Once we got into the store I tried to focus on shoes that were as close to me NB minimus shoes as possible, which meant less than a 6mm heel to toe drop, near feather-light (less than 8 oz.), material that wouldn't hold water and decent cushioning under the forefoot for those looong miles ahead. My husband was really helpful finding different shoes and brands that all pretty much met the requirements I had, but more often than not these shoes seem to be stripped of all other cushioning around the heel and had a rigid feel about them. Shoe after shoe came and went and then I finally tried on the NB Minimus Ionix 3090V2. "Well, if I fall and hit my head at least the other runners will be able to find me on the trail with these bright shoes!" I exclaimed as I tried them on. I did a little jog around the store and decided that while they could be a bit bigger in the toe box they fit every other requirement I had. SOLD.
|Pretty in Pink..dig the funky sole tread pattern!|
The next step was to run in them at least three times before the big race. I started on a treadmill and they worked out fine, a little hot spot on my right heel, but nothing that couldn't be managed. Then came two outside runs around where I work, I tried to get on the trails as soon as I could, so up and down through the Dartmouth Commons I went and even into the graveyard for some grass running. No issues. Giddy up. I debated taking a spare pair of shoes along for the race but then changed my mind and just made sure I had lots of blister repair stuff in my drop bag in case I had an issue.
On race day I was very pleased with how well these shoes drained after going in and out of uncountable puddles, rivers and muck. Only one hot spot really developed on my left arch, so I stopped and threw on one of the super tough new Band aids and was good to go. As a preventative measure I had put a strip of duct tape on the heel I figured would give me problems from the hot spot I had felt in earlier runs.
Of course after 50 km of mud, water, sand and grass my pretty pink shoes weren't so pink any more but after I threw them in my front-load washer they came out brand new again :-) My feet are still a bit swollen from the race so it'll be a few days before I put them on again but I think they've made the cut into my regular shoe rotation. Nice job New Balance I'll give these 4 out of 5 stars, only because I'd really like to see more room in the toe box and the cushion around the heels didn't do much for comfort but probably prevented alot of small rocks getting into my shoes.