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Looking for minimalist running shoes

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Balog, Dec 12, 2011.

  1. Balog


    Mar 19, 2009
    Mukilteo, WA
    When I was in bootcamp in late 2004, I was issued a pair of running shoes. Ugly little things, low top and a funky camo scheme. Asics maybe?

    In any case, we obviously ran for miles and miles every day, and I have to say I loved those things. No ankle support at all, and virtually no padding. Just thin, light, and the best damn running shoes I ever encountered. After I hit the Fleet I bought a variety of fancy shoes, with all manner of supports and gels and special padding. None of them took care of me the way those cheap bulk issue ones had.

    Now, due to some nerve damage in my spine I can't really run anymore but I need a new pair of general purpose shoes. I don't run but I do still try to walk a good bit and do other athletic type activities. I'm wondering if anyone else who was in or around the Marine Corps at that time remembers what type of shoes those were, and failing that does anyone have thoughts on current models that are similar to what I'm describing here? Thanks.
  2. Cabazon


    Jan 20, 2009
    Vibram FiveFingers : Barefoot Sports Shoes : Toe Shoes & Minimalist Shoes

    I've got a pair of sprints that lasted a year and a half. Best damn shoes I've ever owned.
    They draw some eventually annoying attention--I've been asked "Are they comfortable?" more times than any other question from a stranger about anything.

    The Classics, Sprints, and KSOs have a habit of coming apart at the seams, but they're sewable, and often Vibram will replace them. I'm not sure how the newer models are with durability--hopefully they've improved.
  3. Keano


    Dec 14, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    If you want minimalist running shoes, there's always Vibrams as mentioned above. Personally speaking, I run with Nike Free 3.0, also a bit minimal.

    If you're looking for more of an all-arounder, I'd go with Nike Free TR. As always though, it'll vary from person to person. Nike (and New Balance) stuff just happen to fit my feet well.
  4. Actium


    Jan 15, 2011
    I'm a fan of Inov8 shoes. A British company.

    Everything I've had by them has been super lightweight and if you follow the guide to picking out what you need based off your running style, location and terrain, you'll really love your pair.

    It seems like you want something with a very thin sole. It lowers your center of gravity, increasing your stability. Shoes with big fat soles and no ankle support are horrible because you are elevated so high off the ground the shoe can roll your ankle.

    I love the Flyroc 310s. I use a pair for backpacking/hiking (long distance) and running. Though if you run on paved surfaces the soles on that model will get destroyed. I tried them out because they were the lightest weight shoe in that category I could find.
  5. I have always worn Asics runners. They make various weights and support systems, but the lightest are the competition shoes made for race day. You want a distance competitive model, they are the lightest shoe that still have a little support. They don't offer the same amount of support as trainers, but they sound very similar to what you are describing.
  6. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya Looking for a gig around East Islip, NY!

    Jan 13, 2008
    Mizunos are the way to go if you want a very comfortable minimalist shoe. I'd also stay away from Vibrams. I didn't have a good experience with them.
  7. OldDog52

    OldDog52 Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    I've always had very good luck with low-end New Balance running shoes, although they may not be minimalist in the sense you're talking about.
  8. You'd be smart to go to a dedicated runner store. These days they put you on a treadmill and digitally video record your gait to study things like heel strike and pronation. Then tell them what you're looking for in a shoe and they can make recommendations that give you a better chance at a good match.
  9. SMART!!!

    Minimal may feel good at the time, but when you're a couple of decades older you'll wish that you had worn shoes selected for your feet and with the maximum possible support.

    Feet do NOT get better with age. All the sins of your life will come back to visit your feet. Don't encourage them.
  10. Balog


    Mar 19, 2009
    Mukilteo, WA
    There is a school of thought that the super supportive nature of many of today's shoes actually leads to a weakening of the feet and their subsequent deterioration. My own experience seems to coincide with that.
  11. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    This dude's a teacher at that school! :p


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