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Some background of my running style: I mostly run on trails, single-track that is fairly well used and packed down quite well, but there are also lots of rocks and tree roots that I have to negotiate as well. I focus on up-hill running to lessen my impact on my joints as well. Needless to say, these shoes have required me to have an acclimation process that is several months in the making. I run both weekend days for up to two-hour stretches and then my feet 'recover' during the week when I wear sneakers and traditional shoes.
Now for what I have experienced: I have learned that, for the $120 price of a pair of running shoes, I can achieve a running/training experience that is phenomenal. I did mention that its been several months of acclimation, but that is not to say that there has not been a steady appreciation of benefit from running/exercising like this: my feet and lower legs are transforming. I can 'feel' and grip my feet in ways I wasn't aware I could do previously. My calves and lower legs have gotten substantially stronger. I know from years of training with weights, that the body likes to 'even-out' developments in strength in the extremities of the body such that this 'strength' travels to other areas of the body as well: the hands, the lower back, etc, even up into the face and everywhere get affected.
Speaking of lower back, that is something I have experienced positive results with from running with these shoes: these shoes force you to not 'heel strike' when you run. You simply can't do it for any length of time, the feedback, in terms of shock to the joints and the whole body is too much... you will be forced to shorten your stride, slow down, and focus on landing on the front of your foot first, then rolling to a light landing on your heel. This really activates the 'shock absorption' effect of running this way and converts running from a jarring, high-impact experience to a smoother, more agile, low-impact experience.
I can say for a fact that my lower back feels just as good as it does when I get out of the car to start my two-hour trail run as it does when I get back and finish. That, to me, is nothing short of amazing. Now the bottoms of the fronts of my feet do take a beating, but I really do feel that I am activating an almost primordial system of moving that possibly our ancient ancestors did when they ran for traveling, escaping, hunting, etc. IMHO, I am starting to see how the Temaharu Indians in the southwest of the United States can run barefoot for hundreds of miles.
With these running shoes and the persistence and diligence needed to keep the acclimatization process moving forward, I believe, again IMHO, that one can appreciate a whole new level of appreciation for running as a form of fitness and not a chore that is rife with potential injuries. In fact, the only real 'injury' I have experienced over the past 4-5 months of consistently running hours at a time on both weekend days, even over chunky rocks, tree roots and other obstacles, has been from taking off in some weird way that i am not even sure of how I did.... in my traditional sneakers during a lunch break during the work-week!
I would say try these shoes out and ... get the right mind set for using them. They do not make you a lightning-fast/injury free running phenom you never-knew-you-were in a few days , or even a few weeks. It takes time. Pace yourself. DO NOT go for a 5k run right out of the box with these, you will probably suffer so much that you will throw the 'baby out with the bathwater.' Build up your ability to run in these shoes with proper form and breathing ... and go slower, shorten your stride, with the goal of long-term improvement. Remember, especially if new to the barefoot/minimal experience, you have probably been walking and moving in overly cushioned shoes and sneakers your entire life.. it takes time for this skill and ability to awaken. Give yourself that gift, and I think you will be amazed.
These are great for walking, hiking or just for the casual office.
I highly recommend checking them out.
Buy the “Wide” and be sure to get one size larger!
Had my first run in them today. Ran 3.5 miles. It was 12pm in Phoenix, 100 degrees out. Over the past few weeks my runs have been sluggish. Today, I shaved ~4 - 5 seconds off my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd miles. My feet feel more connected to the pavement and responsive in these shoes. The lack of padding is quite noticeable! The 890s are more comfortable, especially on downhills and sprints. I actually prefer the 890s for downhills and sprints.
In the Minimus, my feet feel everything; feel closer to the asphalt and trail. The Mininus sole is stiffer and may actually provide more protection against sharp rocks than the padded 890s. Rocks don't bite as acutely into my foot as with the 890s, if that makes any sense. The shoes have not loosen up much, but they no longer feel tight across the top of my feet.