I have been rocking the same running shoes since September: my beloved Merrell Pace Gloves. I love them. I love what they have taught me about my contact with the ground. I love how light they are and how much they breathe. Love. Love. Love. But then this pesky peroneal tendinitis poked it’s ugly head and won’t go away.
When I saw the doctor, he did not tell me that I should skip the minimalist shoes, only asked how long I’d used them. My physical therapist has also never told me that I shouldn’t use then, just that I need to be smart about them. Despite both of them not having problems with minimalist shoes, I decided the other day that maybe it was time to try a little more cushion. I want to increase my mileage (someday) and I want my feet, ankles, etc to stay in good shape. I still want to do that half marathon in October, after all. Maybe my peroneal tendinitis has nothing to do with my shoes, but I’d like to give new ones a try and see how it goes.
So I started looking at shoes. I read a few things. I went to Frontrunner today to finally test drive a few pairs. Going in, I thought maybe something from Brooks Pure Project would work out. I tried a couple of them, but all of them seemed like too much. I like my Merrells for their light weight and zero drop. The Brooks were nice, but they just weren’t quite right. I almost settled on the Pure Grit because it seemed the flattest of them all and the least all up in my arch (which is a new technical term, by the way). I tried the new Nike Frees, which were significantly better than the old Nike Frees. I would consider a pair of those in the future, but not right for my needs today.
So what did I end up with? These beauties…
Wait. You said you wanted more cushion and ended up with another minimal shoe? What the hell? So as I was going back and forth between the Pure Grit and these, the lovely gentleman helping me was struck with the idea of putting the Grit’s insert into the Minimus Zero. I kept going back to the New Balance shoes because of how light they were, but couldn’t say yes to them because the whole point was for more cushion. VOILA! Stick an insert in there and you get the best of both worlds.
I took them for a mini-run a little while ago just to test them out. They are actually a smidge lighter than my Pace Gloves, though the added insert probably kills that. They’re super flexible and breathe well. They are a little narrow in the toe box, but that could be more because of the insert since my feet are reasonably narrow themselves. I am slightly concerned that the insert makes them a bit too tight, but I am hoping that it sort of wears in. I’m planning to do some extensive walking around with them tomorrow, so we’ll see how it goes. The other thing is that I don’t anticipate always using them with an insert. After tomorrow, I may try on a bigger size if they don’t start to give a little more, but other than that, I am super pleased with the purchase. The best combination of minimal plus added cushion.