How To Select Your Next Minimalist Running Shoes

For those of you who are looking for a starting point with the dizzying array of new minimalist running shoes (or barefoot running shoes as others like to call them), here’s a simple getting started guide. As most of you are aware, Fall 2011 and Spring 2012 is when footwear manufacturers will launch their latest lightweight and minimal shoe offerings.

This guide will help you choose a pair of minimalist running shoes in three easy steps.

Step 1

Pick your favorite footwear BRAND or COMPANY. Or try any of the brands if you are just starting out and have no brand loyalty yet.

Step 2

Pick the terrain that you are most likely to be running on: ROAD (asphalt, concrete) or TRAIL (hard or soft packed).

Step 3

If you are just starting out, select a shoe under the NOVICE column. If you are fully transitioned, pick a shoe under the ADVANCED column.

Once you have selected your shoes, the next step is to choose your own personal transitioning plan. Remember to transition slowly so you don’t get injured.

Remember, you are an INDIVIDUAL so what works for OTHERS may not work for YOU. Find your own PERSONAL minimalist running shoes AND your own PERSONAL transitioning plan.

Brook Running

Road NOVICE Minimalist Runner – Green Silence, 8mm differential
ADVANCED Minimalist Runner – Pure Connect, 4mm differential

Trail NOVICE Minimalist Runner – Green Silence, 8mm drop
ADVANCED Minimalist Runner – Pure Grit, 4mm drop

Inov-8

Road NOVICE – Road-X Lite 155, 3mm differential
ADVANCED – Bare-X Lite 150, zero drop

Trail NOVICE – X-Talon 190, 3mm differential
ADVANCED – Bare Grip 200, zero drop

Trail NOVICE – F-Lite 195, 3mm
ADVANCED – Bare Grip 200, zero drop

Merrell

Road NOVICE – Bare Access, zero drop
ADVANCED – Road Glove, zero drop

Trail NOVICE – Mix Master, 4mm heel-to-toe
ADVANCED – Trail Glove, zero drop

New Balance

Road NOVICE – Minimus Road, 4mm heel-to-toe
ADVANCED – Minimus Zero Road, zero drop

Trail NOVICE – Minimus Trail, 4mm heel-to-toe
ADVANCED – Minimus Zero Trail, zero drop

Trail NOVICE – MT 110, 4mm heel-to-toe
ADVANCED – Minimus Zero Trail, zero drop

Saucony

Road NOVICE – Kinvara 2, 4mm differential
ADVANCED – Hattori, zero drop

Trail NOVICE – Peregrine, 4mm differential
ADVANCED – Peregrine 2, 4mm differential

Now that you have selected a shoe to start with, follow any of the transitioning plans from Merrell, Inov-8, ECCO BIOM, or start educating yourself with lots of related articles from the Natural Running Center.

Nicholas is the Editor in Chief at Minimalist Running Shoes, the only resource you need to get started in running with minimalist shoes – whether you’re a beginning runner or an injured runner, you’ll find everything you need to know here or where to find it if not.

If running without pain and injury is your goal, you must learn good running form and strategies on how to transition into minimalist running shoes.

Waterproof Running Shoes – Makes and Models

There are a collection of waterproof running shoes available for sale. A number of your bigger name brand shoe companies like Nike and New Balance have a version of waterproof running shoes. But there are some companies that you may not have heard of, if you are new to waterproof running shoes. Brands like Inov-8, La Sportiva, and Montrail all have shoes that are made to keep your feet warm and dry through rain, sleet, and snow. In this article I will go over some of the makes and models that are offered to help you pinpoint a pair for yourself.

So lets start for with some of the more known name brands. First Nike, currently on the market Nike has a product called NIKE NIKE ZOOM STRUCTURE TRIAX+ 12 GTX. This shoe was designed for people whose pronation is know for being mild to moderate. And who needs a combination of cushioning and elevated stability for their foot. It also makes use of the Nike+ technology that monitors your progress. You can find this waterproof running shoe in men’s sizes and women’s sizes.

The Asics brand presently has a model for sale named the ASICS GEL-TRABUCO® 12 GT-X. This model has a 3M™ reflectivity aspect that helps to enhance visibility when in situations where there is dim light. Asics WET GRIP® technology boost grip with a particular, blend of compounds. The Cushioning System lessens shock during the impact phase. The ASICS GEL-TRABUCO® 12 GT-X weights about 14.00 oz and available in men’s and women’s sizes.

NEW BALANCE 910GT was tagged as “Best for Rugged Terrain” by “Shape” magazine. This model is made to provide cushioning and stability. The NEW BALANCE 910GT comes with SURE LACE™, a computer-knit lace/chord made with a reciprocating wave design that will not loosen up under high performance or rough terrains. The N-LOCK® integrated lacing and webbing system helps to deliver a superb fit, as well as support and security. The NEW BALANCE 910GT can be found in men’s and women’s sizes.

The Mountain Masochist™ GTX is a waterproof running shoe that may not be so well know unless you are a serious trail runner. The Mountain Masochist™ GTX shoe is designed for the off-road runner and provides an exceptional fit, performance and breathability. The Mountain Masochist is lightweight and responsive with aggressive traction. This shoe weighs in at 11.00 oz and is availability in men’s and women’s.

LA SPORTIVA WILDCAT GTX® is another name you may or may not be familiar with. La Sportiva’s® is constructed with an Impact Brake System™ proprietary technology in the outsole. Responsible for the braking system are the lugs of the soles which are situated in opposing angled directions. This feature, increases braking power by an average of 20% and decreasing impact forces by an average of 20%. The Non-marking FriXion® AT X-Axis™ rubber outsole bites into the trail to ensure safe footing, and is made to be wear and tear resistant. The LA SPORTIVA WILDCAT GTX® model comes in men’s and women’s sizes and weighs in at about 14oz.

Next up there is the SAUCONY PROGRID® RAZOR. This matchless model has a three-quarter cut built-in softshell gaiter. The Saucony® Heel ProGrid™ with Respon-Tek™ is a deflection technology that absorbs impact. This technology helps to eliminate shock and aligns the foot up for a continuous transition. The exclusive Vibram® Compound rubber outsole gives the SAUCONY PROGRID® RAZOR. uncompromising grip, traction and durability. This shoe is available in men’s and women’s sizes.

The VASQUE VELOCITY GTX is designed for motion control for those rough trail runs. The Velocity’s dual-density EVA midsole dwindles pronation while TPU-reinforced Airmesh and synthetic leather uppers provide support. The Mako II outsole grips the trail and provides stability, cushioning and motion control. The The VASQUE VELOCITY GTX weights about 13.00 oz. and can be found in men’s and women’s sizes.

ASOLO MANTIS XCR has a central TPU element that rest between the forefoot sole and heel and gives extra stability while providing a good amount of torsional rigidity. The rubber outsole is made with a bi-directional lug component. More attributes include the Aso Propel which is for accelerated forward movement and the Aso Brake for quick and responsive stopping. The ASOLO MANTIS XCR can be found in Men’s and women’s sizes.

Last on the list there is the INOV-8 ROCLITE® 275 GTX for women and ROCLITE® 312 GTX® for men. These shoes include a attribute called Meta-flex™. Meta-flex™ utilizes a groove which is anatomically aligned in front of the metatarsal heads to give a natural forefoot flex. Another feature on the two models is called Meta-shank™ which is a 5-finger meta-shank that pairs with each individual metatarsal for greater flexibility, all the while retaining underfoot impact protection.

So as you can see there are a number of waterproof running shoes on the market. The ones mentioned up top are just a few. Plenty of the makers of waterproof running shoes make more than just one model. Now that you have a list to start with the next step is to find one that best suits you.

Choosing The Best CrossFit Shoes

It may seem counterintuitive, but CrossFit shoes are actually quite simple and streamlined. As this form of training has become more popular, many manufacturers have developed shoes that are specifically for cross training in this way. First, we’ll look at shoes for men.

The New Balance Men’s MX20 Minimus Training Shoe has been specifically designed with the CrossFit customer in mind. It’s very lightweight, but also sturdy enough for regular use. It’s designed to give the feel of not wearing shoes so that you build more strength in your feet and body.

Another shoe designed for CrossFit training is the ECCO Men’s BIOM Lite 1.3 Cross-Training Shoe. This is another shoe that’s very lightweight and designed to aid you in moving from one type of activity to another in the same shoe.

This shoe is manufactured in Europe of high quality materials. Consumers who have purchased it rave about the fit and comfort that the shoe provides. It’s also designed to last a long time so you’ll get return on your investment.

Reebok was one of the first manufacturers to recognize the need for CrossFit shoes. They make several models of shoes for this type of training. The Reebok Men’s Realflex Transition Training Shoe is one such product.

This shoe is designed to be lightweight and very flexible. You can go from strength training to running to climbing ropes all in the same shoe. And while there are great shoes for men, women have also joined the CrossFit movement and there are shoes for women as well.

Reebok makes the Womens CrossFit Nano 2.0 specifically for women who participate in CrossFit training. This shoe is light and flexible and has the benefit of modern design and engineering.

The New Balance Women’s WT20v1 Trail Minimus Shoe works well for CrossFit training because it’s lightweight, yet durable. It also has the added benefit of making the transition from indoor workouts to outdoor running on trails.

Consumers also give favorable reviews to the Inov-8 Roclite 295 Trail Running Shoe. This shoe is specifically designed for outdoor use, but it can also be used every day and for CrossFit training.

It has built-in engineering that specifically supports the muscles and connective tissue of the foot. If you have problems with your feet and need extra support, this is the shoe for you. Choosing a CrossFit shoe that’s specifically made to be light weight, durable, and transition through many activities is essential to a safe and comfortable workout.