Cold. And new shoes! (Merrell Bare Access Arc 2)

Winter is cold.

Very cold.

I’m torn between the desire to be warm and comfy and the desire to be a committed runner… usually. But the windchill didn’t go above -4 today, and I just would not have that. So no run for me today, and yesterday was only a short (though quick and pretty) 6 miles on some home trails… and my 18-er on Sunday was straight-up cancelled. Too cold for me, thank you. I’d prefer not to get frostbite.

And how did this happen? Last Saturday was practically balmy; I did about 14 with my roommate, and we easily could have been in shorts and t-shirts rather than capris and LS. And we almost got hit by a train, which was terrifying. But anyway. My training is definitely suffering because of the cold and I downright hate it. Hate. It.

On the bright side, I recently got new shoes (my first zero drop shoes, surprisingly enough): Merrell Bare Access Arc 2.

8mm stack, zero drop, 5.5 oz.

My first run in these was a nice 11-miler. Although I didn’t notice it too much, the forefoot strike zero drop tends towards caught up with my calves later on in the day. My usual strike is much more of a midfoot (especially in the PureFlow), which I’ve been wanting to change (largely) for a little while now. The only exception to that will probably be for races longer than a 50k; other than that, I’ll be using that strike for straining and strengthening.

The shoe itself: I like it. The toebox is SUPER roomy, which took a little bit of getting used to, but that’s really nice for a forefoot strike since your foot tends to slip forward a bit. There’s also enough cushion/material between your foot and the ground that they’re protected enough for longer road runs. I’ve been using the Brooks PureFlow for my road stuff, but lately I’ve switched back to the Minimus – there’s just too much of the Pureflow underfoot for me. Also, the tread on the Bare Access is nice: it’s good for roads (that’s definitely its primary purpose), but if I want to throw in a couple miles of nontechnical trail into my run, I won’t be stopped by these like I would the PureFlow, which performs absolutely horrendously on trails. The Bare Access is also fairly adjustable: I have wide feet and it’s comfy for me, but my very narrow-footed friend has some as well and likes them. Good color options, too, although the laces were too short for me to lace the final eyelet for the “runner” finish. That’s an easy fix, though.
All in all, these seem like they’ll be pretty comfy and suitable for my distance road runs (few though those may be), as well as just wearing around. Sorry for the lack of organization in this, it wasn’t going to be a shoe review, then… it was.

peace love and… stay warm!


One thought on “Cold. And new shoes! (Merrell Bare Access Arc 2)

  1. Nice new shoes Becca. I’m a Merrell fan. I’ve been running in the Mix Master 2 for a while now. It’s got a 4mm drop. I was in zero drop Barefoot Road Gloves (even on the trails) for a while and I developed that case of Achilles tendonitis that I had last year from tight calves and too much pulling on the Achilles.

    Word to the wise – stretch your calves a lot!!! Like 3 times a day or more. You don’t want tendonitis which is pretty common going to zero drop when your running on hilly trails.

    Enjoy and sorry to hear the weather’s impacting your running.



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