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I am Alex Bridgeforth. A 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army. I am addicted to running. I share running in my world; shoe, nutrition, training, and book reviews are just the beginning. Enter your email to keep up. It's free.

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Shoe Review Round-Up (Issue 2)

This is going to be my second bi-monthly shoe review round-up. I love reposting and sharing reviews of shoes to get new shoes out and let people know about the minmal shoe market.

Altra Zero Drop Delilah

  • @minimalistrunnr (bit.ly/Ii4Ltk) - Her first impression were similar to mine. The outsole felt a little stiffer than the Intuition but has less cushioning (with the removable insole intact). She had no problem running in them and they felt fine (with less stack height) now that she strengthened her arch and feet. With no changes in running gait. But an old nagging stress fracture comes and go when she put in longer runs. This is more prominent on asphalt than on non-technical trails.

Altra Zero Drop Samson

  • @minimalistrunnr (bit.ly/Ii4Ltk) - The Samson weight in at 8.2 ounces (US Size 10.0) and has a stack height of 10mm. If you remove the insole, you only about 7mm from the ground. All Altra shoes are zero drop – 0mm heel-to-toe differential. The Samson weighs about 1.5 ounces more than The Adam. The uppers is made of a quick-dry mesh but it felt rougher but definitely more durable than the Adam stretch fabric.

BodyGlove 3T Barefoot

  • @bdayshoes (bit.ly/Ii2oa7) - I only briefly ran in the Barefoot 3Ts and what I can say is that the experience is similarly “barefoot”-like to running in FiveFingers. The lack of toe articulation on the smallest toes makes the 3Ts feel a little less locked on to your foot on the lateral edges of your feet, but did not detract much, if at all, from the toed experience.

Luna Sandals Catamount

  • @bdayshoes (bit.ly/Ii4fvy) - the Luna Catamount, the sole is a combination of Cordovan leather and a 4mm Vibram rubber sole. The base configuration of the Catamount comes with an option of quarter-inch leather laces, 3/8” “Leadville Black” laces (what I picked), or braided hemp.

Merrell Barefoot Dash Glove

  • @runblogger (bit.ly/Ii5R8p)The thicker Vibram sole of the Pace Glove made running on pavement comfortable. I didn’t have any problems with the lack of cushion, and have been able to run up to 13 miles in them with no rubbing or hot spots. The shoes were fun for me, and I enjoyed putting them on as a treat for my running feet.

Merrell Barefoot Edge Glove

  • @runblogger (bit.ly/Ii2Vc1) - The Merrell Edge Glove is a relatively new offering in the Merrell Barefoot collection. Made of suede leather, the Edge Glove is a bit more casual than the Tough Glove. Like the Tough Glove, it is both zero drop and flexible, and offers a very roomy fit.

Merrell Barefoot Pace Glove

  • @runblogger (bit.ly/Ii5R8p) - Since this is a trail shoe there is more a prominent tread. Just along the tip of the toe line it is raised slightly more than the rest of the tread. This was most noticeable to me when I took the shoe out for the first time, running pavement to get to the trail. It didn’t feel bad, it just felt different.

Merrell Barefoot Tough Glove

  • @runblogger (bit.ly/Ii2Vc1) - From an appearance standpoint, the Merrell Tough Glove is my favorite of the four shoes reviewed here – it’s a really nice looking shoe. They are made of full-grain leather and are nice enough that I can wear them with a sport coat, and have done so at admissions events where I have to present to large groups of prospective students and parents. 

New Balance Minimus MR00

  • @runblogger (bit.ly/Ii4y9v) - I’ve grown to really like the New Balance Minimus Road Zeros. Given my experience with this shoe so far, I’ve found it to be a rather versatile road shoe. It works well for speed, and it handles distance nicely as well.

Newton Gravity

  • @vetrunnah (bit.ly/Ii3YbZ) - The Gravity has Newton’s patented Action/Reaction Technology™, does help me “feel” the difference when I am running with a proper landing versus when I am are landing on my heel. The running action does not feel as comfortable or as efficient when I don’t land properly.

Nike Free 3.0 v4

  • @runblogger (bit.ly/JkUlIM) - The sole is 4mm drop (21mm heel, 17mm forefoot), and shoe weight is just a bit over 7oz with the insole removed. Gaps in the sole are much narrower than in previous versions which should help to prevent rock and stick collection in the gaps.

Rockport truWALK Zero

  • @minimalistrunnr (bit.ly/Ii5jzv) - On April 5, Rockport launched its revolutionary new truWALK Zero footwear for men and women, featuring super-lightweight, flexible technology. truWALK Zero is the culmination of years of research and testing, making it one of the lightest shoes that Rockport has ever designed. They’ll make you feel like you’re walking on air!

Saucony Kinvara 3

  • @binthrun (bit.ly/Ii3K4v) - Overall, while running the shoes are light, flexible, and comfortable. The Kinvara 3 maintain much of the feel of the last two models of Kinvara. If you loved Kinvara 1 and 2, you will love Kinvara 3. If you are like me and liked Kinvara 1 and 2 but couldn’t justify the quick demise of the sole, you will love Kinvara 3. 

Salomon S-Lab Sense

  • @bikernate (bit.ly/JkTZBV) - I was surprised to find out how well the carbon fiber rock plate worked.  The shoes have more protection than my usual New Balance MT110’s and more cushioning as well.  I think it would make an excellent 100 mile shoe. 
  • @alexbridgeforth (bit.ly/Ii3suC) - The Sense do a really good job at protecting you feet, however the only thing I did notice is the the EVA foam on the outside arch did get a few battle scars, but that is expected with a tech-trail shoe. The upper took a beating. Honestly, I was extremely surprised that I didn’t tear the upper at all. I was really rough on them for a first run. 

SKORA Running FORM

  • @timkellydotnet (bit.ly/JkUGLs) - I preferred the FORM over the BASE since I felt like I could get a tighter fit with the laces. I never experienced any blistering or hotspots while wearing socks or even going sockless. As I’ve mentioned, I prefer a thinner sole on my running shoes so I ended up taking out the removable insole.
  • @bdayshoes (bit.ly/Ii5tH5) - SKORA’s tagline is “Run Real” as the company goes on to explain in their marketing material, “We reject the terms “minimal”, “natural”, or “barefoot-style” when it comes to running. We believe there is only one way to run that respects our bodies—simply put, it is Real Running. Nothing more, nothing less. 

VIVOBAREFOOT Aqua

  • @runblogger (bit.ly/Ii2Vc1) - The Vivobarefoot Aqua is hands down the most comfortable of all of the zero drop shoes that I wear to work. The sole is ultraflexible, the toebox is expansive, and they honestly feel like a broken-in pair of slippers. 

VIVOBAREFOOT Neo

  • @runblogger (bit.ly/Ii2Vc1) - Several months ago Vivobarefoot released an airmesh version of the Neo, and I purchased a pair in the olive color shown above. This is definitely a casual shoe and not one you would wear on a dressier occasion, but it works fine for my work environment where I am often hanging out in a lab filled with dead animals.

If you like the post; like or reblog it on Tumblr, pass it around on Facebook, or Tweet it on Twitter.

Also, if you have any questions about running, supplements or training please ask away.

Shoe Review Round-Up (Issue 1)

This is going to be my first bi-monthly shoe review round-up. I love reposting and sharing reviews of shoes to get new shoes out and let people know about the minmal shoe market.

Altra Instinct

  • @minimalistrunnr (bit.ly/yqnQJ0) - I had stayed away from the Altra Instinct because I thought it had too much cushioning as advertised. But was I wrong. All Altra shoes have cushioned protection with the benefits of barefoot freedom and is designed to reduce injury and promote proper natural running form.

Inov-8 Bare-XF 210

  • @minimalistrunnr (bit.ly/yBjfop) - It is lightweight and flexible with an anatomic last to aid efficiency for sprint work. It has no underfoot cushioning and a sticky rubber sole to provide stability when lifting weights. It also includes ropeguard, a TPU plastic lacing support system, which provides increased friction and durability.

Inov-8 f-LITE 195

  • @bintherun (bit.ly/xkrlos) - The toe box was roomier than in the ROCLITE 285 and off the bat the shoe felt more flexible. They weigh in at a scant 6 oz. The heel to toe differential is 3mm but felt similar to the ROCLITE 285. These shoes felt great out on the trails but lacked the traction of the ROCLITE sole.

Merrell Barefoot Bare Access

  • @bdayshoes (bit.ly/x118Hi) - I’m not really into running in foamy shoes so I wasn’t really looking forward to a run in the Bare Access. However, I was pleased to find that these felt pretty good on a short mile run; the Bare Access is light weight enough and thin-soled enough not to feel “wobbly” (more sole makes me feel a bit unstable) and I didn’t have any trouble maintaining a forefoot style running form; mind, I didn’t go on an epic run and my prior experience tells me anything more than a couple of miles would have left me backsliding into bad running form, which is something that can happen to me even in Vibrams. The sole of the Bare Acess is a firmer foam than, say, the NB Minimus Zero Road, which just feels like it has a little more give or ease of compression.

New Balance M730

  • @runblogger (bit.ly/yySKFW) - In terms of performance on the road, the 730 has a very firm ride, and in that sense is reasonably comparable to road racing flats like the Mizuno Universe and Adidas Hagio. The 730 feels very much like a stripped down version of the original Minimus Road, and in my opinion is superior to that shoe in almost every way.
  • @bintherun (bit.ly/yl6QQA) - The shoe has a 3mm heel to toe drop. I ran a 22 mile training run in the New Balance 730 and my feet felt fantastic during and after the run. The blown rubber outsole is holding up well after 70+ miles of wear and is extremely flexible.
  • @blog.runningwarehouse.com (bit.ly/zjLcoq) - Even though the 730 offers a firm ride, it stays away from the harsh feel of some other shoes with similarly low stack heights. The 730 skews more minimal than the Minimus shoes of just a year ago, and we think it ticks enough boxes to appeal to a wide range of runners today.

New Balance Minimus MR00

  • @TimKelleyDotNet (bit.ly/yyD6HT) - As comfortable as I’ve found the “normal” width Road Zeros to be, the tightness underneath my arches I experienced has been completely resolved and the 2E fits me perfectly. In addition to the arch area, I also have a little more wiggle room across the top of the toebox and by my little toe. The heel and the back half of the shoe appear to remain unchanged.

New Balance Minimus MT00

  • @bdayshoes (bit.ly/AllPGz) - The release of the next generation of New Balance Minimus minimalist shoes — the “Minimus Zeros,” so called for being the first “zero-drop” or same sole thickness at the heel as at the ball of the foot — is imminent. And while we did a major round-up review of the Road and Trail Zeros a little while back, one exciting aspect of these next generation shoes from New Balance is that both the Road and Trail Zeros are being produced in wide versions.

New Balance Minimus MW00

  • @minimalistrunnr (bit.ly/wLRPBs) - Next up on New Balance second-generation Minimus Zero collection is the Wellness model, a recovery and walking shoe. This shoe is for casual, daily lifestyle wear – commuting to work, travelling, doing errands. The shoe is also perfect for athletes who want to adjust to a more natural stance and stay minimal throughout the day.

Newton Distancia

  • @bintherun (bit.ly/wD7kEv) - I have only had the Newton Distance Trainers for three weeks and I have already put 135+ miles on them. They are slightly heavier at 7.8 oz. than the MV2 at 5.8 oz. but make for a better general miles trainer than the MV2. I would use the MV2 for up to a half marathon but switch to the Distance for any greater distances.

Nike Free 3.0 v4

  • @runblogger (bit.ly/ymVWNgThe toebox on the Free 3.0 v4 looks particularly intriguing to me as it appears to be a bit roomier than in previous Free 3.0 models (narrow fit is the major reason why I no longer wear the 3.0).

Nike Free 4.0 v2

  • @runblogger (bit.ly/ymVWNg) - Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of rumors about some new Nike Free running models that will soon be coming out (including this post from Jason Robillard). I have very little in the way of details, but managed to come across some photos of what I think are two of the shoes after doing a bit of web searching (this thread on Sole Collectorwas helpful…).

Nike Flyknit Racer

  • @runblogger (bit.ly/AzGhq0) - Apparently the shoe was just announced at a show in New York just a few hours ago, and it is a racing flat with an ultralight, form fitting, knit upper.

SKORA Running FORM

  • @minimalistrunnr (bit.ly/wL1mJ8) - The shoe weighs in at 9.6 ounces (US Size 10.5), 8.2 ounces without the insert/insole. What stands out immediately is the full leather upper that features Pittards Armor-Tan Goat Skin Leather (durable and breathable) with Pittards leather lining for improved permanent water resistance. Ordinary leathers take over 24 hours to dry and are usually hard and prone to cracking. Pittards leather dries in around 6 hours, and is as soft and supple as on the first wearing.

VIVOBAREFOOT Breatho Trail

  • @minimalistrunnr (bit.ly/y26J1I) - Just like the Neo Trail, running with the Breatho Trail on mixed trails where there are lots of rocks of varying sizes, your feet will get a work out. If you never had that feeling, put on a pair of Neo Trail or Breatho Trail and get your free foot massage now! I did not get the same sensation when running with the original Neo or Evo II. The outsole is identical to the Neo Trail – thin, flexible, multi-directional lugs. The Breatho Trail outsole has a thickness of 2.5mm and 4.5mm lugs. Compare this to the Neo Trail’s 3mm thickness and 5mm lugs – the Breatho is a lot closer to the ground!

If you like the post; like or reblog it on Tumblr, pass it around on Facebook, or Tweet it on Twitter.

Also, if you have any questions about running, supplements or training please ask away.

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