It's been 7 weeks since I started my total conversion to minimalist running and all is going well. My mileage is down by design to make sure that I don't overdue it and I am focusing on a fast turnover and form so I figured I should get my thoughts out to what I have learned. I am now almost an expert in mimalist shoes and have seen improvements in ankle and arch strength. I am pretty happy with the results and am about ready to start ramping up the mileage.
I now have 3 pair of what I call total minimalist shoes in my rotation as I purchased a pair of Merrell Trail Gloves from Sierra Trading for $55. Each of my minimalist shoes are different and give me a unique experience. My VFF's provide the best feel of the ground, with no extra cushioning. My Minimus Trails provide very good feel, more cushion (still not much) and a 4 mil drop. My Trail Gloves are right between, they have some cushion, a 0 mil drop and are just a little big which is what I was expecting. You see, I used the ShoeFiter app that they use at Running Warehouse to figure out my size. You can see below the estimate of how the Trail Gloves would fit in contrast against my Inov-8 295's and my Peregrines. Interesting tool (I should add it's accurate in this case), I especially like that it shows how tight or loose the shoe will fit from the heel to the toe.
One interesting thing to note with my conversion, when I first started the process I had consistent pain, no make that soreness in my right ankle (yes the Chippewa ankle) which I thought was actually good, funny thing though, that pain went away within the first few weeks but my left arch started feeling funny. Funny in a kind of good way, like I was working the muscles and tendons in the foot for the first time in years. I tore a tendon in my left foot in the fall of 99 which caused me to drop out of TCM and it shut down my running for 4 weeks, so I am thinking that my move to minimalist is actually helping strengthen a long time issue. I think that's kind of cool.