Merrell Pace Glove Review - Original and Version 2

Merrell Pace Glove Review - Original and Version 2

Note from Greg — I've been hassling my poor girlfriend for months to try minimalist running, experiment with form, try on some of the weirder shoes at the running store. Mostly she's resisted. But I finally got her to try out a few and write about them. So here's her review...

I am NOT a minimalist runner. Greg, the boyfriend with whom many of you are already acquainted, jumped on the minimalist bandwagon after a running-related knee injury and I staunchly refused to take part because, well, it seemed absurd. And because I watched his perfectly soft, baby-skinned feet turn to blood blisters and callouses… on purpose. Many times.

So, how did I come to own a pair of Merrell’s Pace Glove minimalist shoes? Well, I might have had a sip of the CrossFit Kool-Aid. After that, I not only agreed to pay an arm and a leg to join CrossFit, but when they told me I needed expensive new minimalist shoes for the “best experience,” I gladly went out and bought some. My first pair was a set of white/hot pink New Balance Minimus Zeros. I bought them because, at the time, they were the only ones available at the local running store. While they are perfectly functional, I look like a clown in them. I know I’m not supposed to care what I look like at 6:15 AM while working out, but I’m a girl, so shut up. Plus, the “clown” feeling carried over into awkward function.

On a whim while on trip to Athens, GA, I ended up picking up a pair of purple/grey Merrell’s that were much more suitable for me – in both form and function.

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Breatho Trail Vivo Barefoot Shoe Review

Breatho Trail Vivo Barefoot Shoe Review

I'm planning on doing a GoRuck Challenge (GRC) in a few months, and I was at a loss for what type of shoe to use.

For those of you not familiar with the GRC, it is a 12 hour "adventure" designed by the GoRuck company to test their back packs, which will be filled with bricks (four bricks for those under 150 lbs and 6 bricks for those who weigh more than 150 lbs). Although each GRC is different the basic crux is lots of strenuous physical activity (like bear crawls, Indian runs, duck walks, and other forms of punishment) with a team of your peers. The GRC typically involves some sort of water activity, be it an ocean or a fountain, to add to the discomfort. For this type of abuse I needed a durable shoe that could support the weight of the ruck and be comfortable enough to wear for 12 hours.

Enter the Breatho Trail from Vivo Barefoot ...

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Hugh Jackman a.k.a. Wolverine Runs in FiveFingers Speeds Toe Shoes

Hugh Jackman a.k.a. Wolverine Runs in FiveFingers Speeds Toe Shoes
Photos — Leftmost: Splash News / Daily Telegraph Right two: Doug Meszler / Splash News

Did you know that Hugh Jackman, the venerable actor who plays X-man Wolverine, wears Vibram FiveFingers (Speeds!)?

Well he does.

Seems Jackman has been spotted recently running around NYC in them! Here are a couple screenshots of articles (See: The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph) featuring "The Wolverine" in toe shoes:

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ANI Brand Barefoot Shoes - Review

ANI Brand Barefoot Shoes - Review

I've been told I can get away with all the bizarre styles that minimalist shoe makers keep producing because I'm rather odd myself. Apparently I look like the kind of guy who would have shoes with individual toe pockets or run a race in sandals with socks. I'm fine with that.

In contrast, that means I have a much tougher time when it comes to wearing something that might actually be cool. That brings me to ANI shoes. They've got a polished, artsy website with slick marketing that's obviously inspired by high-end fashion designers and New York City. ANI is probably the first barefoot brand I've encountered that relies so heavily on style.

But don't take that to mean that the function is bad -- it isn't. I could easily see a bubble-jacketed youth breakdancing excitedly as the white headphones of his iPhone fuel him on, the shoes holding up like gangbusters.

In other words, I'm probably not cool enough for these shoes. But I wore them anyway.

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First American to Summit Everest at Vibram Boston Store

First American to Summit Everest at Vibram Boston Store

April 15, 2013, may be most commonly associated with taxes but this year it's also the day of the 2013 Boston Marathon. Vibram is celebrating the marathon this year by hosting famous mountaineer Jim Whittaker at their flagship retail store on Saturday, April 13.

Whittaker was the first American to summit Mount Everest fifty years ago! Whittaker was 34 at the time — talk about an incredible accomplishment. He's also noted as the first employee of REI and he went on to ultimately become REI's CEO and Chairman before retiring.

I've not read Whittaker's autobiography A Life on the Edge, but in reading up on reviews of the book (5 stars on Amazon), I found a quote from Whittaker that lands the book squarely on my list:

From A Life on the Edge:

I heard a phrase not too long ago that pretty well captures my philosophy of life: "If you aren't living on the edge, you're taking up too much space." It has nothing to do with thrill-seeking. It's about makign the most of every moment, about stretching your own boundaries, about being willing to learn constantly, and putting yourself in situations where learnings is possible—sometimes even critcial to your surivival. Being out on the edge, with everything at risk, is where you learn—and grow—the most.

— Jim Whittaker

I won't be able to attend the event, but if you happen to be in Boston, the first 100 visitors to the store will get a free book!

Finally, we're doing a little FiveFingers giveaway compliments of Vibram! To be eligible to win a pair of VFFs of your choosing (anything available on vibramfivefingers.com — U.S. models only), simply share this post on twitter or facebook using this link sometime between now and Friday, April 12th at noon Eastern Daylight Time:

http://5to.es/whittaker

Congrats to James Martinez (Twitter follower @Jarza_Quinntes) on winning!

The winner will be announced here on the blog at that time and contacted! NOTE: shares on Facebook must be public in order to track them and be eligible! Same for Twitter in case your tweets are private. Good luck!

And finally, anyone out there running the Boston Marathon? What shoes will you be wearing (if any)?

Full press release after the jump!

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