Today was a big day for me! I completed my very first hero WOD -- which for those of you who don't speak Crossfit, it just means "workout of the day". It was in tribute to Boston's own brave firefighter and Crossfit coach Mike Kennedy who passed last week in a Back Bay fire that grew out of control.
And it was tough, let me tell you! Deadlifts, Back Squats, Kettle Bell Swings... and then burpee-ing like a fool in between each one. It was an emotional and physical workout all in one, and fabulous rigorous way to cap off the last few weeks of testing with my new sneakers from the New Balance Minimus line.
When most people think of Crossfit, they might think of Reebok as the apparel and sneaker brand most closely associated with the sport. Despite their sponsorship of the Crossfit name and athletic events, there are many other great companies making high-performance shoes, and over the past few weeks I was delighted to put a few pairs to the test.
First I tried the New Balance Women's Minimus Hi-Rez ($119) which were a huge difference to the running sneakers I was used to wearing. Instead of thick soles, it had hyper-minimal bottoms with (and excuse the terminology) but almost like little air bubble pockets which NB calls "pods" on the sole to create cushion and support. These are the real deal minimal shoes though -- you can fold them in half with a hand! And wow - talk about a barefoot feeling, I could vividly feel the ground beneath me every step I took.
This shoe was slick -- ooh baby! The white, silver, and pink have a super futuristic look. The green neon laces are super fun and modern and give the shoe another element of pop! They preformed stellar in any and all weight training. My trainer is always telling me to keep my heals on the ground when I do squats, but all along it was the wrong shoes that were throwing my form off. The Minimus Hi-Rez instantly corrected that. To be honest I was a little too nervous running in these shoes though... they just seemed much too then. I did a few sprints in them but preferred to get my cardio done on a rowing machine rather then on the road.
Second there were the New Balance Women's Minimus Zero v2 ($119) that (as implied by their name) are a performance shoe with a minimal bottom which make them perfect for the short spirts of running involved in Crossfit. It was a unique design because the tongue of the shoe is connected to the body of the shoe. This seems small, but it means that the sneaker has a seamless fit around your foot without any bunching!
The shoe is light and flexible and (trust me!) I was a little nervous that it wouldn't be supportive, but it really was. It has REVlite midsole for cushioning and support and the superior traction of a Vibram® outsole. This shoe was my absolute favorite -- it responded well in all conditions -- perfect for squats and weightlifting but also transitioning perfectly for running a mile in the WOD. And, wow I have gotten so many compliments at the gym -- I mean honestly almost every girl there has said that they love my new kicks!