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Friday, July 22, 2011

An Evening Run in my New Balance Minimus

I need new running shoes (road & trail), but I’ve been putting off the purchase because I can’t afford them.  All the while, I’ve been switching back and forth between running shoes that I own to try and extend their lives.  But then a friend told me about a Nordstrom’s sale where he recently bought a pair of New Balance Minimus Trail running shoes.  The Minimus shoe is for the mid-foot striker (me).  I can’t fore-foot strike because of a history of toe problems.  And I just plain ole don’t buy into the heel-strike idea (nothing against heel-strikers!!)  Actually, podiatrist’s love heel-strikers.  My last podiatrist (I don’t see podiatrists anymore – they just want to cut up my feet more), bulged his eyes when I said that I didn’t heel-strike.  “You mean you don’t come down on your heel at all?!!!” 

“Well, ya, a little bit,” I lied.  (I thought I was fibbing, but there is slight wearing on the heels of my shoes, so my heel does touch, it just doesn’t touch first).  ANYWAY, I’ve been wanting to try these minimalist shoes for a long time.  It took me just a couple hours after reading my friend’s post, and a phone call to Nordstrom’s to decide to make the purchase.  They were a third cheaper than I could find them anywhere on the internet.  Only thing was, Nordstrom's had to special order my size.  Shipping was free since I ordered in the store.  And so, wait I did.

After a long day, I didn’t much want to attend the run that I posted on my trail running group site.  I posted it for the evening hoping to get people to join who work during the day.  And I’ve heard from some of the members that they’d like runs with lower mileage.  Even though I received no RSVP’s, I knew I had to show up, just in case.  And then, MY NEW SHOES ARRIVED IN THE MAIL. 

As soon as I tried them on, I knew they were different.  They are extremely comfortable.  Unbelievably comfortable.  Like they were meant to be on my feet.  They felt sort of like slippers, like ballet soft-toe slippers (which I wore for many years during my youth).  Though they are so comfortable, I still doubted, because they just seem so thin, fragile sort of, like the trail would tear them up. 

This is what I have to say about the Minimus:  They HUGGED the terrain.  I ran faster, especially down hill.  It seemed like my feet were actually PART OF THE TRAIL.  They were absolutely amazing, almost gripping the earth.

New Balance Minimus Trail Shoes   SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Posing on Wood Creek Trail (Overlooking Wood Canyon)


Wood Canyon in the evening (something I never see – because I’m a morning runner Rolling on the floor laughing)SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

I ran in such a delightful state that I didn’t realize when I dropped my phone.  I just noticed sometime toward the end of Wood Creek Trail, my front pocket was unzipped – no phone!!  I turned around and ran back.  Then at the end of Wood Creek, I decided, “Hell!  I want to run onward!  I don’t want to search for a phone!”  I saw 2 bikers and asked if they see a blue phone could they please push it to the side of the trail.  They said they’d do better and put it on the bench at the end of Wood Canyon

I felt there was no hope.  And I said to myself – I’m sick of that phone anyway.  I did a little mourning over the contacts that I would have to re-enter when I eventually got a new “freebie” phone,  and ran on.  (Last time I dropped my phone during a run, someone who found it bought over a hundred dollars worth of videos and games!  So, I knew, first thing, I’d have to do back home was report that phone lost.)

I don’t want to fill anymore of this blog with negativity, just as I didn’t want to fill my run with any negativity.  As you might have guessed, no runners responded to the post, therefore I ran solo, which is fine.  And I didn’t see any other runners on the trail.  But I saw lots of mountain bikers.  And the canyon was a whole new world to me in the evening in colors and sounds.

Sycamore stands out front of a symphony of crickets and frogs with a couple bullfrogs added in for syncopationSANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

An enchanted evening on Wood Creek TrailSANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Entrance to where the fairies flutter about on Coyote Run TrailFlirt maleSANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Crossing Wood Creek to head back on Wood Canyon TrailSANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

A couple more notes to this evening’s run:

1)  My toe problems emerged quicker in these shoes (that is the pain), even though I was doing a mid-foot strike.  I stopped at one point to remove my orthotics, and that made the pain worse.  And so after about a mile, I put them back in.    I’m not giving up on them yet though (the shoes that is).

2)  Those guys on the mountain bikes found my phone!  Not only did they place it where they said they would, they phoned my home and told my husband where it was.

3)  After that, another, larger group of mountain bikers came upon the phone, they too phoned my home and told my husband they found my phone.  When I finally located the phone, in utter, yet happy, disbelief, I phoned home to say I’d be a little late (because of the earlier phone searching).  Hubby knew before I even told him.  He said laughing “So you found it!”

I guess I’m NEVER going to get rid of that damn phone.  Maybe next time, I’ll ACCIDENTALLY drop it in the creek. LOL.

Miles logged:  5.46 (8.79km)

My Activities Aliso Woods  7-22-2011, Elevation - Distance


  1. Awesome that your phone was found!!!!

  2. I like the blue better than my orange and black. Don't know if you know or not, Nordstroms will take them back if you are not happy with them. Just tell they are causing pain. They have a no questions asked return policy.

  3. I work at the NB in South Coast Plaza and there are a few things I am wondering. 1) Is this your first barefoot/low profile shoe? If so, it is recommended for you to just wear them for about 20 minutes around the house and slowly increase your use. Your first run should not be longer than 1 mile. 2) What are the orthotics for? The minimus are meant to be worn with out any orthotics or insoles.

    I have orthotics myself (IT-band problems, knee, weak ankles, fallen arches). I never put my orthotics on the minimus, at the beginning I switched from the minimus to my regular running shoes (with the orthotics) every 30 - 45 minutes. After two weeks I was able to wear them all day long. Five months later I can wear them for 8+ hours seven days a week. My husband and I have been doing 10+ mile hikes every Sunday for the past three months and I haven't had any foot problems.

    Hope this information helps.

  4. I loved this post about the run in the evening. The only time I see that is if I'm on some long run that doesn't finish before the evening. I always run in the morning. Interesting about the shoes and the toes. With my toe history (fractures) I knew I should not consider minimalist shoes although the whole barefoot community keeps telling me to do so. It will never work for me. Like you after even 800 miles my heels are still as new.

  5. Thanks for reading Rachel. I am very lucky about my phone. It is pretty thrashed by now with so many drops.

  6. Thanks Jeremy. That is the greatest thing about Nordstroms. I'm going to keep these though, because I so much want to like them. (I really like the color too, usually I get odd color choices for my shoes)

  7. Thanks Johann! I very rarely run in the evening. I could probably count the number of times I've run in the evening this year. I could also never run barefoot. But I thought, since I hardly do a heel strike, why wear shoes made for the heel-striker? A shoe saga to be continued . . .

  8. Thanks for stopping by Diana. I am a huge New Balance fan. This is my first low profile shoe. I will take your advice and I am wearing them around the house (without orthotics). My orthotics are for toe problems / nerve rubbing against bone (neuromas). I've had the nerve taken out of my left foot, but that foot has never been the same, so I don't want to take anymore nerves out. Without orthotics my missing nerve foot feels "wierd" and my other foot can experience extreme pain in my toes were the nerves rub.

    Do you think these low profile shoes (once adjusted to) could take an ultra-marathon trail run (say, 31 miles)?

    Thanks again for reading & stopping by.

  9. Lauren,

    The minimus can definitely take an ultra-marathon trail run. Anton Krupicka is an ultra runner and he was one of the main persons involve in the development of the minimus collection. Neuromas are often cause by narrow shoes ( or not having the proper width). The minimus (trail) have an elastic band, the shoe might feel a little snug at first but give it some time, it will accommodate the width of your foot. Like I mentioned before they are now available in a wide width. Because of your history with neuromas do take extra time to get use to the shoes.

    Take care.

    P.S I love your New Balance collection :)

  10. Thanks for the info Diana. I wear the minimus around the house whenever I think about it. Next short run, I'll give them another try. I always thought my neuromas were due to the ridiculous shoes (tiny-toed high heels) I wore in my youth. I don't necessarily have wide feet, but I have BIG feet, and am always sure to buy my running shoes at least 1/2 size bigger than my size. Thanks again for this valuable information. Very much appreciated. I really want these shoes to work for me. : )