The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.
~ John Bingham
I’ve been running fairly regularly for around 20 or so years now. I’ve worked myself up to complete a few half marathons and I might go for a full marathon if the mood strikes.
My favourite style of running his trail running and as such I own a pair of trail running shoes but they are not minimalist trail running shoes. Today I want to discuss with you the pros and cons of minimalist running and try and uncover the best minimalist trail running shoes out there.
But the perhaps more important question is do you actually need minimalist style train running shoes or minimalist running shoes generally.
Let’s dig in.
Currently I run in a pair of Asics GEL trail running shoes similar to these Asics GEL Kahana 5s. Mine are a couple of years old… yes, I use 2 year old running shoes. They might even be older.
I generally prefer New Balance trail running shoes and Asics running shoes as they seem to fit my feet best. I have a wider footprint than average and these folks seem to naturally offer wider sizes without having to go for the .5 size for the extra width.
Alright then, let’s get to the chase. Do you need minimalist running shoes? In one word NO.
Unless your trail running or road running is your source of income then I don’t believe that minimalist running shoes will offer you much of a benefit in quickening your pace or making you faster.
Nevertheless, if you are in the market for a new pair of trail running shoes then you could do worse then try out the new breed of minimalist shoe for trail running.
There are a ton of minimalist trail running shoes on the market, but there is only one I’d really consider. And that is the New Balance WT20 Minimus trail running shoe for women or the men’s version which is the New Balance MT20 Minimus trail running shoe. In my mind these are the best minimalist trail running shoes out there at the moment.
Why do I say this? Because they look good, have great reviews with folks remarking on their fit and comfort, plus they don’t make you look stupid like the Vibran five fingers fad that is all the rage.
The New Balance trail running shoes are also reasonably priced.
Now the thing is, some early research is suggesting that running in minimalist shoes can help enhance your running gait and help you to land more on your forefoot which is what you want to try and achieve as you run. Ideally you’ll be landing on your forefoot directly under your centre if you’re running with a perfect gait.
Look, running is about fun and health, at least it should be. You don’t need the most up to date gear in order to get out there and have fun and improve your health through running.
You also don’t need to replace your running shoes every 300 or 400 miles or whatever number they come up with. I mean, who comes up with that anyway? And what is the science based on. If you need to be replacing your running shoes that often maybe you should be replacing your feet that often too. It makes no sense to me.
My current trail running shoes have over 500 miles on them and they’re still super comfy with each run.
I only change my running shoe when they’re no longer comfortable or the pounding of the trail or pavement is too harsh for me to ignore.
Granted if you’re 30, 50 or more pounds overweight then maybe you should change up your shoes more often until you get down to your desired weight, but really, let’s start thinking for ourselves.
If you are getting injured from running then I reckon you’re running too much. The human body was meant for motion but not long distance running. Rather I believe that we are designed for sprints and shorter jogs, that’s one of the reasons I haven’t done any marathons or any half marathons lately. Take a look at those elite marathoners and then take a look at those elite sprinters. Who would you rather look like? Exactly, case closed.
Running is a solo sport generally and as such runners should be independent thinkers and leaders not sheeple.
Stop thinking you need the latest doodad or gadget to enjoy your runs more and to become faster. Did you ever see what Pre ran in. Or Zola Budd, exactly. If you want to get better running then run more and train smart. Not all of us can be elite level runners. Enjoy it. It’s good for you and your health and should be fun.
It should also be cheap and easy enough for anyone to do. Heck as I wrote about on my post the best running shoes you’ll ever need as well as my article on New Balance minimalist running shoes, you can run in Wal Mart running shoes and still have fun, save money and get into great shape.
Don’t follow the herd, they’re just going to lead you astray and part you from your hard earned money. Would you rather have the best running gear and only be able to run during lunch breaks and after gruelling days at the office or have cheap but functional running gear and run whenever the hell you feel like? I know the answer I’d choose.