Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Inov-8 Offers Insights on Transitioning to Natural Running

In an effort to keep you, dear readers, up to date on the latest educational data available to us from the running shoe industry, I'm letting you know that Inov-8 released a marvelous little brochure on the subject of "transitioning to natural running."

Inov-8 Bare-X Lite 150
Inov-8 Bare-X 200
The Inov-8 Bare-X Lite 150 and Bare-X 200 appear to be due to for release this Fall.
If you've had the slightest inkling about running in minimal footwear, this brochure will teach you nothing that you probably haven't read already elsewhere on the Internet. However, Inov-8 does a nice job of conveying how the company perceives its varied line of shoes relative to barefoot and minimalist running.

Another benefit from spending a few minutes with the brochure is that you'll see two zero-differential Inov-8 shoes for road running that are slated for release in Fall 2011: There's a Bare-x Lite 150 and a Bare-x 200. I've seen announcements about the Inov-8 Road-x 155, which is due out this Summer. But, the Bare-x line is new to me.

One final point I'll make about the transitioning brochure before you check it out for yourself is in regard to the profile figures: What's up with the unique hair styles?

I get that Inov-8 is edgy and cool. I mean, I'm an edgy and cool kinda guy. And, of course, I agree that Inov-8 is for everyone, regardless of hair style.

Sure, the hair styles are fun. And, kudos to the designers for wanting to make this fun. Really, much respect to them for taking time to make the figures interesting. But, in profile, features like spiky mowhaks do not look cool. That's just my opinion.
Transition to natural running chart
Furthermore, each figure has a different hair style. So, there's a visual implication that only runners with short, carefully mussed hair can wear the elite-level, natural-style performance shoes. Meanwhile, spiky-haired punks are likely to heel strike, thereby requiring the most cushioned Inov-8 shoes available.

I suppose that the graph could be showing how progression in natural running also tends to coincide with a progression toward hair-style minimalism. Maybe the dude who started out running on his heels with a spiky mowhawk is the same guy at the far-right side of the arrow with shorter hair. (If so, what the hell was he thinking in shock-arrow zone 1?)

After all, the journey from heel-striking to zero-differential shoes is not a brief one for most people. And, who wears a mowhawk for more than a year anyway? I mean, the amount of hair product needed to sustain a mowhawk while distance running is unfathomable to me. So, okay, maybe the graph is illustrating one runner's journey.

Anyway, the brochure is neat. And, thanks to the Minimalist Runner for alerting me about its existence!


  1. I took the hairstyles as indications of pain! I saw the spiky one as in pain marks like a headache from the heel strike, afro is smoothed so more of a dull pain, third one is waving back so it's relaxing and you're hairs coming out and flying behind you as you run faster with more efficiency, and the barefoot lines everything is in place and you feel great!

    Just my take!

  2. Scottyent: I like your interpretation! And, now that you mention it, I think I need to get a haircut so that everything will feel more "in place". ;-) Thanks for reading!



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