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Need opinions of workout shoes
Old 05-03-2016, 06:59 PM   #1
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Need opinions of workout shoes

I few weeks ago was a thread on wide and deep toe box shoes. I recommended Altra Zero drop shoes, which are indeed excellent except for one thing. The soles are very heavily padded and I don't feel like I am getting good feedback from the ground through my feet and legs. If I am tired I feel less secure than with hard sole shoes like Birkenstocks.

I have a pair of Yoga Toes that I bought years ago for gym work, and they are excellent but a little weird looking to wear around.

Does anyone know of minimal or zero drop shoes with wide toe box and modest padding?

Ha
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:48 PM   #2
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No less weird looking than your Yoga shoes; but, for pure functionality, I haven't found anything that beats Vibram shoes. The sizing and fit is a bit weird, even from model to model; so, if you are interested, find a local retailer and actually try them on where you can walk around a bit in them.

For me, they offer just the right amount of protection without sacrificing feedback unnecessarily. A huge added benefit for me is that they pack down to almost nothing in a carry-on. Plenty of other people hate them.

If you decide to try them, ease your way into them with significantly lower mileage and speed than normal at first.
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Old 05-03-2016, 07:53 PM   #3
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Which Altras did you get? They make some with less padding, so they have better feedback. Look at the stack height for comparison. runningwarehouse.com lists the stack height of most or all shoes they carry. For example, the Olympus is a pretty well padded shoe at 32mm, but the Altra One is thinner at 20mm and may be more what you are looking for. The Lone Peak is another thinner 20mm shoe with a more hefty tread than the One, since it's made for trail running rather than road running.

New Balance has been the traditional carrier of wide shoes, though it's been awhile that I've bought one of theirs, and I don't know if they have any zero drop shoes.
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:20 PM   #4
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Lem's shoes looks promising. Lemsshoes.com. I don't have first hand experience yet, but they are the top of my list for my next pair of minimalist shoes.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:48 PM   #5
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Learn something every day.... did not know what a zero drop shoe was...

Here is an article with shoe recommendations...

Zero-Drop Shoes | Runner's World
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Old 05-04-2016, 06:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Proud View Post
Learn something every day.... did not know what a zero drop shoe was...

Here is an article with shoe recommendations...

Zero-Drop Shoes | Runner's World
That's a 5 year old article, so those shoe recs are outdated.
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Old 05-04-2016, 06:45 AM   #7
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Which Altras did you get? They make some with less padding, so they have better feedback. Look at the stack height for comparison. runningwarehouse.com lists the stack height of most or all shoes they carry. For example, the Olympus is a pretty well padded shoe at 32mm, but the Altra One is thinner at 20mm and may be more what you are looking for. The Lone Peak is another thinner 20mm shoe with a more hefty tread than the One, since it's made for trail running rather than road running.

+1 to trying different Altras. The Lone Peak is very highly rated.

I've heard Hokas are also good, but I don't know the specifics since I've never used them personally.
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Old 05-04-2016, 07:18 AM   #8
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I have wide feet and usually end up with New Balance since they seem to have the best selection. They do have a 'minimus' line of shoes. I had a pair of running shoes from that line that were comfortable and light weight but not sure about the zero drop requirement.
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Old 05-04-2016, 09:07 AM   #9
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DW also needs a big toe box, and recently got a pair of Hokas. She absolutely loves them and just did her marathon in them.
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:12 AM   #10
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Many people like Converse Chuck Taylors for gym workouts.
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:27 AM   #11
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Best workout shoes ever were my New Balance Minimus trail shoes. Exactly what you're looking for: wide toe box, narrow heel cup for an ideal fit. Vibram soles, good for running, lifting, etc. etc. I still have them after a couple of years.



They don't make that specific shoe anymore that I can find, but NB still has a Minimus trainer. Can't tell if it's got the same toe box shape or not, but might be worth looking into.

Minimus
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Old 05-04-2016, 10:30 AM   #12
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DW also needs a big toe box, and recently got a pair of Hokas. She absolutely loves them and just did her marathon in them.
Great shoes, probably not what he's looking for. Way too cushy for working out, but fantastic running shoes. I have four pair of Clifton 2s, about 1000 miles between them all (working on the second pair of pairs after retiring the first after 750 combined miles). Great runners, not good for training/working out. Too high/soft/cushy.
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Old 05-04-2016, 11:00 AM   #13
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Thanks for so many excellent suggestions and comments. My current Altra Shoes are Olympus 1.5. Really good, but too much soft stuff between my feet and the ground. My Vibram 5 Fingers (I miscalled them Yoga Toes in my OP) are perfect gym shoes, now that I have learned to get them on and off in less than half an hour. But it is easier to wash one's socks than shoes!

I am looking for something I can wear an ordinary sock with, and walk on hilly trails. (there are good canyons and other trails right here in walking distance.) I also need them to be OK for light rain, and walk/ run in parks. I am not supposed to jog on my hip prosthesis, but a little sprinting is ok.

I will find out what I can about all the shoes mentioned in this thread, then see what I can try on at REI or neighborhood running shops.

Before I got the Altras, I might be coming home from a long walk and a toe be a bit sore. I'd take off my shoe and there would be a bloody sock from a toenail digging into its neighbor. No more, and I appreciate this deeply! A normal heel counter, and wide and deep toe box fix a lot of things.

Ha
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Old 05-04-2016, 12:03 PM   #14
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That's a 5 year old article, so those shoe recs are outdated.

Opps.... did not look at date...
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Old 05-04-2016, 08:47 PM   #15
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I do my workouts wearing socks at the Y or at home barefoot. At times I wear chinese slippers aka TaiChi slippers. Can't offer advice on shoes.
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Old 05-05-2016, 06:30 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by haha View Post
Thanks for so many excellent suggestions and comments. My current Altra Shoes are Olympus 1.5. Really good, but too much soft stuff between my feet and the ground. My Vibram 5 Fingers (I miscalled them Yoga Toes in my OP) are perfect gym shoes, now that I have learned to get them on and off in less than half an hour. But it is easier to wash one's socks than shoes!

I am looking for something I can wear an ordinary sock with, and walk on hilly trails. (there are good canyons and other trails right here in walking distance.) I also need them to be OK for light rain, and walk/ run in parks. I am not supposed to jog on my hip prosthesis, but a little sprinting is ok.

I will find out what I can about all the shoes mentioned in this thread, then see what I can try on at REI or neighborhood running shops.

Before I got the Altras, I might be coming home from a long walk and a toe be a bit sore. I'd take off my shoe and there would be a bloody sock from a toenail digging into its neighbor. No more, and I appreciate this deeply! A normal heel counter, and wide and deep toe box fix a lot of things.
Seriously, the New Balance Minimus Trail if you can find it, but maybe check out the Minimus Trainer I linked above. Minimalist, zero drop, Vibram soles, wide toe box... Seems to check all the boxes. If the Trail shoe was still around, your search would be over. It fits just like the Altras but without the cushion.
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Old 05-05-2016, 12:45 PM   #17
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Seriously, the New Balance Minimus Trail if you can find it,
This shoe is being cleared on REI mail order only. I can't remember my NB size, but the one size offered is definitely in the ballpark, and if they do not fit I can drop them downtown at the store for credit.

Hope they fit, and thanks for the suggestion.

Ha
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Old 05-05-2016, 01:14 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by haha View Post
I few weeks ago was a thread on wide and deep toe box shoes. I recommended Altra Zero drop shoes, which are indeed excellent except for one thing. The soles are very heavily padded and I don't feel like I am getting good feedback from the ground through my feet and legs. If I am tired I feel less secure than with hard sole shoes like Birkenstocks.

I have a pair of Yoga Toes that I bought years ago for gym work, and they are excellent but a little weird looking to wear around.

Does anyone know of minimal or zero drop shoes with wide toe box and modest padding?

Ha
I don't have any suggestions for you because I prefer lots of cushion in my workout shoes (plus, as we all know womens' feet are very different in shape from mens' feet).

However, if I had a pair of workout shoes that were excellent but a little weird looking to wear around, I'd still continue to wear them for workouts while I checked all the suggestions given for equally good workout shoes.

In other words, I'm saying that nobody cares what people our age wear on our feet while we are working out and if they do, I have a rude hand signal for them. Good workout shoes are very necessary and who cares what they look like.

In fact, although my gym shoes are fairly normal high end New Balance shoes that I wear all the time, the rest of my workout clothes probably make me look like a gender confused homeless crazy person. I sort of feel like "so what"; they are comfortable in the heat, absorbent, oversized, and very stretchy/flexible and I feel that the gym is not a fashion show. The people that regularly work out at my gym know and accept me, and know I'm only there to work out and get healthy.

Edited to add: Oh oops, looking back on the thread I see that you are working out by walking around town again and in parks and canyons, not going to the gym. So, the above doesn't apply since I don't wear gym clothes outside of the gym. I'll leave it in case you decide to re-join that gym you used to attend. Besides, the part about the rude hand signal might apply to people who care what we wear walking for exercise, too.
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Old 05-12-2016, 09:24 PM   #19
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I got my New Balance Minimus Trail shoes today. They fit well, and this is exactly what I wanted. I really like the flexible Vibram sole, as well as the broad forefoot and lack of padding.

Thanks for the suggestion Nash.

Ha
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