Saturday, February 18, 2012

In the market for new minimalist kicks for spring

This Spring I am planning on picking up a new pair minimalist running shoes.  I have been very pleased with my Vibram Five Finger KSO's that I purchased last year:

They were perfect for mid-mileage training (5K's, 10K's, etc.) It was so nice to be able to run and not be in pain! Back and knee pain were gone! I also enjoyed talking to people about the shoes. Everywhere I went people had something to say about them.

However, I realized when I tried trail running in my Vibrams that I might need another shoe specifically geared for trails. So this year when I started scouting what shoes I should buy I Tweeted to the expert of minimalist shoes Justin Owings. Justin runs the website: 

If you have any questions about minimalist running and minimalist shoes, you need to go to his website!
Justin the great suggested that I look into either the Merrell Pace Glove or the Spyridons. So I went online and did a little bit of research on his suggestions. 

The Merrell Pace glove looks cool:

Here's all the vital stats on the shoe courtesy of the Merrell Website:
Designed specifically for women, less is definitely more when exploring with our Vibram®-soled Pace Glove natural adventure shoe. All the protection your feet need from rocks and roots, and an ultra-lightweight upper with a synthetic leather foot sling for stability fits like a glove.
• Microfiber and breathable air mesh upper
• Merrell Omni-Fit™ lacing system secured with welded TPU provides a precise, glove-like fit
• Fused rubber toe bumper provides ultimate durability
• Synthetic leather rear foot sling provides stability
• Non-removable microfiber footbed treated with Aegis® antimicrobial solution resists odor

• 4mm compression molded EVA midsole cushions
• 1mm forefoot shock absorption plate maintains forefoot flexibility and protects the foot by distributing pressure
• 0mm ball to heel drop keeps you connected to your terrain
• Wash as needed in cold water, gentle cycle and air dry
• Vegan friendly footwear
• Vibram® Trail Glove Sole/ Rubber Compound TC-1
• Women’s Weight: 4.7 ozs / 133.3 gm (1/2 pair)

So basically they are similar to my Vibrams, super light with no ball to heel drop. However it seems like these have a little more support on the bottom of the foot so I won't be feeling every single rock/root under my feet. I like the sound of that :)

 I also learned the company is an advocate for environmental sustainability. Green is groovy! Information below is courtesy of the Merrell website:
  • Shoe boxes and packaging are made from 100% recycled materials (85% post- consumer/15% pre-consumer).
  • Package printing uses soy-based inks.
  • One-piece shoe box construction reduces material consumption and the use of water-based adhesives.
  • Tissue paper is 100% post-consumer recycled.
  • Shoe stuffers are 100% post-consumer recycled "egg crate" inserts.
  • Shipping cartons are made from 100% recycled content. Inbound cartons are reused and eventually recycled.

As If that isn't enough, they won several awards in 2011 including Best Running Shoe Debut-Runners World Magazine, Best Trail Running Shoe-Shape Magazine. The Merrell Pace Glove is priced at $100.

I was also super intrigued with his suggestion of: Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon LS.

Like I said, I have loved my KSO's.  According to the Vibram website this is Vibrams first official trail running model shoe. "The Spyridon LS provides the perfect balance of “foot feel” and protection on rugged surfaces. A minimalist 3.5mm Vibram rubber sole provides impact protection from stones and debris, while better allowing proper barefoot dynamics. The aggressive tread design delivers sure-footed grip in all directions, molded nylon mesh in midsole adds a “rock block” effect, dispersing impact over a wider area. The Coconut Active Carbon upper offers natural breathability and an adjustable hook-and-loop closure ensures a secure fit. 3M reflective applications for safety after dark. Machine Washable. Air Dry."

My only hesitation with these is they look really big and clunky. But hey, if they also help keep you from feeling every single root/rock I am all for that as well. The Vibram Spyridon LS shoes are priced at $120 per pair. 


  1. Hi Jennifer, just to make your shopping a little easier, there is a new website for making side-by-side comparisons for barefoot and minimal shoes.

  2. Hi! Thanks for your response. I will check it out.