Friday, June 29, 2012

Merrell Lithe Glove Barefoot Running Shoe review

I got my first pair of barefoot/minimalist shoes, the Merrell Lithe Glove barefoot running shoe:

Merrell Lithe Glove Barefoot Running Shoe

I've heard so much about the comfort of those five-fingered Vibram shoes and how they changed people's lives but I just didn't think I was granola enough to pull them off.  I need something more subtle, especially being around high school kiddos all day.  You'd be surprised at the stuff they FLIP OUT over when they stare at you all day and your appearance deviates from what's routine.  Once (and only once) I wore skinny jeans instead of my usual kinda baggy (not unintentionally) Abercrombie (via Goodwill) pants.  WOULD NOT SHUT UP ABOUT MY SKINNY JEANS.

Anyways, I was also a little worried that barefoot shoes wouldn't be good for me- I have high arches and have used arch supports in my shoes for years but still had arch pain. 

My foot pain has lessened considerably after practicing yoga barefoot several times a week and I wear flip flops most of the time now due to not working during summer, so my feet have strengthened a bit.

I took the plunge when I found out barefoot wasn't just good for running but also weight lifting: apparently being barefoot offers more stability and proper alignment for squats and deadlifts.

It didn't hurt when I found there were more socially acceptable barefoot options- the New Balance and Merrell barefoot shoes look like sneakers but have Vibram soles.  I decided on the Merrell Lithe Glove because the price was right ~$80 down from $125 on Amazon, the reviews were mostly positive, and I liked the color.

Vibram sole
I've really enjoyed weight lifting and walking around with these shoes so far and plan to start running with them.  You do have to ease into these shoes to allow time for your underused muscles to strengthen.  Here is Vibram's suggested training schedule.  My superior extensor retinaculum is definitely sore after only wearing these shoes for 1-2 hours a day while walking, at pilates class, and weight lifting.

From above

I don't wear socks with them.  They are really wrapped around your feet, there's no way you can just kick these off when you get home you have to unlace and unwrap these puppies.

  This is how they look with my gym wear:


Apparently these shoes reek after a while, but fortunately mine haven't started smelling yet.  They do rub against the back of your foot so go easy until your feet toughen up.






 
 
 
What do you think of this barefoot idea?  Does  it have any validity? What are your favorite barefoot shoes?




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