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About

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 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!

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