Experimenting with Minimalist Running

Thanks so much for sharing my excitement this week.Β  I’ve been a little giddy between the half marathon and then launching all the coaching services, but I’ll try to tone down the cheeriness and not be too annoying. πŸ™‚

Well, ready or not, the 10k is tomorrow.Β  I definitely “raced” the half on Sunday- my quads were tired until about Thursday! So I’ll do my best, but I’m not expecting miracles.

Recovery 3 miler in the Virattas

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was given a pair of Saucony Virratas to try.Β  Many of you asked what I thought of them, so I thought it might be a good opportunity to pull out the camera again and do a little vlog.

If you’re not the vlog type, here’s the overview: I love the idea of minimalist running, but my body has never agreed with me.Β  The minimalist shoes I’ve tried in the past aggravated my Achilles, which I’ve never had issues with otherwise.

I do think that some runners can run better and with less chance of injury by making the switch to a minimal shoe, but from my one bad experience, I was convinced it wasn’t for me.

I was cautious about this shoe and made a point to ease in gradually.Β  I started by walking a few miles in them, and then did some run/walks to get my legs used to them.

I only used them for slow and easy recovery runs, and I was surprised to find that my legs were fine and had no extra aches or pains! The most I’ve run in them so far is 3 miles, and I’m optimistic about increasing my distance in them over the next few weeks.

Virrata Shoe Details:

  • 6 ounces
  • 0mm offset to allow your foot to do the work naturally
  • Breathable Mono Mesh
  • HydraMAXβ„’ Collar lining material combines superior moisture wicking properties with comfort
  • High Abrasion EVA foam that is a lighter alternative to rubber in the midsole and outsole
  • Premium carbon rubber outsole material that offers exceptional traction and high-wear properties
  • Triangular Lug Design provides traction and durability

Happy running this weekend!

Do you use a minimalist shoe, or have you ever tried one?

65 thoughts on “Experimenting with Minimalist Running

  1. You should be giddy–you’ve had an awesome week!

    I’m glad you liked the shoes. They look like a good transition shoe to me…a bit more sole than I like, but for someone just dipping their toes into more natural running shoes, I think a good starting point.
    misszippy recently posted..Sunglasses giveaway!My Profile

  2. Congrats on your awesome week! It is certainly hard to come down (not that you ever should!) from a great race high. Thanks for the shoe review. My goal is to get more into minimalist running this spring.
    Amy @ Writing While Running recently posted..Not My DayMy Profile

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. My husband is really into the idea of the minimalist and the concept of the Newtons (which he wears). I would love to get my feet healed up enough to try them. Honestly, my feet were never stronger (and never hurt) when I was a dancer. Dancers don’t wear padded shoes, stabilized anything. All the strength is in your feet plain and simple
    Heather (Where’s the Beach) recently posted..Cathe Friedriche’s XTrain SeriesMy Profile

  4. Hooray for having such a wonderful week. I am also glad that you are feeling like transitioning to a more minimal shoe is going well/working out for you this time! It’s pretty exciting!
    Emily N recently posted..The Thing that Broke MeMy Profile

  5. Have a great race! I’m behind on blogs so I didn’t get a chance to comment on your others but yay on your fantastic week, every right to be giddy!
    abbi recently posted..Quick Chicago TripMy Profile

  6. This has been my big year to the switch up of running shoes. I probably never would have made the switch if it hadn’t have been for my injury. In one year I have gone from the Brooks Adrenaline to switching between the Brooks Ghost 5 and the Pure Connects. My recent addition which I am loving are the Brooks Pure Flows.
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  7. I am really liking them so far, I need to post my review! My calves were sore after my first run but that was probably my fault!

  8. Your cheeriness is great – you should be with all the exciting things going on in your life! I’m definitely interested in a more minimalist shoe. I know it’s something that I need to slowly work on. The virratas look great and the reviews are all positive. Good luck on your 10k!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..A Letter to My Body: I’m SorryMy Profile

    • It took me the longest time to try them as well. I don’t see myself ever wearing them for longer distances, but I like the idea of strengthening my food and other muscles. But if it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right? πŸ™‚
      Laura recently posted..Experimenting with Minimalist RunningMy Profile

  9. I’ve been running in Brooks Pure Flows and liking them, but want to try something that’s 0 mm drop. The Sauconys sound nice and cushiony–do they come in a wide toebox?

  10. I’m giddy for you!! So much exciting stuff going on. I haven’t tried a more minimalist shoe because I’m so worried about injury. I think because I had a really bad case of plantar fasciitis and I associate that with not having enough support on my feet, walking around barefoot, etc. I’m curious about these because they do sound like a great transition shoe. Will have to look into them!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..Friday Round-Up: Life Lessons and FGOs*My Profile

    • Christine – depending on the cause of your plantar fasciitis, you could actually benefit from having less support and cushioning. Walking barefoot and wearing zero drop shoes with less cushioning can strengthen your foot muscles, which can help with foot issues. I’m no expert though – just my 2 cents. πŸ™‚
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  11. Please DON’T tone down the cheeriness. I love that you have so much to be excited and happy about. Love it!

    Those shoes are purty…. have never tried a minimalist shoes. Sheesh, I can barely type it!

    Good luck with your 10 k.

  12. I have been running in ‘minimalist shoes’ for a few years now. Maybe it’s my running style but whenever I put on anything heavier, I feel like a Clydesdale clomping around. I started minimalist running in Nike Free’s a few years ago, and even ran my first marathon in them. That was a bad move, there wasn’t enough support and I had horrible ITB issues. I switched to Saucony Kinvara’s in 2011 thanks to help from a local running store employee. I haven’t looked back since, I am currently on pair #6 and will be buying #7 on May 1 when Kinvara 4’s come out. They are comfortable and they fit great, minimize injuries, great support, but light as hell…. couldn’t ask for anything more (oh they’re crazy stylish too…)
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  13. I started out in Vibram Five Fingers 2 years ago, and had a suprisingly easy time transitioning. However, more than 6 miles in VFFs irritates the soles of my feet, so I got a pair of Merrell Pace Gloves last year, which I love. I ran my first marathon in them. Recently, I bought a pair of Altra Superiors for trail running (better grip and more cushion for longer, technical runs). So far, they are great! Not as light and free as the Merrells, but so comfy.

    Good luck at your 10K!
    Jen recently posted..Shopping SpreeeeeMy Profile

  14. First – these shoes LOOK amazing – love the fun colors! Second – I’ve seen too many injuries from minimalist shoes to think it’s the cure-all that people think, but I do think it works well for some people (just like any shoe). πŸ™‚
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  15. Good luck tomorrow! I sense another PR coming! Congrats on the coaching certification! YAY!

    What’s the difference between the Virrata and the Kinvara? I am always game to try newer and lighter shoes!

  16. Your review is timely as I am about to purchase another pair of running shoes. I’ve been hesitant to give the minimalist shoes a try for concerns of injury but this shoe might just be the answer. I’m also dying to try a minimalist cross trainer. I’m always working out on the TRX barefoot so I think this type of shoe would work well for me there. πŸ™‚

  17. I’ve used the Asics Gel Blurr33’s. They’re not a hardcore minimal shoe, I like them but I’ve been wearing Mizunos since I got a free pair from the Mezamashii project and love them (Wave precision 13’s)

  18. Have a good race this weekend! I decided to wait until May to start transitioning to the Newtons. I don’t want to take the hit in mileage right now and definitely don’t want to keep swapping back and forth shoes.
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  19. I ran in Brooks Pure Connect for awhile (still do at times) I like the way it helps my form but am not patient enough to take time to fully make the change. I usually do some running in the minimalist and most in my stabiity shoe but still feel the gait changes when I move back and forth.
    Jen recently posted..Running in the rainMy Profile

  20. Cheery is never annoying in my book so be as giddy as you like! Those shoes are so pretty. You are wise to ease in though. I’ve been wearing Newtons for speed/tempo work for about 5 years now but still don’t go over 10 miles in them. I got overzealous in the Lady Isaac and ended up injured.
    Marcia recently posted..Stuff I Love: Green EditionMy Profile

  21. Hey, cheer on! No need to hide a great week. I have a pair of New Balance Trail Minimus on right now, but more for fashion reasons. Is it weird that I consider running shoes to be fashionable? LOL They are super comfy–feel like ballet shoes. I haven’t tried running in them yet.
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  22. Glad it’s going well with the shoes. I’m so tempted to try something like this, but am also so afraid to mess with what’s currently working. Maybe someday…..
    Michelle recently posted..The Reason WhyMy Profile

  23. I run in the Newton MV2s which are a zero drop, minimalist shoe. I rotate between those and my new balance Minimus. Love them both but it definitely took months to make the transition from a higher profile shoe. Glad I did though! I feel my form improved a lot in the process.
    Gina recently posted..Races with Scary NamesMy Profile

  24. I tried them once and I had some major problems with them and got a bad case of tendonitis. But I started using them incorrectly (I believe) I shouldn’t have started using them day one into long distance runs, I should have broken myself into them gradually. A Dr. told me alternating them with my regular shoes would have been a better way to go. For me I won’t use them again only because I wasn’t smart about it. But for those who are wiser than me and take the time, I hear good things about the shoes from them!!!
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  25. I am terrified of Minimalist running because of all my injuries. I run in huge honking shoes and don’t think I’d switch them for the world. However, I can see how they’d be good for you for shorter distances, not sure about marathons though. I’ll be interested to see what you think.
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted..Marathon Training Update – week 9My Profile

  26. All the shoes I run in are either minimalist or close to it. I’ve found I really prefer lighter weight shoes, and seem to also have odd aches and pains with more support. Great review!
    Mandy recently posted..I am still alive!!!My Profile

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  28. Those are probably similar to the Kinvara, which I love. I also just bought some semi-minimalist trail shoes — my first pair of trail shoes ever! I am excited to try them out!
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  30. I transitioned VERY slowly into my Vibram. I am finally up to 3.5 miles in them and they feel great. I started out running only about a quarter mile in them and would add another quarter mile every week or 2. I definitely got impatient but am glad I went slow now.
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