Can one ever have enough shoes? Not likely!
I now had a new requirement for shoes. Having taken up cross fit to help my training, I read up on the ideal shoes for this type of activity as I had heard that it was not ideal to use your running shoes for this training, one for safety as running shoes tend to have more cushioning which can put you off balance when using weights in some of the moves and alter your technique, and two it’s never good to use a shoe designed for one activity for another as it will alter the shoe & thus not work as well for the designed activity. Anyway enough excuses, I don’t really need an excuse to invest in yet another pair of shoes.
Ideally for cross fit ‘they’ say you should get a fairly minimal shoe with as close to zero drop as you can get. After doing some research, I narrowed it down to a couple, either Inov8 F-lite and New Balance Minimus. After such a great experience with the New Balance Leadville 1210’s, I decided to go with the New Balance (my new love).
Tech spec from New Balance–
“The New Balance Minimus 10, the flagship of our Minimus Collection, is a running shoe that’s equal parts minimal and practical. Its fitted, odor-resistant upper lets you go naked on top while its rugged Vibram® outsole and waterproof materials deliver the protection you need from the elements down below. Snow, ice, mud – whatever the trail throws at you, the 10 lets you throw it right back.
WEIGHT:147 Grams (5.2 oz)
4mm drop: due to variances created during the development and manufacturing processes, all references to 4mm drop are approximate
Barefoot friendly internal construction
Lightweight mesh upper
Minimus is a whole new approach to footwear, a new place on the spectrum from barefoot running to the traditional maximum-cushioning running shoe. Inspired by Good Form Running and designed to be worn with or without socks. With only a 4mm drop* from heel to toe, as little as a third of that of a traditional running shoe, the Minimus collection holds a world of discovery for neutral runners as well as those with gait issues or chronic injury to conquer by learning better form.
No sew overlays in optimal areas
First impressions, in no particular order: where is the shoe? The box was so light I was convinced they’d forgotten to pack the shoes inside! And where are my sunglasses? Bright with a capital B!😎
Well brightness certainly isn’t an issue for me, I don’t mind standing out in a crowd, but if you are the wall flower type you might want to rethink these. Slipping them on they felt like a pair of comfy slippers. Certainly didn’t feel like much structure to them and you could move and stretch your feet in any direction very freely. If I was any more obsessed I probably could have worn them to bed, but you have to draw the line somewhere.
Nothing like a good session to test them out, so I ran a mile to my cross fit class, which felt strange to begin with as they are so minimal, but they felt good, and I felt like I was so light and free, running on my toes almost! They performed well in cross fit, I was able to keep my feet flat on the floor although they did provide more structure than I would have initially thought. To test them a bit more I took a detour back via the Crag at Arthur’s Seat, my latest testing ground for new kit, there are worst places to pick.😉 Took them up and over the same mixed terrain as the Leadville’s; with a mixture of big smooth rocks, sharp little jagged rocks to sand and grassy paths. I could certainly feel the sharp rocks a lot more than the Leadville’s, no surprise there, however it wasn’t an uncomfortable experience, and I wouldn’t shy away from running over rough terrain in them in future. Pleased to report the shoes also have a night glow to them as I found out in the last stretch of my run home, which I am sure will be beneficial on those wintry, dark night runs.
All in all I am very pleased with these shoes. They certainly fit the bill for cross fit, and I’ll be using them for any 10km races to help the speed, and would even consider them for a half or full marathon, especially road ones.