Although I've only run in them three times -- about 15 miles -- I credit some of my good running to the Saucony Kinvara 3s I've been blessed with by the running gods (at Saucony). They are a remarkable pair of shoes and when they go on sale to the public on May 1 I will be buying another pair. I'm thinking hard about running my upcoming 10 mile race in them rather than the Cortanas in which I've been running long. With each run I'm becoming more convinced the Kinvara 3 is The Shoe for any type of run whether it be long, tempo, short, fast, interval training, etc. So far they're darn near perfect. I don't think I can get hyperbolic enough about the Kinvara 3.
Is this the secret to my recent running success...
However, since the weather in the mid-Atlantic region where I live has been downright pleasant without a trace of winter anywhere in the air I've been spending my non-running time walking around in a pair of Vibram Five Fingers Bikilas. I got them last year when I pretended I wanted to be a barefoot runner but discovered I don't have the heart to start running over again when I never had a problem wearing shoes. The Bikilas are kind of substantial for a barefoot shoe, but they do provide the barefoot experience. And I spent enough money for them that I'm going to get my use out of them.
So with my non-running time spent walking around in a barefoot-ish environment I believe it's helped my minimalist-ish shod running. Even walking around I'm working on my form and gait now. Mostly without even realizing it.
...or is this?
Now I realize my recent running success can be tracked back to not only a great new pair of shoes, but a pair of shoes designed to make me think I'm not wearing shoes. It takes the best of both worlds to build a better runner. I guess. Or something like that.
P.S. I am coming to the belief that the barefoot running craze has plateaued. There will always be the die-hards, but barefoot running doesn't seem to have the air behind it that it did a year or two ago. On the other hand, minimalist running, which shoes like the Kinvara 3 and NB Minimus provide, seems to be the new standard. It's just my opinion, but I think it's justified.