Not too hard, not too soft, but just right

IMG 1629 300x300 Not too hard, not too soft, but just right

Just right?

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?

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  1. Glad to hear you hit good form with them plus the pretty color is a plus ;)
    Kris Lawrence recently posted..Never mind the Darkness…My Profile

  2. So great when you find the right shoe at the right time!
    Kovas – Midwest Multisport Life recently posted..Unstoppables ProjectMy Profile

  3. Nothing like a just right shoe. By the way, just an FYI, Merrell makes a new shoe called Bare Access(at least for men-not sure women) – zero drop, but cushioning made to go long.
    Jeff recently posted..Not just road racing….My Profile

  4. They are super cute, so if they work for you that’s awesome!! Just keep giving thing s try.
    Michael recently posted..Racine Roller Coaster 70.3 RecapMy Profile

  5. They are a pretty cute shoe!
    Gracie (Complicated Day) recently posted..Picking that goal raceMy Profile

  6. Love the yellow! I’m on a never ending search too… I wish I had one shoe that I was committed to that worked for me but I’ve had many that I’ve liked and many that haven’t been so good, so I have no shoe brand loyalty right now. I really wanted to like the Brooks Pure Flows, but my Achilles did not. I’m still using a little more support, but want to move in a more minimalist direction gradually. Thanks for doing the research work for me. :) I’ll have to keep these on my radar.
    Laura recently posted..The Fit Mom ControversyMy Profile

  7. They look great and were certainly made for Goldilocks! I’m glad you found shoes you really like. It makes a very huge difference if your shoes are perfect.
    Johann recently posted..The 10km A Day ChallengeMy Profile

  8. Sounds like you may have found your shoe! It does feel like the never-ending quest doesn’t it :) I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to build my miles in my Pace Gloves cause I like the feel of the zero drop, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a long process.
    Michelle @ Running with Attitude recently posted..Thursday Thoughts (aka 3 things)My Profile

  9. Someone else was just raving about these shoes to me too. He swears by them. Maybe I should put them on my shoe list, which is already a mile long.
    Britt @ Chicago Runner Girl recently posted..2012 Bastille’s Day 5k, the beginning of a comeback storyMy Profile

  10. I’m in the same boat, in the hunt for the perfect shoe. With the “foot issue” I have, my altra’s helped in some ways but hindered in others. I’m actually going back to more of a drop to see if that’s actually better for me…. not sure about these zero -5mm drops for me. Keep us posted how these work for you! Have a great wkend!
    Kristy (@KrisRunTri) recently posted..Running Partner FailMy Profile

  11. Finding the right shoe is SUCH a quest. I’m still on the search after the Mizunos I loved ended up being a wee bit too stable for me and contributing to my knee issues.
    Tina @ Best Body Fitness recently posted..Love Style (plus new Simply Bar winner)My Profile

  12. I LOVE the look and style of those shoes. And that yellow is an awesome yellow color. Hope these work out really well for you.
    Katie @wishandwhimsy recently posted..Mind Changed & Body Worked Out.My Profile

  13. I have bought so many shoes in my quest for finding the perfect one. I love reading your updates on a minimalist shoe because if my calves could ever handle it, I would like to follow.
    Robin recently posted..How I Spent My Summer VacationMy Profile

  14. Love the yellow! Yellow is my favorite color. I had a pair of yellow Nike’s in college that I LOVED. I still miss those shoes. Glad you found a great pair that works for you!
    Christy @My Dirt Road Anthem recently posted..Three Things ThursdayMy Profile

  15. I tried those, wanted to love them but the darn things bothered the back of my achilles! I’ve got prbs with NB :( I love the yellow!!

  16. I’m glad you posted this review. My bank…notsomuch. I’ve been waiting to hear someone else’s thoughts on these. I can’t decide if I should break out of the NB Minimus line or not since it’s the only shoe I wear (I have about 6 pairs of various colors, styles, types of them). Just when I think of breaking up with them they go ahead and send flowers by launching even MORE shoes. Good job marketing department, good job :)
    Sheila recently posted..Celebrity BFF’sMy Profile

  17. I’m always scared to go minimal. I’ve had too many foot problems in the past (and not now when I stick with my heavy duty Asics). Those are pretty good looking shoes, though.
    Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted..Your Pee Must Be Clear and Other MythsMy Profile

  18. Those are really pretty shoes! I’ve heard good things about the Minimus. I hope they continue to work well for you!
    Beth recently posted..First run with Ghost GTXsMy Profile

  19. I love how these looks but I’m scared of adding another shoe to the pile :)
    katie recently posted..four things fridayMy Profile

  20. I love the color! Sounds like the perfect shoe for you. I know that my wallet couldn’t handle a full blown shoe obsession, so I try not to go searching. recently posted..Birthday Wish ListMy Profile

  21. I’ve been wearing New Balance 730 which has a 3mm drop and just a little cushioning (love these!) but maybe the zeros will be next on my list! LOVE the yellow!
    GreenGirlRunning recently posted..The Jungle Run 10k RecapMy Profile

  22. When you figure it all out just email me with your choice so I can just buy them…..haha!
    Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race recently posted..When To Buy Fruits, Vegetables And HerbsMy Profile

  23. TWSS!
    Jeff Irvin recently posted..Buffalo Springs Lake Tri 70.3 …My Profile

  24. I just bought New Balance 1600 and LOVE them. Even though I really like a minimal sneaker, I’ve been afraid to run a marathon with what I currently have, Saucony Fasttwitch. I get pain in the ball of my foot when I go long. But I bought the NB’s at the expo a couple of weeks ago and just love how they feel on my runs. Can’t wait to try them on a long run (with fingers crossed).
    Not sure how different they are from the Minimus? I think they might have a big more padding.
    Joanne recently posted..An Empty NestMy Profile

  25. I hope this shoe works for you on longer runs, and the yellow is an fabulous colour!
    Abby @ Change of Pace recently posted..Six weeks to race dayMy Profile

  26. Funny, I remember when I first started running, I looked at how the shoes looked on me instead of how they felt. Years and many marathons later, I no longer hold that as important. I still have color preference, but Asics have worked for a long time so I’m sticking with what works.

    On another note, my husband is a loyal New Balance wearer. We debate. A lot.
    Lisa recently posted..More MagicMy Profile

  27. awesome feeling when a shoe and the body click so perfectly! speaking of, I have gotta get me some new running shoes…my mizunos are on their last lap! sad but true…
    marissa recently posted..running, jumping and having a ball!My Profile

  28. oh i would love to try those! are they like newtons? sweet spots are key, way to find it!

  29. I wish I could go the more minimalist direction. Every time I get fitted for a new shoe, I’m pointed in the support direction. I’m happy with what I have but wish there were more options. And that I had better color options! All the fun shoes are bright colors!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..Accentuate the PositiveMy Profile

  30. Sounds like you found some pretty great shoes! Super cute too! Have a great weekend!
    lisa @ early morning run recently posted..A Good Workout Needs Good SupportMy Profile

  31. Gotta love it when you find a shoe that fits the sweet spot in your stride! They are elusive critters. The color does help. I have a feeling this will make you a great longer run shoe :-).
    Harold recently posted..Altra Instincts–First ImpressionsMy Profile

  32. This review comes with perfect timing, as I am searching for a new pair of shoes with similar characteristics! Thanks!
    Laura recently posted..Runner’s High: Take a chanceMy Profile

  33. Functional and cute! Score!!
    Shay @ Whine Less, Breathe More recently posted..Rockin’ Summer NightMy Profile

  34. Love Love Love the yellow!! Yellow has always been my favorite color and I haven’t found a shoe (in the brand I wear) in yellow!
    I’m itching to slower transition to less heel-to-toe drop shoes. I jumped to 4mm a few months ago but I think it was just too much on my body (to do during pregnancy). So I’m going to go back to my old ones until after the baby is born and then give it a shot. I’m definitely going to be looking for some tips/advice from you though. Love that you incorporate some barefoot running in your regimen too!!
    Michele @ Nycrunningmama recently posted..Friday Night Cry SessionMy Profile

  35. I will be interested in hearing how these work out for you in the long run. I got the Kinvaras which have been good so far, but am still experimenting a bit myself!
    Travel Spot recently posted..Run The DayMy Profile

  36. Those shoes are SUPER cute – love the color! I hope they work out for you. :)
    Paulette recently posted..Hello Again, Calves & ShinsMy Profile

  37. Love those shoes they are so cute!!! I hope they hold out for your longer runs!!
    Toni Church recently posted..Heart & Sole 5K Plus Another 8 or So MilesMy Profile

  38. Yellow is my favorite color too! When I saw the picture, my first thought was how much I like them! I have been running in the Saucony Kinvara 3s and LOVE them!
    Beth @ RUNNING around my kitchen recently posted..Brian’s training planMy Profile

  39. Such a pretty shoe!!! It looks fast too :)
    Christine recently posted..Race Report: 5km Run for Mental WellnessMy Profile

  40. Great to hear that found the right shoes for you. I love the color and the design of your shoes.That is why I’m so excited to have a shoes like this. Thanks for the post and keep the good work!
    Born27 recently posted..Audio conference teleconferencingMy Profile

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