I got the amazing opportunity through FitFluential to review the Saucony Virrata’s. Let me tell you, I was stoked because A) I’ve always wanted to try a minimal shoe and B) I love the color scheme of this shoe. Like a whole lot.
My initial thoughts were, “OhMyGosh, they feel so different from my Ravennas!” Which, I’ve been wearing for about a year and a half, possibly two years. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.. right? But.. they went and re-did my Ravennas and well, they broke it. So, this felt like a good time to try something new.
I’ve been scared to try a minimal shoe, simply because, I run too high of mileage to break these in. So, I have been alternating them with my Ravennas to help break them in. I’ve logged about 20-25 miles in them, with my longest run being about 4.5 miles.
Y’all. these shoes feel super flexible and light weight. It’s ridiculous. I just want to FLY in them. While, I think I could have used about a half of a size smaller, it’s not uncomfortable. They feel like a glove though the mid foot area, with plenty of room to wiggle my toes.
Saucony did an amazing blog post on them, but basically, they have the standard 0mm drop for a minimal shoe, with 18mm of cushiony goodness underneath.
Hey look! My thighs almost don’t touch. That’s exciting.
The great thing about these is, that you don’t have to break them in like a normal minimal shoe. You can jump in to a 3 miler. So, I did. I could definitely tell that it was working some muscles that I normally don’t get to work… *ahem ankles/calves ahem*. The first time I wore them was the day after I ran the Mercedes Half, and even though my legs were sore and tired, the shoes were so light weight I just wanted to fly. It was really hard to reel it in.
After several runs, my opinion is that this is an excellent minimal shoe. It provides great cushion and support for a minimal shoe. I feel good when I run in these. Can I feel it in my ankle? Yes, I can. Is it terrible? Nope. I also think it’s getting easier and not as painful. My calves are always a little sore after them, but it honestly makes me want to run in them more so I can continue to work and build those muscles(Is that weird?).
I will say, that this week, I ran over 4 miles of hills in them and that towards the end, My IT band had introduced itself and wasn’t a happy camper. But, maybe I didn’t think that one through before lacing up.
I really want to keep this shoe in a rotation. It’s excellent for speed since it is so lightweight. It has me rethinking my opinion on minimal running shoes.. which hasn’t been a nice opinion, just let me tell you.
Since I am at such an impasse with my running shoes, I will continue to rotate this one on shorter distances, but will attempt to work up to something longer in it. Have you ever tried a minimal shoe? What’s your take on them?