Sometimes I feel like Goldilocks, except that instead of porridge or a chair, I’m on a quest to find the perfect shoes. As you all know, I strive for natural running form, which is a constant work in progress. I mix in a bit of barefoot running with my overall mileage because I think it is always the best form teacher. But I still wear shoes for the majority of my miles and will probably remain that way for the near future.
You might recall I tried some Altra Zero Drop Delilahs a while back. I really, really like this shoe. It delivers really great ground feel, is flexible, and has a super wide toe box, all attributes I like in a shoe. But it has absolutely no cushioning. What does that mean for me? It means I have yet to get up the nerve to go more than about seven or eight miles in them. I still feel like for a long run, I need just a tad of cushioning.
I had been running my long runs in the Brooks Pure Connects, which have a 4mm heel-to-toe drop and a bit of cushioning. I feel like I can still maintain my form in these, but I also feel like even these have become too much shoe for me.
So–I began looking for a zero drop shoe with a tiny bit of cushion in them. I know Brooks is adding the Pure Drift this winter, a shoe that fits my spec list. But winter is a long way off and I’d like to get to the point where I am in zero drop for long runs sooner than that. Enter my newest find, the New Balance Minimus Road, with zero drop.
I’ve taken these out now on about four runs and it seems like maybe I’ve found that sweet spot. I have yet to push them beyond about seven miles, but my plan is to get to 10 miles in them this coming week and keep working my way up from there. They feel like wearing nothing, I feel like I hit my form spot on in them, and there’s just the smallest amount of cushion in them beyond what the Altras provide. It doesn’t mean I’ll be ditching the Altras, just that I might have found the shoe for my longer runs so that I can graduate beyond the Pure line.
And hey, the yellow color doesn’t hurt. Yellow happens to be my favorite color, to begin with. And years ago when I was heavy into triathlon, Saucony made a racing flat in a similar color. I had lots of great runs in those shoes so maybe that will carry over to these shoes? A little superstition never hurt anyone, right?