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    Xero Shoes - Barefoot Running Sandals

Review: Nike Air Zoom Streak XC 2

Review: Nike Air Zoom Streak XC 2

Vibram Five Fingers got me back into running after I had pretty much given up on it because of back and knee pain. Forefoot strike running in Five Fingers solved those problems and I was on my way. Running in Five Fingers is a blast. The ground feel and freedom is unmatched. However, as I logged more miles and did longer runs I began to develop nagging achilles tendonitis. This led me to search for other "barefoot running shoes" that would allow me to maintain my forefoot strike and perhaps be easier on my achilles. I first tried the Saucony Grid Type A4s and found that running in them really lessens the stress on my achilles. Also, I am able to consistently land on my forefoot and get good ground feel with the A4s. Then, after Edward Edmonds mentioned the Nike Air Zoom Streak XC 2 in his Q&A on marathon training, I wanted to see how they suited my needs. So, after running in them a few times, here are my thoughts.

The Streak XC 2 is a very minimal racing flat with a low heel-to-toe drop and a whisper of an upper. Advanced Nike technology cushions and protects the foot with a firm but springy sole. Bottomline, I love the upper, which feels like it is not there! However, for me, the sole is just a little too thick, especially at midfoot, to maintain my forefoot strike.

My detailed review is after the jump.

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New Balance NB Minimus - Evolution of a Barefoot Running Shoe [BREAKING]

New Balance NB Minimus - Evolution of a Barefoot Running Shoe [BREAKING]

New Balance just released an interview with ultramarathon runner Tony Krupicka and New Balance shoe designer Chris Wawrousek that talks about the iterative design process behind the NB Minimus Trail shoe. The post includes the leaked video of Anton Krupicka and the New Balance NB Minimus Trail and it looks like New Balance has also released a few more close-up photos of the Minimus (see our old photo-mash-up of the Minimus Trail here).

Here is a link to the interview over at NewBalance.com and you can see the updated gallery of ultra-close-up macro photos of the orange NB Minimus Trail on flickr here

We'll dive into this latest installment of the New Balance NB Minimus 2011 release after the jump.

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Nautica Malibu Triathlon After Just 6 weeks in Five Fingers

Rafael at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon
Rafael swimming, cycling, running and finishing the Nautica Malibu Triathlon.

Though we suggest all runners transitioning to Vibram Five Fingers take their time and make a very gradual transition, Rafael ran in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon after just six weeks in Vibram Five Fingers.

My name is Rafael from Sacramento, CA. I was convinced by my sister to do the Nautica Malibu Triathlon. It consists of a 1/2 mile swim, 18 mile bike ride, and a 4 mile run. I started my training 6 months ago. I stepped into my first pair of Five Fingers 6 weeks before the race. I fell in love with the shoes and I set my goal to do the race in them. I had to keep a slow pace for the run because I'm still transitioning into the shoes. I did the run in my Trek Sports and they performed excellent. With me swimming in the cold ocean without a swimsuit and running in the Five Fingers, I got many looks, questions and comments. I can't wait until next year when I can run much stronger. I've only had Five Fingers for 6 weeks and I already own 3 pairs. KSO, Trek Sports and Smartwool Classics. I wear my Five Fingers exclusively now!

Wow, Rafael, that was a pretty quick transition. Your prior training must have helped. Congrats on finishing the race. It sounds like you have really embraced the Five Fingers lifestyle!

Vibram Five Fingers Sprints Take On the Sierre-Zinal

Stéphane Running the Sierre-Zinal
Stéphane running the Sierre-Zinal through the Swiss Alps and finishing with his daughter.

Stéphane, a Vibram Five Fingers fan, wore his Sprints to run in the 31K Sierre-Zinal mountain race in Switzerland. Stéphane shares his story below:

I like to read other people's stories on the BirthdayShoes website and I thought I could also share my recent Five Fingers experience with you. I started to run in them in April of this year after seeing someone run with these in the NY Marathon. I knew they were something special worth trying.

Since I was a little bit bored with running at the time and also suffered from a knee tendinitis after my New York trip, I was looking for something different. And my Vribrams were the answer. I enjoyed the barefoot feeling right away, it gave me wings and sore calves at first though, but I got used to them in four months.

So, for me there was no doubt I could run with them anywhere. Since I’ve been running Sierre-Zinal every year since 2003, I couldn’t miss that opportunity. It was August this year, on 31km through the rocky Swiss mountains. I must admit that I got sore feet at the end because I wasn’t used to runnning on small stones this long, but it is just a matter of getting used to it I think. It took me 5 hours and a half and I usually run it in 4 hours and a half. Despite a few people laughing at me and making me feel like I was some crazy guy to run with these shoes over there, I enjoyed most of the race. What amazed me is how fast my muscles recovered, I usually get really stiff for a couple of days and this time the day right after the race I was feeling fine, except for a few bruises on my feet, but not crippled at all.

I definitely have to try them in my next New York Marathon, I am sure I won’t hurt myself like I did last year. Thanks for all your posts and stories by the way, and keep on running!

Way to go Stéphane! Running the Sierre-Zinal through the rocky terrain of the Swiss Alps in Sprints is quite an amazing feat. Congratulations!