Posted by on June 7, 2013  3 Responses »
Jun 072013

It’s been almost a a year and a half since Skora burst onto the minimalist scene with the release of their original models, the Base and Form, becoming what can only be described as the “luxury car” of the minimalist shoe world. From their inspired “Run Real” campaign, to the beautiful design and quality construction of the shoes themselves, it wasn’t hard to see why people were willing to shell out almost $200 to get their hands on a pair, and the overwhelming consensus was that they were definitely worth the money. By the time the women’s models were finally released last August (about 7 months after the men’s), I was practically beside myself with excitement to get the chance to test out the Base model. Unfortunately, because my feet are quite narrow, the straps didn’t quite hold things in place well enough for me, and I struggled with uncomfortable rubbing on the balls of my feet.

Because I loved the overall fit, feel, and style of the Base, however, I wanted another shot at Skoras, and I thought a pair with laces would solve my rubbing problems by allowing me to better secure my feet. So, I was very happy to get the chance to test a pair of Skora’s new model, the Core, which is one of two new styles added to the Skora line this spring. Like the Form (reviewed by Steve), the Core’s upper is made of goat-leather, and it features similar design elements (e.g., asymmetrical lacing), but is somewhat less expensive ($155 relative to $185 for the Form). The $30 difference can be accounted for in several elements of the design, such as the lack of a velcro heel adjustment strap, simpler stitching/construction of the upper (in the Core), and differences in the material and structure of the soles. Despite being priced as a “lesser” shoe than the Form, though, the Core holds its own as a great (and in some ways better) minimalist running (and casual!) shoe, and it, along with the Phase, further solidify Skora’s position as one of the best minimalist shoe companies around today.

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Merrell Trail Glove 2 Review

 Posted by on May 3, 2013  1 Response »
May 032013
Merrell Trail Glove 2 5

Before I start my review of the Trail Glove 2, I want to mention that when we are testing a shoe, we typically try to log between 30 and 50 miles on a pair before we write up our thoughts on it. I also want to admit that this has not been the case with the Trail Glove 2. In truth, these shoes have now been my close companions for over 100 miles of roads and trails. The only other shoe to get such a treatment was my Skora Forms. The problem (if you can call it that) is that I enjoy running in the Trail Glove 2s so much that I’ve had trouble taking them off to make time for my other shoes!  Of course, this is all for good reason. The Trail Glove 2 is a great shoe and has got to be one of the most talked about models in the minimalist market. Although I admit to not having any solid numbers or figures to back my previous statement up, I will note that nearly every minimalist runner I speak to who mentions the shoes they are running in brings up the Trail Glove (or Road Glove), either because they already own a pair or are interested in owning a pair, which clearly speaks to its popularity and quality. With that said, let’s start the review!

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Merrell M-Connect Series Review

 Posted by on April 1, 2013  No Responses »
Apr 012013

When Merrell first asked us to review the M-Connect Series running shoes and apparel, we were thrilled because our previous experiences with Merrell have always been very positive.  The Merrell M-Connect Series is the company’s rebranding effort and update to their barefoot line.  As you might recall in my Flux Glove review post, I mentioned how confusing their naming scheme is, but it seems that this has been addressed with the release of this new line.  As Merrell so elegantly puts it on their site, the M-Connect Series is:

“The connection, speed, and glove like fit of Merrell Barefoot now with added cushioning for your hiking, training, and running adventures.
Connect to Your World”

I think this slogan sums it up best, because the shoes included in this series are designed to allow you to truly connect you to the outdoors.  Whether it be cross-training, running, trail-running, or hiking, the M-Connect Series is with you wherever you go.  As hinted in the quote above, the M-Connect Series also gives you many options when it comes to the level of cushioning you desire.  From the barely-there, sock-like feel of the Vapor Glove to the more heavily-padded transitional, or some might even say more traditional, Mix Master, this line can pretty much cover all of your minimalist needs and also includes some pretty awesome clothing.  Read on to get the details!

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New Balance Minimus Zero Review

 Posted by on February 6, 2013  No Responses »
Feb 062013
New Balance Minimus Zero 8

Brand: New Balance

Name: Minimus Zero

Color Options: Women’s – Teal w/ Black, Fluorescent Yellow, Black w/ Sky Blue, White w/ Silver & Berry, Silver w/ Yellow; Men’s – White w/ Blue & Yellow, Blue w/ Silver, Juniper (Green) w/ Yellow, Red w/ Black

Weight: Women’s – 4.4 oz; Men’s – 6.4 oz

Drop: 0 mm

Other: Odor resistant, welded seams to prevent chafing, deconstructed REVlite midsole provides flexibility and lightweight cushioning, lightweight blown rubber enhances bounce

Price: $109.99 (some colorways on sale for $89.99)

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Merrell Flux Glove Sport Review

 Posted by on January 28, 2013  1 Response »
Jan 282013
Merell Flux Glove 8

Brand: Merrell

Name: Barefoot Train Flux Glove Sport

Color Options: Men Only - Black/Light Firefly, Boulder Vibrant Orange, Wild Dove/Silver, Saffron Castle Rock, Apollo/Vibrant Orange (pictured)

Weight: 6.8oz per shoe (13.6oz per pair)

Drop: 0mm

Other: 4mm compression molded EVA midsole cushion

Price: $100

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2012 All Stars

 Posted by on December 24, 2012  No Responses »
Dec 242012

The year is nearing its end and after getting 15 inches of snow in a 24 hour period, the TR Crew is gearing up for another Wisconsin winter. More than that, the world didn’t come to an end on Friday. So, we wanted to make sure we took a moment to share with you some of our favorite products from the year, offer some last minute ideas for the holidays (for those of you who didn’t do your Christmas shopping, yet, because of the impending apocalypse), and give shout outs to some of the other great gear, apps, etc. we’ve gotten to test out. Enjoy! Continue reading »

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Aug 312012

This is the second half to an interview I recently conducted with our friend Rolando Cruz from Berkeley Running Company in Madison, WI.  If you missed the first part, you can check it out here.

This part of the interview is focused on Rolando’s experience with minimalist running shoes.  His story about how he started wearing minimalist shoes is an inspiring one — they are the reason he was able to continue running after being told he might never run long distances again! He also has some great tips for minimalist running beginners that we’ll go over at the end of the interview.

If you are looking for even more Rolando, you should definitely check out the great story the Wisconsin State Journal did on him in May 2011.

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