Tuesday 4 December 2012

Barefoot shoes for Christmas!

As Christmas is coming around fast, some of you may be hoping for a new pair of shoes to go run in?! I thought I would give my recommendations in case you are undecided on which pairs are best for what. Of course, they will all be bareform or minimalist shoes of some variation, as I thoroughly recommend getting your gait and form back to how we are designed and created to run.

Best for muddy, wet and slippy trails goes to:
Inov-8 Trailroc 235
Fantastic grip from the studs. Sheds mud well. Drains well when wet. Light and comfortable. Removable insole allows quick drying and lacing holds foot well in slippy conditions.

Saturday 17 November 2012

Back to Boots for a day or two

In the past week I have visited a friends farm to help with general farming activities. Not being a fan of welly boots at all due to the painful Achilles heel I get when wearing them, the only other 'suitable' farm footwear was my trusty walking boots. They are a good pair of Meindl leather boots. Pretty expensive when I bought them years ago. Now don't get me wrong, the durability of these boots has been great. I have put them through a whole host of harsh environments in the past, but recently in the past 3 years have sidelined them due to my enthusiasm and dedication to barefoot and bareform movement. But needs-must, and so on they went to tackle the ploughed fields and farm machinery.

Friday 9 November 2012

Update on the New Balance Minimus MT00

A very light trail shoe, but lacking in grip on wet mud

It's good to know how people get on with a pair of bareform shoes after they have had plenty of time to put them through their paces. After owning a pair of NB Minimus MT00 for a fair few months now I feel I am able to comment well on whether this is a good trail shoe or not. So here it goes:

1) Great for dry compact trails such as found in the US or summer months in the UK

2) Very light and fast, and a very flexible shoe; allows natural toe splay and biomechanics

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Barefoot Running Cambridge, UK

Barefoot Running Cambridge, UK

Great news! CavemanClarke now offers barefoot and bareform running training sessions in the
Cambridgeshire area of the UK.

CavemanClarke now provides a School of Running for people in the local area to learn correct running form and technique. People think that running just comes naturally, and to be able to do it just requires oneself to walk out the door and put one leg in front of the other slightly quicker than walking pace. Sadly, this helps contribute to the many many injuries runners face every year, leading to mobility difficulties, loss of fitness and training and a lot of unhappy and demoralised people.

But just like any other sport or fitness pursuit, instruction in the correct and safe way to exercise is essential in running, whether on or off road. Strengthening muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones takes time and correct form. Posture, speed, stride length and much more are mastered far quicker when an experienced coach is on hand to put things right for you. You wouldn't get far in tennis or golf without proper instruction, and running is no different. Do it wrong and you risk serious injury and set-back.

Wednesday 31 October 2012

Inov-8 Trailroc 150 coming February 2013...

Some of you who have been commenting on the Trailroc 235's have also been asking whether Inov-8 are going to be bringing out an even more minimal version of the 235's? Still with the zero drop and fantastic grip that the current 235's have, the Trailroc 150's are set to arrive around February 2013. Please see the video below from runningshoesvideo to find out more about the 150's.

Tuesday 23 October 2012

Inov-8 Trailroc 235 review: an update

Nearly 60 km have elapsed whilst wearing the new Trailroc 235's from Inov-8. Sharing the weekly distances between the Trailroc's, Vibram Fivefingers Spyridon LS and non-LS version I have managed to get a pretty good idea of the pro's and con's of the Trailroc 235's. I have been promising an update along the way, and so far have managed to keep you up to date via the comments section of the Trailroc and Baregrip post I uploaded a few weeks back (http://caveman-clarke.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/inov-8-trailroc-235-and-baregrip-200.html). I thought it is about time I gave a more in-depth follow-up for those of you interested in the new series from Inov-8.


Trailroc 235's after another satisfying run
  • Zero drop allows natural biomechanics
  • Grip on any terrain and in all conditions
  • Lacing system holds foot well
  • Water drains really quickly
  • Foot remains well ventilated
  • Comfortable to wear for long distances
  • No blisters or hot-spots
  • Flexible for a trail shoe
  • Correct level of protection for technical trails
  • Look sexy!!! Fantastic aesthetics
  • Removable insoles for custom fit and preferences 

Wednesday 10 October 2012

Dare to think...

I just had to share my thoughts with you. For a while now I have been observing people around me. Yes, we all do this naturally, but I mean really observing people.

I often get told, "You think too much." So ironically, I've been thinking about this and whether people have a point or not, and have come to a conclusion. It's not how much you think but rather what you think about that makes the difference. It all comes back to the simple truth in life; think positive and be happy and successful or think negative and nosedive into sadness and depression. Constant negative thoughts can lead a person to utter despair and unhappiness. But positive thoughts can lead you to be the best that you can be; considerate, interesting and successful in whatever you choose to do.

One of the main factors that differentiates humans over other creatures on this planet is our incredible ability to think, analyse and adapt accordingly. Thinking is clearly not bad. In everyday life it is a real blessing to be able to think hard and fast to be the best that we can be. As unavoidable factors change around us we have to adapt quickly or else be left behind. Have a think about it; what would you do in the following situations?

A member of your family went out for a run ages ago and hasn't returned yet.
You are organising a charity event and on the day all the equipment you needed doesn't turn up.
You are a personal trainer, you plan a workout and upon arrival suddenly discover your client has a really bad injury.
You have friends coming round for dinner, and 30 mins prior to their arrival you find out they are vegetarian.

Friday 28 September 2012

Inov-8 Trailroc 235 and Baregrip 200: a comparison with other minimalist trail shoes

After a long break away in the Pennines, walking 268 miles from Edale in Derbyshire to Kirk Yetholm inside the Scottish border, I have got hold of two new pairs of trail running shoes from Inov-8.

Long have I been looking for a durable, grippy and protective trail runner for longer and more technical trails, so I ordered the Baregrip 200 and the new Trailroc 235. Both of these shoes sport a 0mm drop from heel-toe and fit into the 'minimalist' category of trail shoes.

See the video link below to find out what I make of these shoes and if they match what I have been looking for...

Happy running everyone, and drop me a comment if you have any questions

Wednesday 29 August 2012

CavemanClarke makes it into Outdoor Fitness magazine

CavemanClarke (left) in Issue 9 of Outdoor Fitness Magazine (UK)
Outdoor Fitness magazine contacted me asking me to write an article about losing weight and returning to fitness after an over-indulgent holiday break. When I discovered that the feature would include a 4-week fitness plan and nutritional and lifestyle information, I couldn't refuse the opportunity.

Friday 3 August 2012

Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon vs Spyridon LS: a review

Hello everyone! In my busy schedule I have finally managed to bring you the promised Vibram FiveFingers Spyridon vs Spyridon LS review; and what better way than to post my first video on my blog!

Click on the link below to see an extensive review of both trail running specific models from Vibram.

Friday 27 July 2012

Preview of the Spyridon LS vs Spyridon

So, I have taken them out for a spin and can give you a short, first impressions opinion of the VFF Spyridon LS in comparison to the Spyridon (with velcro hook and loop closure).
After my first run in the Spyridon LS

I love the styling. As a trail runner I think that these shoes in the colour scheme shown in the picture is the most appealing model that Vibram have released to date (and it will take some beating). The mountain-bike-like tread screams at me to take these bad-boys out for a muddy run. As for the upper; I love the balance between sensible trail running colours such as brown and black with the injection of vibrant white skeleton-like strips coming from each toe and meeting to the side of the foot. Simply damn cool and sexy!

Tuesday 17 July 2012

Back from Honeymoon

Hi readers.

Firstly, a massive apology for being away the last few weeks. I got married and went away on honeymoon. Getting married was the most amazing experience of my life. I am now back and will be reviewing the Spyridon and Spyridon LS for you all, soon after I get over one last hurdle...

A few weeks ago whilst upping my training, mileage and intensity I over-did it. I ended up with a stress fracture in my foot :( It is getting better although I run a health and fitness company called Trinity Fitness Ltd, so I am forever demonstrating exercises and running with them. Ie progress is slow!!!

Monday 11 June 2012

Vibram Fivefinger Spyridon and Spyridon LS Review coming soon

Just to let those of you waiting for the VFF Spyridon Review to appear on my blog know, I have managed to acquire a pair of Spyridon LS too, so I thought I would review them both together at a later date when I have had time to compare them against one-another. I am getting married in less than 2 weeks so it may be a little while until I get the time to properly try them out and get to my PC with enough time to provide you all with a fully comprehensive review. I think my new wife will get a little miffed if I constantly disappear running on our honeymoon!!!

Friday 18 May 2012

Coming very soon...Vibram Fivefinger Spyridon Review

CavemanClarke has recently got his hands on, and feet into, a pair of Vibram Fivefinger Spyridons. I have been on a few runs in them recently in order to get a well-rounded opinion of exactly what I think of them before publishing an in-depth review of the good, bad and (hopefully not) the ugly!

Here is a picture of the pair I got hold of in the black and green colour scheme...
The European model have a velcro hook and loop closure system like the KSO

Wednesday 2 May 2012

Vibram FiveFingers Review

The now 'world famous' and 'conversation starting' individual toed footwear, that arguably started and has carried forward ever since, the barefoot running craze, definitely deserves a blog post of its own.

You either love or hate these shoes, and I love them with a passion!

Before the Vibram FiveFingers (VFF's) arrived on the scene, shoes had taken us far away from natural movement, encasing our feet in strange shaped, supportive and cushioned structures that ultimately resulted in the weakening of one of the bodies most amazing biomechanical tools; a coffin for the strength and development of the lower legs and feet. Well done and congratulations Vibram for jumping straight in the deep end and giving the world a shoe that allows the user to move as God intended us to.

Thursday 29 March 2012

Running to help others

Ready to run for charity
Running is fantastic. Whether it represents time spent with close friends or family, running in a huge pack of people in a race or fun-run, or whether it boils down to some quality time spent on your own out in nature; running is magical.

Recently I have run on my own many many times and many many miles. I love to get away from it all. I long to run free, surrounded by just nature. No people, no stress, just keep focusing on putting one foot in front of the other. It is my escape, a time used to clear my head, relieve stress and blow out the cobwebs that build up inside after hours spent phoning, emailing and meeting with people. Work is not relevant, nor are the petty arguments you have had when over-tired, nor is money or future plans. For an hour or two it's just you and the trail. Peace at last.

Friday 2 March 2012

Vivobarefoot Neo Trail Review

Neo Trails in the snow...perfect!
Upon opening the box it was clear these were a gorgeous looking trail shoe. The aggressive tread in the form of 'V' shaped lugs was unlike any other I had ever seen on a bareform shoe. And that is exactly the reason I had purchased a pair. Couple the grip with the fact that these have a water resistant upper and you can see why I immediately had high hopes for these shoes.

Trying them on I was slightly disappointed. Firstly, the original pair i was sent had a faulty heel section inside the shoe. The stitching was not finished properly and had become undone, leaving a rather untidy mess in the left heel. This is not a good first impression, but i was reassured by Vivobarefoot that this was a one-off. First impressions are lasting though! Thankfully the second pair were absolutely fine. Also, once again as with many shoes I was slightly in between sizes. I knew a size larger would leave me with clown feet so I had to stick with slightly-too-small-but-just-about-OK!. This is not really a moan at the shoe companies, as I suppose it's my feet that are the problem. But on the other hand, shoe companies could easily solve this problem if they were to provide us with half size options like Merrell and New Balance already do??!! This being said, the shoes are still very comfortable.

Friday 27 January 2012

New Balance Minimus Zero MT00 Trail Shoe Review

The New Balance Minimus Zero line has arrived in the UK earlier than expected! Around mid-January the MT00 and MR00 were available to buy online. These shoes have been long-awaited and anticipated. Ever since the MT10 was released last year, barefoot and minimalist runners have nagged NB to release a zero drop version of the shoe. And now, here it is. 
As soon as the release was announced I ordered myself a pair of the MT00's in the black and blue colour scheme, eager to try them out and compare them to the faithful MT10's. Hoping they would prove themselves a worthy addition to my arsenal of minimalist running shoes and an improvement on the already trusted and loved MT10's, I hit the wet and muddy trails of the UK. A fair few runs later, a close inspection and comparison with other minimalist shoes I regularly wear, and I am ready to give my verdict on the NB Minimus Zero MT00 trail shoes. 

Thursday 19 January 2012

Sneak preview of the NB Minimus MT00 Zero drop trail shoe

OK, so I have been out for my first run in the new Minimus zero drop trail shoes. Not yet tried and tested enough to do a full review (coming soon) but I thought some of you may appreciate a photo and a comment or two.....

So what did I think when I tried these shoes for the first time?
Well, the main thing to report is that I have never worn something on my feet that feels so 'not there'. It is lighter than the average VFF and you feel like you are running barefoot. No weight, no support, no tightness or discomfort at all. I was really impressed.

Tuesday 17 January 2012

Coming soon...New Balance Minimus Zero MT00 review

I have just received a pair of the long-awaited NB Minimus MT00's, part of the new Zero range in the NB Minimus line-up. They look awesome, they feel, well...not there!!!They are so light.

Review coming soon...watch this space!