Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

World's Lightest Racing Flat - Trying it out

Due to the winter weather, I've been searching for adequate footwear for the winter since my VFFs are not built for these conditions as my toes freeze in the VFFs. However, that's the beauty of the VFFs in being so minimal and providing incredible ground feel but this allows also snow, sleet, and cold air to easily penetrate the VFF and especially cold air which freezes the toes quickly.

As such, in my quest for footwear for the winter that still provides somewhat of a barefoot feel, I was lucky to come across the Mizuno Universe 3's which are the lightest racing flat in the world coming in at 3.8 ounces with very minimal forefoot, mid foot and heel cushioning. The heel is only 9mm higher than the 4mm of cushioning in the forefoot area. I completed a good 10 mile tempo run that I completed in 1 hr. 14 min. and they felt great. I could feel the ground and they provided great response off the ground. I would caution that this shoe requires good running technique and form with a high cadence (minimum of 180 strides per minute). Additionally, this shoe requires, at a minimum, a mid foot strike and optimally a forefoot strike. I'm a forefoot runner which is why my favorites runs are high marathons and 10k although I do complete marathons. If I decided to run more marathons, I would probably have to adjust to a mid foot strike since a forefoot strike puts a lot of pressure on the calfs, butt and Achilles.

In closing, there are potential alternatives for the winter. Give it a try but start very slow unless you are a more experienced runner with excellent form and technique.



  1. Harry,

    I'm really glad these worked out for you.


  2. Thanks, I didn't know that...and I live in Japan!
    You mean "half marathons", right?

  3. I mean both half marathons and full marathons. Although shoe companies and shoe stores will tell you that light racing flats can only last up to 100 miles or so or they are only built for 10k, half marathons, etc., this is simply not true. The issue is whether you have very good running form and technique. Basically, if you learn how to run barefoot and in VFF-type footwear, you learn to run lightly, quickly, high cadence (minimum of 180 strides per minute), good forward lean, forefoot or midfoot strike, etc., then you can use racing flats for 400+ miles.

  4. Thanks Eddie. I'll keep everyone posted along the way.



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