I've been crusing in the 8.8 ounce Montrail Rogue Racers for about 2 weeks now. I've used them for everything. Winding dirt single track, technical rocky trail, and even road seem to suit the low profile kicks. I can bomb down hills wilthout any hesitation so even though these are more on the minimal side there is enough underfoot protection to have confidence in them. While these guys sit closer to the more "supportive" side of minimal shoes they are light and flexible so you have to rely on your feet and legs to do the work. I've already wore them for 20+ miles on the trail multiple times. For the official stats and a slick new site design check them out on Montrail.com
I ran a lot in the Mindbender last year. In fact I wore the same pair from start to finish in the Leadville 100 and paced two buddies during their 100 milers, over 35 miles each, wearing them. The design looks pretty much the same as last year but there is a new colorway of Olive Branch/Peat. Hopefully they've also added a lace loop on the tounge too (can't tell from the picture). My one big complaint was the tounge was free floating and had a tendancy to slide to one side or the other. From the looks of this picture straight off of Vasque.com the tounge has been modifield to be longer but I can't really tell if anything else is different. They've added lace loops for the GoreTex version as you can see from the close up but sometimes GoreTex versions get a little more treatment versus stardard versions to keep more of the nasties out. Guess we'll have to wait until Feb 4th comes around to see what's in store with more detail. http://www.facebook.com/Vasque#!/Vasque/posts/193462637334835
Montrail's new hybrid road-trail running shoe appears on Montrail.com. 11oz and a 10mm heel to forefoot drop. This model uses the new FluidPost system. The link to what the FluidPost is seems to be down but you can check out more about it at http://trailrunningsoul.com/trs/2010/08/04/fluidpost-new-techonology-for-trai...
This is a nice article. I really like the thought and reasoning put into this. Lots of people are really getting hung up in the "minimalist" approach without really thinking about what it means. Ultimately it means one thing to me; thinking about better form. Fiver Fingers or MT 100's are not going to make you a better runner, they are in fact a tool to get you there. Magic does not exist in shoes, it exists in the effort you put in.
Showing that innovation and evolution is still happening in the minimalist shoe category we only need to look forward to the 2011 additions to the Inov-8 and Vibram Five Finger lines. Inov-8 places the Baregrip 200 in a middle ground that is more than a barefoot feel but much less than a standard trail running shoe. Vibram has gone the opposite and beefed up the outsole, more than likely to address some of the durability, traction, and protection issues that runners experience when running in the current models. Check out the GearJunkie’s Review of the VFF’s 2011 line and Runblogger’spreview of the Inov-8 Baregrip 200.