Over Christmas I tried on a pair of Merrel barefoot Road Glove shoes and whilst I liked the tread and the fit, I already had a pair or zero drop shoes with zero cushioning. After Christmas whilst perusing the sales I came across the Bare Access shoe reduced by 50%. This is the same upper, built on the same last but with 8mm of cushioning.
During the wet winter months my usual trail section of my park run had become un-navigable and so my runs became exclusively on tarmac. The longer weekend runs were less painful on my legs as they got stronger (and perhaps in no small part to the wearing of compression socks to recover), but the balls of my feet felt it. I took the plunge and purchased the Bare Access Merrells in lemon and blue.
The first couple of runs left my left ankle sore and so I started to grow concerned that I would forever more be consigned to running in slippers. The first run had been at lunchtime whilst I was working from home and I did wonder whether the time of day had anything to do with it. I reverted to the Saucony Hattoris for a couple of runs.
I noticed in the Hattoris that I was heavier on my feet after just a couple of runs in the slightly more padded trainers. I tried the Bare Access again. They were narrower and slightly stiffer under the arch than the Hattoris and I had reverted to a flat footed strike that bordered on heel-strike at times.
With careful attention to my running gait and lowering the angle of my forefoot strike I was able to compensate for the additional stiffness and be as light on my feet as in the Hattoris. I vary what I wear now and use the Bare Access for the more roady runs. In fact as they grip better in the wet and on downhill runs I am wearing them more and more. I just need to not lose sight of how I was able to run again. Light. Easy. Fast will come.