Now a few months ago I picked up the Brooks ST Racer 5's (12mm drop).I decided to try these out because the Launch were supposedly being discontinued (Brooks has since announced they are not discontinuing the Launch - whew!
I wore them around the house and they were very light (8.6oz) and were a little stiffer then the Launch but I liked the way they felt.
Then the next morning rolled around and I had a 14mi run with 9mi at Lactate Threshold on the schedule and I walked out the door wearing my new, cool looking ST Racer 5's.
Bad Idea #1: Wearing a style I have never worn before for a 14mi run w/9mi @LT pace.
Bad Idea #2: Not noticing that these shoes have a 12mm Heel-to-Toe drop.
Bad Idea #3: Not stopping the run after my calf's began to feel a tingling sensation. If you have ever transitioned into a minimalist-type of shoe, whether it be the Brooks Pure Series, Newtons, Vibrams, etc ...
you were surely warned that the transition needs to be done slowly.
Start with short runs and gradually increase them over a long period of time. It actually took me about a year until I was able to do the marathon distance in the Brooks Flows. Apparently this rule also applies for transitioning in the other direction too?
On Sunday night I pulled up the Brooks website and looked up the drop (12mm) of the Racer 5's and realized immediately the error of my ways.
When it comes to running shoes and knowing the Heel-to-toe drop/offset I am pretty much like Dustin Hoffman in Rainman. the theory is that a lower drop encourages a more natural forefoot to midfoot strike.
Knowing this little tidbit about yours truly makes the story you are about to read that much more moronic. The lower the drop (0mm) the more minimal the shoe is considered.
Basically it is the difference (in millimeters) from the heel to the forefoot of your running shoe.