I am uniquely healthy

Ultra Shoe Shopping (2)

Hello again! I'm back. Last time I wrote I had just signed up for my first Ultra Marathon, and now I have officially started training. Well, sort of. I signed up for a 1/2 marathon in September that is basically my first race leading up to the Ultra. I'm excited and nervous, but mostly I'm just looking forward to getting moving.  I ran 8 miles last weekend and I'm running my first 10K trail race tomorrow. Looks like there is no turning back now! 

So, once I actually signed up for my race I wanted to get started with my training, but I knew that if I ramped up my long runs too early I could burn out.  So, I decided to get moving on my gear research.  Shoes first, of course. Up until now, my favorite running shoes were most likely my Newton Fates or my New Balance Minimus training shoes.

Full disclosure: I typically prefer to go with a 'barefoot' or minimalist running shoe; something that is light weight and with very little "drop" heel to toe. This has been a preference of mine for the past 2-3 years, but then reading the book, "Born to Run" sealed the deal for me in terms of my shoe preferences. Basically this style of shoe allows your feet to do all of the work, not the shoe. Beginners beware: switching from a traditional running shoe with a high drop (i.e. thick heel cushioning) to a flatter shoe can be a drastic switch. If you're looking to transition, I highly recommend doing some research and easing into it. If you're an avid 'heel striker', this can be a tougher switch. I tend to follow guidelines of Pose Method and/or Chi Running which recommend a forefront and whole foot strike, respectively. I mention all this so you know that this is the criteria I've been using to search for my ideal Ultra Marathon training shoes. 

Here is where I've started (reminder: these have NOT been tested by me at Ultra distances yet). I've now been trying a couple of new types of shoes and will likely also lean on some of my 'tried and trues' as well.  

New favorite light weight running shoe: Mizuno Wave Universe 
New favorite minimalist trail running shoe: New Balance Trail Running
Other favorites: Merrells and New Balance 
Not a fan of: Altra
Next up to try: Merrell Trail

I'd love to hear your experiences with any of these shoes or any of your own favorites! My next research step is likely going to be venturing into the world of vests and backpacks for Ultra distances. I'm new to carrying water and gear during long runs, so I'm looking forward to navigating this new arena. See you soon...happy running!

Please comment below; I'd love to hear from you!

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