Shoe Quandary

edited January 2013 in Minimalist Running
Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice on minimalist running shoes. Some background: Starting in March of last year I ran in Saucony Mirage 2s. My local running store salesperson said I overpronated a but and recommended them. They felt great and I went through two pairs, running my first marathon with them in October. Around then, I decided I want to try more minimal shoes and bought a pair of New Balance MR00s, which I've been running in since the marathon. Generally, they feel pretty good, but I often spend my runs thinking about how they feel. In particular, it doesn't feel like my toes are pushing off (I'm not sure if this is because of the roomier forefoot). Additionally, I've noticed sometimes that I get some numbness in my feet (mostly in the left foot). I've had this before with other neutral shoes, so I don't know if this is related to pronation issues, or if it could just be from the minimal cushioning in the MR00s. Yesterday I went for a 10.5 mile run (the longest in them so far) and was really feeling the impact in my feet and had some discomfort in my knees towards the end. I put on my old Mirages when I got home and jogged around a bit and they felt great. 

All of this has me questioning whether I should be using so minimal a shoe, especially I start training for half marathons in the spring. My overall question then is, if I stick it out in the MR00s, will my feet and legs adjust to using them for longer distances? If not, do I just need a shoe with more cushioning or should I go back to 4-mm drop shoes? Or do I need to go all the way back to shoes with some more control, like the Mirage?

Additionally, if anyone can suggest some shoes, it'd be much appreciated. I'm interested to see what the NB MR10v2 is like, because I really like the fit of the MR00s. If I stick with zero-drop I was thinking about checking out the Bare Access 2.


  • I have the Bare Access 2 and it's a great shoe.  I think it has more cushion than the MR00.  I've still not transitioned to the BA2 full time as I've been running in 4mm drop shoes for the past year.  I've heard that the last 4mm is actually tougher than going from 12mm to 4mm drop so I'm taking it slow.  One other point and I think Runblogger agrees is that for one person 4mm drop may be as low as they go and for others it's 0 drop with cushion and others may just tape a piece of  paper to the bottom of their foot for cushion and be fine with that. 
  • Thanks for the advice. Maybe I've underestimated the gap between 0 and 4 mm drop. I've noticed that when I run in the MR00s I sometimes have a tendency to not touch my heel to the ground, so that could be the issue. For the time being, my plan is to continue in the MR00s for shorter distances and speedwork and use the Mirages for longer runs.
  • Honestly, I went from Mirages straight into the BA2's with no problem.
  • Thanks, Bryan. I'll definitely be checking the BA2 out.
  • Do your calves get really sore after running in the MR00's? Would be likely if your heel is not touching down.

    I find the MR00 to have a fairly unresponsive sole, lacks pop. For zero drop, I like the Bare Access 2 and Skecehers GoBionic better, though they are very different shoes from one another. Really most looking forward to the Saucony Virrata, and the Mizuno Cursoris sounds good too.

    I do agree with SteveL - 0 drop need not be the end goal for everyone. I do most of my miles, and all of my races in 4mm drop shoes since they tend to be my sweet spot. If the Mirages feel great, stick with them or something similar (maybe try the Brooks PureCadence). You could also try a flat like the Saucony A5 or adidas Hagio.

    Go with what works is my philosophy!

  • Thanks for the advice. My calves were sore when I first started using the MR00s, but haven't been as of late. I actually noticed during a tempo run in them yesterday that my stride and footstrike sort of 'settled in' after I ran a bit harder in them. Still, I went back to my old Mirages for an easy run this morning. I also ordered a pair of GoRuns yesterday, because they were just so inexpensive and my Mirages have a lot of miles on them. Assuming those work out, I'll use them for the winter and probably look for something new come spring. I'll probably only use the MR00s for track work at this point.
  • Little update: I decided to try out the MR00s again on a 5-mile run this morning and concentrated on striking the ground with my midfoot. It went pretty well, but for some reason my left foot in particular just seems like it doesn't transition smoothly. I think I recall Runblogger saying that the lack of pop in the MR00s sometimes led to pronation occurring immediately after striking the ground, so maybe that's what I'm experiencing. It still seems odd that it only happens to my left foot, though.

    Interesting to note that my calves were sore after this run, but in a good way.
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