An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
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Sunday, January 1, 2012

A New Balance kind of Christmas... and New Year

The first time I tried on the New Balance Minimus Roads, I had the same issues I have with most shoes these days -- the toe box. Similar to the issues I have with the Saucony Kinvara, the sweep of the toe box at the little toes came too far back, and pushed my little toe into the ones next to it, and forced my whole foot inward such that my big toe was pushed into the edge of the upper on the other side.

Later, I got a chance to try on the wide version at the Born to Run store in Bellevue, and found that it remedied every problem I had with the standard width model. All the width was added in exactly the right places -- the toe box goes out straighter before tapering in at the little toe, the area at the big toe runs straighter (straighter relative to a line from the heel to the metatarsal joint), and not wider in the heel.

I knew at some point I would be adding the Minimus Road to my running rotation of the Skechers GoRun, Altra Instinct, and Merrell Trail Glove.

Well, my wife surprised me.

Christmas morning, she had wrapped up for me a pair of New Balance Minimus MT10 cross trainers in black. Nice! (photo from the New Balance site)

"You seriously need to retire those sandals you've been wearing," she said. The sadder part was that my 10-yearold daughter agreed. Sandals? I've had these shoes for about 4 years, and they're the most comfortable knock-around shoes I have, and see the most wear of any I have (not for running though). I'll have to give them a proper retirement... Apparently Nevados doesn't make this particular model any more. The only other pair of shoes I've had longer than these is my Merrell Hiking boots, that are finally seeing the end of their life after some 20 years (and will be replaced this year).

Anyway, I wore the MT10's that afternoon, and they were very comfortable. My first impression was that the midsole and sole unit was very firm, but I didn't feel beat up at all by them. Even New Year's Eve, our first wedding anniversary, walking around downtown Seattle (for a few miles -- my shin seemed to either go numb or else I'd modified my walking gait enough to take some pressure off), they were great. Lots of toe room, no slipping of the heel, no hot spots, and my feet still felt great well into the night.

So when we got back on New Year's Day she surprised me with an anniversary gift: A pair of New Balance MR10 Minmus Road wides in the grey/orange color scheme. (photo from the New Balance site)

Even though I have some healing to do before I can put the MR10s to use (and I'll post a report after putting some miles on them), I really appreciate what she does for me.

She embraces my shoe-geekness. What a keeper!

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