Here is a quick review of the New Balance minimal running shoes I have tried so far.
439 miles - This is a good intro shoe if you're new to running without alot of cushion. I did a bunch of short 1 mile runs in these to transition from regular trainers. I really like this shoe and it works as an everyday walking shoe also. They are sturdy and still holding up after 400 miles, I think I might be able to squeeze a few more miles out of it before the heel and toe wear completely off. They offer good traction on trails and wet sidewalk. I would definitely buy these again.
This is the lightest shoe I have ever tried, and definitely need a transition period for these. It feels like you are just wearing socks! I did the same long transition of running a bunch of 1 milers in these to get used to them until I was doing all my runs in them. I like what these shoes did for my balance and lower leg conditioning. My feet feel stronger. Also, it is so nice to stretch your feet in these. You can't stretch your feet in regular trainers. I did some fast races in these! They are a bit light on the trails, and you will feel rocks. It feels so nice on a soft forest trail. You can't feel that sensation in big trainers. However, when it is damp, you're feet will get wet, but that is the point of barefoot running, right? Because they are lightweight, they have less material, therefore wear out faster. After 250 miles, little tears are starting to appear in the fabric that is holding the hexagons together, but the eva midsole is still intact. Perhaps there is a way to reinforce the area between them. I had hoped these would last me throughout the year for my marathon training. Not recommended for biking in, lol. Though I enjoyed them, I'm not sure I'd want to pay the same price for shoes that don't last as long when I get huaraches for much cheaper. I'm not trying to be a shoe hoarder.
First impression is: the shoe is very comfortable. My foot has been well-prepped on the previous two shoes. They offer a bit more protection than the Hi-Rez if that is what you're looking for, and they look spiffy for wearing everyday. I have already received compliments. It feels like a happy medium between the two and I can't wait to see how long they last as I get ready for my marathon. I will keep you posted.
I like New Balance because they are made in the USA. Going minimal has helped me with my form. My legs feel so much better and very good recovery after running. I have been doing a lot of speedwork this year in these and I look forward to doing my first minimal marathon next month and going the distance!
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