIs, multiple X-rays, a plethora of doctors’ touching my knees, different types of knee braces, and everything else you can think of to subside this injury to no avail.  What was left for me to try?  Minimalist Running shoes.

I received a pair of New Balances’ MT100s Trail Running Shoes and thought this must be a sign to take the first step…running.  The New Balance MT 100s (WT 100s for women) are New Balances’ new version of the New Balance 790s.  Since I had never tried minimalist running before I decided to try the New Balance 100s as my minimalist shoe because they offer more support than something like Vibram Five Fingers and are tough enough for the trail, which is where I run mostly.  I started with a little street running in these trail running shoes, only to get to the trail.  My philosophy is you can’t drive to the trailhead if you are within running distance.

When I first started I ran down a hill in front of my house and could really feel the pounding on my feet.  This probably had a lot to do with the fact that I had never run in minimalist shoes, and these were made for trails, not asphalt; and not to mention I was running down a steep hill.  However, if you are looking for cushioning and comfort then these are not the shoes for you.  If you want a fast ride and to feel the trail but still have some protection, the MT100s could be your new trail running shoes!

new-balance-mt-100-trail-running-shoesThe heel of the shoe is made up of cut outs for rear traction.  This really helped when I was running over some sandy and rocky terrain as I was able to push off better.  The midsole tread looks like someone took an ice cream scooper and scooped out pieces of the sole.  My guess is that this is to reduce the weight of the shoe, as well as increase flexibility and breathability.  You won’t be getting any dirt, mud, or rocks caught in these cylinder shaped holes.  The front tread is made up of some smaller ice cream scoops but mostly squares around triangles which lend for good traction while still giving you ample feeling of the trail.

The Rockstop embedded into the forefoot provides decent protection from sharp rocks and roots.  The puncture-resistant toe material in the toe wrap also helps provide some lightweight protection from trail debris, but I would be careful out there, it isn’t built like your normal trnew-balance-mt100s-trail-running-shoesail running shoes.

The midsole resists compression sets which allows it to bend, feeling more like running barefoot.  However, there is some cushioning in this sole.  I didn’t have any aches or pains in my feet after taking these bad boys on a 6 mile trail run.  There is a little arch support from the rubber that wraps around the sole which helps if you are not used to running in minimalist trail running shoes.

The upper is a synthetic mesh which is really lightweight.  The mesh works great for water drain.  I ran through a couple of creeks and felt like the shoes were completely dry after only 4 or 5 steps!  The mesh also gives a tight fit to your feet.  Helping is the Sure Lace technology that New Balance is using on a lot of their shoes now.  It definitely keeps your shoe laces from loosening or coming undone on the trail.  The tongue is really small too which adds to the lightweight and snug fit that the New Balance MT100 trail running shoes give you.

Overall, great trail running shoe if you are looking for a minimalist trail running shoe or maybe even a trail running shoe with a lot of performance on a trail race.  Now if they would just release with some more rad colors so I don’t have to buy 3 pairs in the same color.