New Balance, Vibram, Minimal this minimal that…hello???

Ok. I have to laugh…and out loud.

Im not a big fan of trends and not a big fan of fads and fancy gear that makes you look good, costs way too much money and in the end only rich people can afford. They end up persuaded into buying because the marketing team behind the product are quite smart, or the sales person is, or simply because they are not well informed.

SHOES – Trail Running Shoes – Barefoot Running – A HOT topic

Ive read the book Born to Run, I have friends who run in Five Fingers, barefoot every now and then, Ive surfed the forums endlessly to educate myself about ultras and trail running and Ive heard about people who run naked and barefoot at least once a day cause its good for you right? Right.

Now. Here is the deal. I support Inov-8 running shoes and they support me. They have a million shoes for every type of terrain and purpose and orienteers love them. I like Salomon too but I have a problem with the quality of the rubber they use as I have mentioned in this blog before. Inov-8 for a few years now have produced off road shoes that are very skimpy on material and cushioning for racing and fast fell running but they are also aware that these shoes may not suit for long training and distances so they have a whole range of shoes to cater for that also.

I was very amused this evening to see the latest New Balance shoe reviewed by Gear Junkie. Apparently is has been so “kept under wraps” that only snapshots of the shoe were released until now, the design was so SPECIAL and unique…now tell me, what is so special and unique about the latest New Balance shoe?

According to Regenold one of the differences is allowing the forefoot to expand “ The Minimus line, which will come in several iterations, is a change of course from traditional running shoes. It has scant padding and weighs 25 percent less than many comparable models. The design also includes a wider forefoot area, which the company touts as allowing the foot to expand naturally on impact.” Now, I thought that this is something that would happen naturally in almost every running shoe anyway?

When I saw the first photos of the shoes I immediately saw a similarity to other shoes that have been on the market for quite some time.

And now a picture of the latest, greatest New Balance Minimus shoes with Vibram soles:

A picture of a famous (ly ugly) but well known “corrective shoe”

and the stunningly original, new road-version of the New Balance Minimus

It just makes me angry to hear about shoe manufacturers producing “minimal-style” running shoes when it is really a contradiction to the whole concept of minimal running – that less material and fancy design is more.

The minimal movement encourages a back to basics attitude – a strong healthy running technique and stride relying less on shoes correcting your gait and how you plant your foot by encouraging you as a runner, to be conscious of how you make contact with the ground. According to Regenold the shoe Minimus does that for you “Shoes like the Minimus discourage heel striking and bad form. This is accomplished with a minimalist-theme design — these shoes have no insole and almost no “padding,” for example — as well as touches that encourage you to land on the forefoot and midfoot more easily.” a contradiction in itself.

Read Gear Junkie’s full review here


2 thoughts on “New Balance, Vibram, Minimal this minimal that…hello???

  1. I hate those MBTs. I hate their marketing campaign too. There is someone at the office that find them useful though, anecdotally experiencing fewer knee problems – but that’s not going to make me hate them any less. 😉 And I’ll disown any offspring of mine that chooses to buy a pair, I tell ya! 😛

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