I have new shoes. They are very orange! (Vivobarefoot trail running shoes in Molten Lava.)
I’ve been meaning for a long time to write about the various minimal shoes that I wear these days, and since Xero recently gave me an affiliate link, now seems the perfect time.
First up is the Speed Force, which is Xero’s running shoe.
My experience with the Speed Force shoes is slightly fraught, because my pair arrived right after I aggravated a long-standing foot injury. To recover from the injury I ended up taking a long break from running, so these shoes have only recently started to get the wear-time they deserve.
Despite that unfortunate association, I really like these shoes. They’re the lightest, most minimal shoes I’ve got.
As part of my foot rehab, I’d did some actual barefoot running, which was highly effective: When I was actually barefoot, running didn’t aggravate my sore foot, whereas when I ran in shoes (even minimal ones), the injury would flare up again. That difference prompted me to remember that these shoes had a removable insole to provide just a tiny amount of cushioning. I took the insole out and that was the adjustment that got these shoes close enough to actually barefoot that I could start running again.
I’m sad that I missed almost the whole summer’s running, but I’ll make do with fall and winter running.
For me, these shoes provide exactly just what I want from minimal running shoes: Some puncture resistance and some thermal resistance. (They also provide some abrasion resistance—comfortable, but perhaps part of the reason my foot injury was so persistent. If you run with correct form there shouldn’t be any abrasion; protecting yourself from it just enables bad form, leading—at least in my case—to injury.)
The Speed Force shoes are the maximally minimal shoes I had been looking for. Check them out at my affiliate link. Buy a pair (or any of the other Xero shoes) and earn me a tiny pittance!
There are several other Xero shoes, boots, and sandals that I wear regularly, which I’ll write about over the next little while.