Today I purchased my first pair of minimalist running shoes. They aren't a true zero drop shoe due to the 4mm of heal lift but that is a huge jump from what I have been running in. I tried on and ran in a few different shoes and it came down to the Brooks Pure Connect and the New Balance Minimus. The New Balance Minimus was truly a zero drop shoe with nothing other than a little rubber between me and the road and that is why I decided to start with the Brooks Pure Connect. The shoe does has some cushion and I would call it a half way point between a traditional running shoe and a full on minimalist running shoe. The Brooks Pure Connect is considered a minimalist shoe but again due to the 4mm heal lift and the cushion I would call it a flat.
I went out for a quick 4.5 mile run to see how they felt. If they killed me I could take them back and I really hoped they wouldn't kill me. The good news is that they didn't kill me. I so far LOVE them. I felt very natural and could feel my foot working more than I could in my other running shoes.
What I noticed most what that I was keeping a nice pace. Actually a little faster than what I have been averaging lately but I wasn't working as hard. At least that is how I felt and that is was my heart rate told me. If I had pushed it harder I would have dropped a good 30 seconds per mile off my normal pace. Needless to say I am sold....so far.
Tomorrow I am going for a trail run and really looking forward to testing these puppies out off road. Here is a shot of the bottom of the shoe to give you an idea of how it works naturally with your foot. The shoe allows for great flexibility all over and also gives your big toe some true wiggle room.
As I log more miles in these shoes I will give another update. Until then, train hard and safe.