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Why I hate to love my Merrell Barefoot shoes

May 24, 2012

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See these shoes?  They look like regular ol’ running shoes, but they are not. They are Barefoot Merrells. I usually ignore fads, but this one intrigued me.  I have super high arches and have always felt best barefoot or with minimal shoes.  So after hemming and hawing for over a week, I finally jumped in. Or should I say j$mped in; these little numbers are not cheap.

I.love.them. When I first tried them on, they fit perfectly in all the right places. They were snug but not tight, light but not flimsy.  I eagerly downloaded the 30-day Break-in-your-Merrells app and followed it for a good two days. But I did ease into them, achingly (my enthusiasm ached, not my feet) slow for about a month. I  did a few short runs, some gym work on the arc trainer.  After a successful 80-minute gym workout, I was ready.  I ran 7 wonderful, glorious miles. THIS was running. THIS is how it should be. I flew, I dashed, I kicked up sand. I beat my time by 8 minutes and nearly wept.

Two days later, the only thing on my mind all day was my calves. My calves my calves my calves.  You don’t realize how much you engage your calves until they scream every time you move them.  I took a week off (I ran, but not with the Merrells) and then went for a quick 5k run. But the second mile my calves were on fire, by the end I was doing a limp-shuffle-jog to get back to my car.

Tease.

I’d hate you, Merrells, if I didn’t love you so much.

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