Monday, January 14, 2013

Minimalist sole shoes and interval training: an instructors review

This is my first sojourn into the world of minimalist shoes... specifically vibram soles.  It was a toss up for me between the Merrell Ladies Pace Glove Shoes AW12 and the New Balance Ladies Minimus (B Width) Shoes AW12, but the New Balance came with some pretty awesome reviews (and in the colour black with rasberry trim... sold).

I won't bore you with the semantics of minimalist shoe theory suffice to say that the bare foot is the best foot to develop your strength and correct imbalances of the ankle, knees and back.  It has now been acknowledged that the expensive gel reinforced heels and arches have created an imbalance when God herself designed us to be walking bare foot across sand, rock and stone for a few hours a day to make us stronger on the evolutionary history channel that is life.  And we have thwarted the biomechanics of man with marketing and mass consumerism.  Enough of this rant.

I have been loyal to the Asics Nimbus and Gel with my neutral foot for 10 years, but after six of my ten toes burst through the front webbing of my 4 month old Gels in a final blast of car park olympic long jumps I have decided that the quality is no longer good enough and I wanted more.

How was it?  Excellent for our interval cross training sessions were we use weights, ply-metric high impact movements, sprinting, kicking and boxing.

Here's what I liked:
They are light as a feather and I was suprised at the arch support for a 'minimalist shoe'.
There was no "breaking in" or blisters.
Because the shoes are super light, head high kicks and knees feel fantastic.
 My feet feel like lightening compared to a conventional trainer when doing false starts and tucks.
It was easier to pivot and do sideways movement in boxing footwork.
My normal trainer is usually HEAVIER by the end of the session due to sweat.  These shoes have dri-weave technology that has put end to that feeling.

Squatting, snatching and cleans feel good because you can get the feeling of the heel on the floor, the big toe to the ground and the remaining toes raised - critical for a sound squat.
I can still wear normal socks.

The sizing was excellent.  In the ASICS I jump up half a size compared to my casual shoes, and I did the same for the New Balance and it was perfect.  (ie: Casual shoe size 6.5. Asics size 7.  New Balance size 7... New note here: Merrell's size 6.5).

WORD OF WARNING.... Do not wear these shoes outdoors in the wet.  I recently did an 8 hour bootcamp intructors course in the rain on both a bitumen court and grass, and the shoes where so slippery they were dangerous.  I went barefoot and braved the bitument and green ants instead.  In hindsight I should have gone back to the Asics Gel 2160's for outdoor wet weather.

Email me if you want me to send you a invite becauseI you can get a freebie gift when you purchase something... Or, click through the flashy ad below and check out the other Vibram soles they have on offer (my next review will be on the Merrell Pace - beware the smaller sizing...). 

I would love to hear what your experience is with perfect interval training shoe for fight fitness? 

Wiggle have about a 4 day deliver time, FREE delivery and the savings are in the hundreds when it comes to training shoes...  (and check out their socks... I am a convert to their ped tech socks with little tongues at the back because I HATE SOCKS THAT SLIP WHEN I KICK! ).

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