Natural Running v Barefoot Running v Minimalist Running???

When you google ‘Natural Running’ it throws out almost 700.000.000 results and you can easily add another 5.000.000 for the term ‘barefoot’ running and 16.000.000 for ‘minimalist running’. Reason enough for us to take a closer and longer look at … Continue reading

Inov-8 Bare X Lite 150 – a barefoot shoe review

Zero mm Drop from heel to toe, anatomical last for improved biomechanics, unique synthetic rubber and EVA compound for superb grip and maximized cushion at a merely 7mm sole! Those are some of the key features of the new Inov-8 Bare X Lite 150 which will be out in a white and red color scheme in fall 2011 followed by 4 brighter colors such as blue and lime in spring 2012.

We took the blue and white version for a couple of test runs to get you a sneak peek before this new minimalist running rocket is hitting stores.

Before trying the 150 on we were already wearing another minimalist shoe all day – and it felt great – but when putting the 150 on we instantly relaxed even more. It was a real treat for our feet.

The first impression was:

– super cool look in the blue and white and it looks fast

– very breathable with a light mesh upper

– tongue less one piece upper with a stretch feature on top for perfect fit. This makes for a great fit and their is no tongue moving around all time

– so stitching or seams that could be in the way when wearing barefoot

– good hold in the mid foot section and plenty of space in the toe box but not too much so your toes would be moving left and right on uneven terrain

We were impressed with the first look and took the shoe for the first run the very next morning. We were very surprised by the amount of cushion this shoe offered with nothing more than a 7mm sole. The shoe fit like a glove even on challenging ground and our turnover instantly went up from about 150/per minute in other running shoes to almost 180/ per minute in the Bare X Lite. (180 turnover is about what you want to reach for most efficient running and reduced impact)

After about 30 minutes into the run we could tell that our feet really started working (which is a great thing as your feet tend to be dead meat in cushioned running shoes with lots of heel drop) but at the same time our whole body was extremely relaxed in comparison to other minimalist running shoes.

This overall great impression was confirmed during our further runs. It does take a careful approach to go from cushioned or supportive running shoes to a barefoot like running style but with the 150 we were able to put in way more miles than expected during the first couple of runs already. We are no scientists but this is something that we credit to the great biomechanics this shoes allows you to run with. In addition to that the outer sole offers great protection from stones, rocks and other sharp objects, we never had to use socks during our test runs, the shoes is extremely breathable and for a shoe weighing in a mere 170 grams in a UK8 it offers great last with an expected 300 miles! (almost 500 kilometer)

For everybody who is new to natural or barefoot running – Inov-8 offers a couple of versions with 9mm, 6mm and 3mm heel drop to help you adjust to the new form of running.

So far the Inov-8 Bare X Lite 150 is our favorite shoe when it comes to natural running with a little added comfort. We are very much looking forward to reviewing further Inov-8 products for you as they have a great line of zero mm drop and trail running shoes!

Stay tuned for more reviews and in the meanwhile – Rock on!

Leguano – A Natural Running Shoe Test – First Run Impressions

Ok then – last week we’ve introduced the LEGUANO – a running sock/ shoe – following the natural running craze. In comparisson to a running shoe – this sock with it’s rubber sole appears to be a lot more ‘natural running’ – at least at first sight.

Since we wrote the ‘first look’ on the LEGUANO we’ve taken the shoe (we gonna call it that for now) out for a couple of runs. The first run was an easy 20 minute run accross trails and gravel roads and we have to say: it got us really excited about the LEGUANO. At first we were a little afraid that in the one hand – sharp stones could make it through the outer sole and secondly that it’s going to be really tough on our ankles and joints. However, our fears turned out to be for no good reason. We didn’t feel anything sharp through the sole despite stepping on stones, rocks, twiggs and god knows what. It was a really comfortable run but the shoe really forced us to focus on form and to concentrate on not pushing our bodies upwards but rather forward – the way it’s supposed to be. After about 15 minutes into this run you could really feel the muscles in your feet and calves work hard and it was a good thing we finished after about 20 minutes. The shoe definitely needs a little time to get used to. At least for the muscles and joints.

Leguano - Natural Running - A Tridudes Product Test

The first run was so exciting and gave us the feeling that the LEGUANO could really be a revelation and not just talk. Excited as we were we took it for a 15 minute warm up, 15 minute running drills, 6×100 meter pick up session and boy THE LEGUANO ROCKED!

The warm up was the same kind of feeling we had the day before, during the running drill session it already showed it’s potential. We got a really good feel for the ground as well as our feet and the drill session was a real pleasure. It was like having a whole new feeling for your body. Best thing though: the 6×100 meter pick up. It was just a super easy push off, quick lift and once we picked up the pace you could feel every inch from hitting the ground with the mid-foot to rolling towards your toes, grabbing the ground with your toes and pushing your body forward. A truly aswesome running experience.

We really do believe that this shoe is the best tool for working in your technique and really getting a feel for what your feet are doing. In addition to that our muscles in the feet and calves had to work really hard for the first time in a long time and we are shoe it will help us with the push of as well as stabilizing our feet.

It doesn’t matter if you are intending on becoming a ‘barefoot’ runner and wanna wear the shoes all the time or if you are looking for a new great tool to improve your form. The LEGUANO can help.

However – the way it is with every new tool – it’s the long term test that’s counting. So from all the excitement back to the realy life. We will continue to incorporate the LEGUANO into our running routine and will work our way up to long runs in them.

We’ll keep you in the loop – in the meanwhile: ROCK HARD!