Greetings: Following on my daughter’s post on minimalist shoes, I want to share information on the pair I am currently using. Having gone to a mid-foot stride two years ago, and progressively moving into minimalist shoes, I have gained some valuable experience along the way.
One of my all-time favorite shoes is the New Balance 101 (http://www.shopnewbalance.com/men/shoes/running/trail-running/MT101GH). I found this by accident at a triathlon event two years ago, began running in them and was immediately hooked. This was my first minimalist shoe and I have gone through three pairs so far. Unlike models like the Vibram 5-finger this shoe has some good support and padding throughout the sole, which works very well for my feet.
I did venture to a thinner minimalist shoe, the Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove model, but for my feet they were just too thin on the bottom. I really like the feel of the shoe as well as the weight, but needed a bit more padding. So I went back to the New Balance 101.
At the Expo for last fall’s Marine Corps Marathon I stumbled across the folks from Altra ZeroDrop. This is a young shoe company with a unique design which was intriguing. Of course I ordered a pair an am currently wearing the Lone Peak model in my training, and must say it is a great shoe (http://www.altrazerodrop.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category_-1_15151_18952_69005_Y?S=iconEmail&K=NT_02_16_12AL). For those of you considering the move to more minimalist shoes, these are a great transition shoe as they have a fair amount of padding in the sole but still provide a more complete foot feel on the pavement or trails. The nice thing about these shoes is the toe box is designed to fit your foot, as opposed to the other way around. I also like the ‘zero drop’ aspect, whereby the heel is at the same level as the ball of the foot.
As my good friend and running buddy Ron always says, the right shoe is the cheapest form of insurance you will ever buy. So for those of you moving to a mid-foot stride, do yourself a favor and go with a more minimalist style. It will help you develop your form more completely and enhance the overall running experience.