My nike free 3.0s are the best shoes i've evr ran in! I'd put ~1400 miles on my nike free 5.0s. the 3.0s are a serious upgrade. I'm afraid Nike will stop making them, for now the only way i can get them is through nike.com store.
soon i plan to try the Merrell trail gloves, i'm into the low heel-forefoot drop. (note the free 5.0 is still ~13mm higher heel).
I use Asics for the road, as they just tend to fit my foot better.
I got some LaFuma's for trail running. I love the lacing system and the fit, but they are very heavy!
I've been running in VFF's for the last week (built up to 3 miles today). I love the light weight, but of course my running times are plummeting.
I was looking at Inov-8 Talon 190'ss or the Bare Grip 200's for an adventure race at the end of March. Does anyone have any experience with these that they want to share?
I use this shoe during the winter and in wet weather:
"North Face Hedgehog GTX XCR BOA Extreme Mountain Running Shoe
Designed to endure nasty, wet conditions, the Hedgehog GTX XCR Boa is the optimal all terrain shoe that`s lightweight, waterproof, breathable and durable. New to TNF`s footwear collection this spring, this fastpacking shoe replaces traditional laces with a 19 strand steel wire lacing system, Boa, that permits micro-adjustable lacing through an easy adjusting dial located on the heel. Eliminating frozen and soggy laces for good, Boa is renowned for its durability in mud, ice, snow, and water: exactly where this shoe is intended to be worn."
I have gone through 5 pairs in the last 3 years, and only one of the boa systems broke on me. I called North Face, and they sent a replacement wiring kit immediately. I wouldn't have run outside at all the past two months if I didn't have these, as the snow here in the Northeast kept things difficult out on the trail. When the ground wasn't a sheet of ice, I was able to run in the snow with these without falling once. They are completely waterproof (unless you get into something deep), and the boa system makes it easy to tighten or loosen them quickly.
My other shoes are Nike Lunarfly's. I use these on the treadmill, track, and road during good weather. They are light weight and comfortable. Apparently the earlier versions were a little smooshy, but these 2010s are solid. Eventually I would like to cross over to the Nike Free, but gradually.
Vibram 5 fingers for street and moderate cross country. And cardio kick boxing. And sometimes grocery shopping. Maybe I should explore some of the shoes others are talking about, but I don't run extreme trails so if it ain't broke I'm not going to fix it. Since switching to minimalist I enjoy running like I haven't in years. It's like reuniting with an old friend for a helluva good time! (I did incur a nasty heel bruise on a monkey ball and had tight calves for awhile but so many other aches & pains vanished that I'm sold!)
Kathy, Recently, I've compared it to wearing gloves all of your life, then taking them off and seeing what your hands can do.
I did some trail running the other day
in VFF's and it was very interesting. First of all, I had some numbness due to the snow, haha. But running on everythnig from slick rock to sloppy wet trail let my feet have a good workout. I even had a moderate heel-strike while running downhill on the wet conditions.
I just re-read your post from 2/22. My times are getting a bit better, but on mostly groomed surfaces. The surface is likely the difference in our time results with VFFs. I'm not so concerned about time as I am about increasing endurance. That's what the VFF's have done for me...from slugging out a 5K feeling beat up all over to just shy of 7 miles and not feeling crippled afterward.
I do catch myself running flat footed :O when tired. Not pretty but still more shock absorption than the heel strike that was drilled into my form in the 1980's!
Fantastic! It's amazing how the mid foot strike allows the Gump in us to perform! "Felt great" beats slow.