While the search for the right groove continues, here at Team BHI, it seems there's been an omission. Those runs mentioned last week were conducted in new shoes.
The Winter Jubilee Fairy brought a pair of Merrell Road Gloves (color: black/lime zest) in recognition of my vast good deeds for the year 2012. Barefoot Josh had recommended them for a good, all around minimal shoe. Of course, he may be getting paid to say such things, but I do like the shoes so far.
I've always been a bit leery of Merrell shoes. A few years back, I had gotten a pair of their boots, and the fit was all wrong. They really crunched my toes. I was worried the same would be true of these running shoes.
Despite anecdotal evidence to the contrary, the photos of the shoes online made them look a bit narrow and pointy in the toe box. I didn't want to shell out out $110 to find out these shoes are uncomfortable, which made them a perfect gift idea. ("Hey, get me something I'm worried I'll hate.")
Thankfully, the anecdotal evidence proved correct. The toe box is quite wide and comfortable. The narrowness is either a result of trick photography or design elements to make the shoe look like a regular running shoe. (Unlike, say, the Altra Samsons, which look a little goofy.)
The soles are thin and fairly flexible, though maybe a bit stiffer than my other minimal shoes. The treads are a bit more aggressive than my other road shoes, which I hope will be suitable for some trail running. The majority of terrain they've encountered so far has been wet pavement or snow-covered ground. The contoured shape of the sole seems to cut down on the slapping sound I tend to get from my Altras or Invisible Shoes.
Overall, these shoes are comfortable and appear suited for some serious running, if I should happen to do any of that ever again.