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Minimalist Shoes for Big(ger) Guy?

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  • Minimalist Shoes for Big(ger) Guy?

    Question regarding minimalist shoes:

    I'm a male, 195lb, and am a horrible runner but like to do a lot of walking (most days) for anywhere from 2 to 4 miles, and I also do CrossFit 2 times per week which almost always requires some sort of short distance running/jogging. Also, sometimes during my walks (usually at a local high school track), I will try jogging some.

    Am looking for opinions from others who are on the bigger side, not great or longer distance runners, on how they've faired with any of the following:

    New Balance MT20v2
    Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove

    There is plenty of info/articles out there comparing these two but they are written from the perspective of those who run a lot and for long distance. I'm just a guy who is a bit bulkier than the typical runner, and I want these shoes to be my daily wear (I work from home) while also be able to do my long walks nightly, some jogging (a couple of miles max, which I will have to work up to), and also for CrossFit (where we typically do a minimum 400m run for warm-up, but often will have to do multiple rounds of 400m runs or, occasionally, an 800m or two).

    Any bigger guys wearing these shoes?

    Also: anyone wear these shoes with socks? Seems most don't, but I don't think I'd like wearing them barefoot.

    One other thing: although I love the look of the Vibram Five Fingers, I do occasionally have to drive to the office and, while it's a casual dress environment, I would not be comfortable with the Five Fingers thing. So those aren't an option. Also, I have wide feet - in New Balance I typically wear a 4E, with Brooks I wear a half size up length and 2E.

  • #2
    You're not too big for minimalist shoes, so don't let that be a factor in choosing.
    "Go For Broke"
    Fat Kine-230/24% @ 6'2"
    Small Kine-168/9%
    Now- 200/8%
    Goal- 210/6%


    • #3
      I have two pairs of Merrells from last year's line of barefoot shoes, the Tough Glove and the Trail Glove. The Tough Glove seems to have been discontinued, which is a shame as I loved them and they are far and away the more comfortable of the two.

      I also find that the 2012 line of Merrell barefoots has too much arch support to be comfortable, which has kind of ruined the entire line for me. I have a pair of 2012 Edge Gloves which I bought for the office, but have only really worn them once because the arch made my feet hurt.

      I have since acquired a pair of VFF Spyridon LS, which are my new favorite pair of shoes.


      • #4
        have a look at sanuks. They are a causal shoe/ lofa zero heel lift minimal arch support wide loose fitting. I run 6 plus kms in mine. Have smart pair for causal office wear. Do workouts in them. Walk 10 plus kms over off road trails. Wear em to the beach, phb or where ever

        They are a supper comfy surfy shoe/loffa. Something a bit different
        "Times fun when you are having Flies" Kermit the frog


        • #5
          I'm 6'5" 220~ and have been wearing minimalist shoes exclusively since around the 280lb mark. Only non minimalist shoes I've worn in the past year was hunting trips during the winter... the minimalist soles just transmit too much cold to hunt in.

          For sprinting and water activities (wade fishing, floundering, etc..) I prefer the 5 fingers, for everything else (lifting, work, hiking, walking, etc) I prefer vivobarefoot. I own 4 different pair. I work out in evo's, barefoot most of the time, with tall socks on deadlift days. The width on the evo's might not work for you, they are not as wide as the casual shoes I wear to the office. I've heard the altra's are wide, but they also seem to have a bit more sole thickness than I'd consider "minimalist"... but they are zero drop and might work for you.

          I've never heard a 195er refer to themselves as a "bigger guy".
          Last edited by tcb; 07-12-2012, 08:06 AM.


          • #6
            Can't say 195lbs is big since I am currently about that weight. I have been wearing VFF's for 3 years and love them. Tried the NB minimus and they gave me ITBS when I ran. Fine for every day walking around use but no running. Most time I wear VFFs or flip flops and most days end up wearing the VFFs.
            Check out my primal blog:


            • #7
              Been wearing minimalist since around 315lbs, weigh 280 now. I wouldn't worry about it.


              • #8
                I use the merrels...I would focus more on fit than name
                Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
                Don't forget to play!


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dirlot View Post
                  I use the merrels...I would focus more on fit than name
                  +1. I tried very hard to like the Merrells, but they are too narrow for my feet. (I would probably love them if I could find a pair that fit.)

                  The NB Minimus is great for me. They run wider normally, and have wide sizes available.


                  • #10
                    I started wearing Vibrams since 270lb, never had a problem. But if toe shoes aren't your thing, NB Minimus are totally the way to go. They're my personal second favorite next to VFFs.


                    • #11
                      I found the Merrell's too narrow as well. I have VFF Spyridon LS's and NB Minimus 3090's (these have a 6mm drop) for running. The NB MT20v2 is my next shoe. I tried them on and they are awesome. At the end of the day, the Merrells and NB's are comparable in what they are trying to be so just go with the one that feels most comfortable. Since you may where them to the office, the NB MT20v2 in all black make a nice discreet option.