Thursday, September 15, 2011

Minimal, Meet my Friends, Style and Economical

In the seemingly never-ending quest to find the perfect shoe for me (running or otherwise), I came across an interesting candidate: Brooks Mach 13 Spikeless XC Racing Flat. They first came to my attention reading Runblogger's review of last year's model. He liked them. I was interested because the "minimal" shoe is an economical alternative from a mainstream shoe manufacturer. What's more, if you're a habitual barefoot runner that craves attention, then these shoes should feed your addiction as they are a bit flashy. The men's version features a snake (or dragon, not sure) skin print. The women's version features a leopard skin print. Minimal, meet Style.

Brooks Mach 13 Spikeless Men's XC Racing Flat (Photo credit

Brooks Mach 13 Spikeless Women's XC Racing Flat (Photo credit

The price is what motivated me to try them. They retail for $65, but sells them for $54, and will give you a 10% discount code. This means that I bought the "minimal" shoes for under $50. Minimal, meet Economical, my dear, dear friend, Economical.

Unfortunately, the friendship didn't last long. My review ends rather abruptly as these shoes didn't fit my feet very well. I tried a size 10.5 (typical for me) and a size 11. The former was too snug for width and length. The latter was still too snug for width. Perhaps I gave up on them too early. Amy bought the leopard print style 2 sizes larger than her typical size and she says they are a comfortable fit. She says she likes the shoe's lightweight, but I think it's more about the kitty print.

For me, I made another friendship, or rekindled an old friendship, that I'll post about in the near future. Nonetheless, the Brooks Mach 13 are proving to be popular. I saw a few pair of the spikes version at last weekend's cross country invitational in Knoxville. In fact, below is Cookeville's first place finisher. Nice shoes buddy!

Go Speed Racer! (Photo credit Brian Szymanski)


  1. Brooks T6 Racers (also economical) were my first foray into a more minimal shoe, and their performance shoes seem to run small and narrow. I bought a full size bigger than I'm used to, which worked well--that is, until I got used to wide (or no) toe box. After 720-plus miles, I'm letting them retire. Cheers!

  2. Brooks PureConnect looks like a more deliberate dive into the minimal pool for Brooks, and less economical of course than their traditional racing flats like the T6 or Machs.

  3. I like how these shoes fit and feel. I would like it if Brooks would make the shoe wider. I do like that they are cheetah print! Cats are king. :)