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Best 'standard' athletic barefoot shoe

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  • Best 'standard' athletic barefoot shoe

    Around here the tracks are very rough so the foot needs a bit of protection. Any suggestions for a standard athletic type shoe (or outdoors brand shoe) that will be light and flexible for the most natural foot movement without actually going for vibrams?

    (plus the one pocket for each toe thing I think won't work for my narrow feet).
    If we’re not supposed to eat animals, how come they’re made out of meat? Tom Snyder

  • #2
    I'd wait 3 months--lots of mainstream companies (eg New Balance, Merrell) are coming out with minimalist shoes this spring. Not only will you have more options, but I would bet some of the existing shoes will come down in price.
    Liz.

    Zone diet on and off for several years....worked, but too much focus on exact meal composition
    Primal since July 2010...skinniest I've ever been and the least stressed about food

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    • #3
      Do you have to deal with mud? If so, Inov-8 is coming out with the Baregrip 200 this spring. Zero drop, no cushion at all, awesome cleats, but it runs narrow. Merrell is already shipping the Trail Glove, which has some tread and has roughly as much sole and drop(none) as the KSO Trek. NB Minimus will have a heel-toe drop and twice as much heel cushion as the Merrells. They are rumored to be coming out with a zero drop shoe in the fall. Terra Plana has the Evo and Neo now, with the Ultra and Achilles coming, but they don't have much tread on them. They are rumored to be working on a trail shoe also. Altra will be shipping the Adam in April, but it doesn't have much in the way of tread. That's all that comes to mind, but I'm sure I missed something. This spring will be fun for minimalists.

      Gordo

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      • #4
        I have the New Balance 100, and the follow up is the New Balance 101. I have the same issues. I hate running on the paved road, so i run on gravel track and levees. They are my favorite so far. I am pretty excited about the minimus as well.

        I also run in chuck taylors when i throw on a weight vest. Old School Flats.
        Every Day is a New Adventure

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        • #5
          I’m partial so swimming shoes, the kind you wear to the beach or the pool. Very light weight, minimal protection (especially if you remove the insole) you will feel the ground but the rubber will keep your feet protected.

          I’ve been out of a pair for a few months and I can’t find them anywhere since it’s winter, but for under 10 bucks, it’s the best minimal shoe out there.

          Just a suggestion...
          I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by New Renaissance View Post
            I have the New Balance 100, and the follow up is the New Balance 101. I have the same issues. I hate running on the paved road, so i run on gravel track and levees. They are my favorite so far. I am pretty excited about the minimus as well.
            You'll probably like the Minimus then. It's way too much shoe for anyone who likes VFFs.

            Gordo

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            • #7
              The Merrill barefoot shoes are now available for purchase online... got an email from them today...
              The most depraved type of human being is the man without a purpose. ~ Ayn Rand
              What's your purpose? Mine is Optimal Health.

              Converted to PB November 2010
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              • #8
                Originally posted by gordo View Post
                You'll probably like the Minimus then. It's way too much shoe for anyone who likes VFFs.

                Gordo

                Sweet! I'm looking forward to them. I haven't justified buying the Vibrams to myself yet. I live in warm climates and generally spend most of the time barefoot or in flipflops, so if I want to run barefoot, I just do. I just need more protection from the gravel. I know there are some form tweaks I need to make before running with Vibrams on gravel.
                Every Day is a New Adventure

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                • #9
                  pre-release reviews of the merrell trail glove are outstanding. Lots of info hit the Merrell web sites today.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by New Renaissance View Post
                    I know there are some form tweaks I need to make before running with Vibrams on gravel.
                    Actually, all you need to do is to go run barefoot on gravel. Your form will lighten up right away. I'm totally serious. I run gravel bike paths and rocky trails all the time completely barefoot. Do it properly and VFFs are unnecessary. In fact, they get in the way of learning. It wasn't until I ditched them that I started making real progress. I'm only drooling over the Merrells because I have several months of cold and snow to deal with.

                    Gordo

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gordo View Post
                      Actually, all you need to do is to go run barefoot on gravel. Your form will lighten up right away.

                      Gordo
                      That's an interesting and valid point, though not one I'm going to take completely literally - it's just too dangerous here.

                      The Merrells look good.

                      Outdoors shops have a lot of rock-hopping shoes and sandals and the like, but they always seem to go for very rigid soles.
                      If we’re not supposed to eat animals, how come they’re made out of meat? Tom Snyder

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                      • #12
                        I like the Merrells. I just have a fondess for New Balance because of the fit. I have to try on a pair of Merrells before I fork over $110 plus shipping. They look great.

                        I have thought about running barefoot on the gravel, but I haven't got to that point. I can't afford random injuries while I'm on call, and the NB100's are fantastic for me now. I don't want to tweak it too much yet. I sprint barefoot when I can on the grass. I'm only worried about the man-made obstacles, really... well, and the fire ants.
                        Every Day is a New Adventure

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by geekgrrl View Post
                          - it's just too dangerous here.
                          What, you live in Juarez or something?

                          Gordo

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by gordo View Post
                            What, you live in Juarez or something?

                            Gordo
                            Australia. Regularly see Brown snakes on the track, and we have a selecion of pretty nasty spiders, plus then there's the occasional rubbish dumped by local bogans. The tracks are strewn with sharp rocks - it's not soft like a european forest. Don't know what they are like in USA. Suffice it to say that your feet would be cut to shreds in no time.
                            If we’re not supposed to eat animals, how come they’re made out of meat? Tom Snyder

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by geekgrrl View Post
                              Australia.
                              Say no more. If there are brown snakes about, I want to be able to run really fast on any surface at the drop of a hat. LOL

                              You can work up to some pretty rough stuff if you are motivated and patient. I run in the rocky mountains and desert southwest of the US: Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona. Mostly barefoot, 99% on trails. I do throw on some huaraches when it gets really rough and I want to run reasonably fast. I've never run on a trail that was as friendly to the feet as pavement. The only real forest I've run in was on Vancouver Island, BC. The trails tended to be rocky and root covered, rather than friendly. The worst part for me was all the pitch that got on the bottoms of my feet. Pieces of gravel would stick to my foot and I'd have to stop and scrape them off.

                              Gordo

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