Jan 4, 2013 | 1 comment »
Greg Woods is a writer, CrossFitter, and runner based out of Durham, North Carolina.
Below is an interview with Greg that talks about running off weight, his foray into "barefoot" running shoes, his ideal minimalist shoe, and a desire to move to a place where they can be worn all the time (Costa Rica? Maybe if he can outrun the thugs!).
Jan 2, 2013 | 7 comments »
For any emotional, spiritual, or otherwise high-energy situation, I've found that there's always some token that stands out to remind me of the whole situation. When going to my grandma's Baptist church, it was the butterscotch lifesavers she gave me to keep quiet. In my Catholic elementary school, the uniform. When I was confirmed into the United Methodist church, a medallion. (I was a bit of a problem child and I think my family figured that SOMEBODY'S god would get me straightened out.)
At my latest church, there are many potential tokens. T-shirts from other regional churches that you may have visited. Hoodie sweatshirts, Reebok gear. I'm talking of course about the church of CrossFit. That "sport of fitness" that many people think of as a cult. One of the most persistent tokens are Inov-8 shoes. Crossfitters love these shoes, and Inov-8 loves them back. So much so that there's even a "kettlebell camoflauge" pattern on some styles.
I must admit that I've felt like somehow less of a Crossfitter for never having tried Inov-8 at all. I know, I know -- materialism at its worst. But don't pretend that you never experience such feelings no matter how intellectual and stylistically independent you consider yourself.
Anyway. I finally got ahold of some Inov-8 BareX 200s via a deal on The Clymb. I took them running and Crossfitting. Let me tell you about them, brothers and sisters.
Dec 26, 2012 | 12 comments »
Like many of you, when I got into minimalist running I went a little nuts. I read all the books and articles I could. I did (what felt at the time like) strange exercises to increase my foot strength. I tried all manner of shoes. And of course I proselytized to anyone who would listen. I mellowed out on that last point once I remembered that everyone is different and that was the whole reason I'd been experimenting with shoes and form to begin with. On the other points, though, I've barely slowed.
Most especially I'm on a constant mission to find minimalist shoes that sit at or near some vague-but-perfect spot on the spectrum between low price and high quality. I'm certain that I'm not the only one who sees those two characteristics as a tightly corresponding sliding scale and is disappointed by such. Sticker shock is a common occurrence in shoe shopping, but it can often feel more extreme when it comes to minimalist shoes. After all, why should so little cost so much?
Feiyue Tiger Claw Martial Arts shoes are one of the styles that piqued my interest as a potential occupant of that sweet spot on the spectrum. How'd they fare once I put them through the ringer?
Dec 21, 2012 | 5 comments »
As we celebrate the world not ending today, I've got a pretty unique user story to share from Randall. Randall recently got married and was lucky enough to do so as an early-tester of a pre-production model of The Primal Professional!
Read on for Randall's story, which is basically a mini-review of the Primal Professional. You'll also find a way to pre-order the "PriPro" and save money, if you do so before 2012 comes to a close. The Primal Professional will be arriving some time in Spring 2013)!
Dec 19, 2012 | 79 comments »
The most minimalist pair of Vibram FiveFingers since the (discontinued and limited-use/indoor-only) Moc just became available for purchase in the U.S. — this is a surprise as, well, the El-X is a "Spring/Summer 2013" model and it's only mid-December 2012! I guess Vibram wanted it out before the end of the world.
The El-X is a men's model that rivals and may even surpass the original Classic FiveFingers in terms of ground feel, flexibility (adherence to the dynamic nature of the foot), overall fit, and comfort.
While the end of the world is unlikely to happen any time soon, Vibram has released a model that is true to the original FiveFingers in it's simplicity and "barefoot feel." My initial take (some 48 hours into having a pair!) is that the El-X is a 10, even if that's not "El-X" means. More on the meaning, photos, and even video, after the jump!
Dec 18, 2012 | 5 comments »
The new edition of the Merrell Bare Access is a complete overhaul of the original and mostly for the better. The coarse mesh upper with synthetic leather overlays has been exchanged for a two-layer mesh with plastic overlays. The midsole continues the zero drop tradition, but does have some slight structural changes that will be covered in more detail later. The most dramatic changes were made to the outsole. Vibram rubber hides a majority of the EVA midsole, while the coverage of its ancestor was limited to the high wear areas. This new generation puts the Bare Access in a good position to compete with similar "transitional" shoes like the Saucauny Kinvara.