Here they are. My new Merrell Pace Gloves. After first trying these on, I was set on getting them. I even had dreams about them! They were so light (a whole 2oz lighter than my Kinvara 2s) and I felt like I could really feel the ground I was walking on. When I finally went to get them this past Sunday, they were definitely just as I remembered. I also picked up a pair of the Barefoot Pure Gloves since I was so jazzed about the Pace Gloves. I sort of figured that going barefoot/minimal across the board was going to be a good idea, especially in transitioning to running.
I got the shoes on Sunday, walked casually in them a few days, and even worked in them a little bit yesterday. Today, I did my first run with them. 2oz doesn’t seem like a whole lot of difference necessarily, but it really is. They are so, so light that it’s unbelievable. I am constantly amazed at what it feels like to actually feel the ground you’re walking on, not just the cushion of a shoe. I know it sounds like that might not be better, but it gives an entirely different tactile experience to moving. It makes you more aware of where and how you’re walking/running. The shoes themselves are so flexible (there is a picture in this review of them rolled up here) that I can really feel what my toes are doing. Whenever I was crouching down at work, the shoe moved with my foot instead of vice versa.
As far as the running today went… I redid the first day of Couch-to-5k. I figured that was a pretty easy back and forth between jogging and walking. I could work on my form and see how it felt overall. I had been warned from when I first tried the Pace Gloves on that my calves would hurt. A friend of mine had talked to me about how his Vibrams made his calf muscles more defined in a different way since it was using different muscles, etc. I was prepared for calf pain. And, let me tell you, my calves burned. It wasn’t unbearable, just uncomfortable. They’re a little sore as I sit to type this, but not in a bad way. My feet didn’t hurt at all during the run, which was pretty cool. They also didn’t go numb at all and that was something I feared might happen. I think I have a ways to go yet with the form of barefoot/minimalist running, but I’m getting there. It’s hard to re-learn how to do things when you’re used to hitting on your heel. Walking in them is actually the hardest. Jogging was easy. Maybe I already land in a more forward strike when I run, I’m not sure. If so, I think that will help the transition.
My plan is to alternate between where I am already at in C25k and sort of play catch up on alternating days with the Merrells. I feel as if I’m going to be stuck on Week 3 for a minute, so it will work out. My first day of Week 3 was yesterday and that was pretty rough. I think I have a harder time running at night than I do in the morning. Going to the gym after work is often necessary, but doesn’t leave me feeling the best.
I’m sure I’ll talk more about the minimalist running transition as it happens. I also want to hit on some of the other stuff I’ve started doing, but in the meantime here are some of the places I’ve been reading up on barefoot/minimalist running:
Barefoot Running University :: has lots of articles, links to videos, etc.
Merrell BareForm :: videos and other info
Barefoot Angie Bee :: some shoe reviews, etc.