An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

My thoughts on the Merrell Barefoot line (without having so much as tried any on)

There's a whole slough of new shoes coming out in the spring for the minimalist set. Altra in April, NB Minimus in March, and the earliest, the Merrell Barefoot line in February.

Some early press releases have come out on these lines, and so far I'm liking the NB Minimus Road and the Altras the most.

The Merrell's... Well, there's a thin midsole (not bad), a rugged looking outsole, a wide toe box, light... But why, oh WHY, did they make that huge cutout under the 5 metatarsal? I mean, for the place where we're supposed to be landing our foot, why take sole material away from there?
Of course, the other part of it is the price. $110. Seems the entire market is shooting for the $100 plus range. Altra's are at that point, NB Minimus are at $100. At least they're not shooting for the Evo II price of $160 (for what amounts to a rubber-soled slipper).
So yeah, I'm not a true minimalist. I don't want "the next thing to barefoot" (or even to run barefoot, for that matter). I like that these companies are doing SOMETHING with low- to zero-drop shoes that are minimalIST without being minimal. We'll see what's most comfortable when the time comes.

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