I was listening to a recent podcast on Trail Runner Nation, where the hosts and guest were speaking about all things minimalist.
Someone mentioned wearing Brooks Beast in years past. A raucous round of laughs and guffaws ensued, when the guest stated that he hoped the Beast "was in the recycling bin."
I was in the middle of a 10-miler when that comment came into my earbuds and it hit me the wrong way. I have been wearing the Beast intermittently for over 15 years and it's a wonderful shoe that has its place in running for a select consumer group.
Friends and acquaintances have approached me over the decades, to inquire about how they can start a running program. In many cases, I put them into the Beast. It's a solid piece of footwear that is very stable on the ground...and that's an asset for those who are on the heavy side. The Beast may seem a bit clunky, but for those who are base building and shuffling through the miles, it's a welcome friend.
Several months ago, Chris McDougall was on campus at Appalachian State and we hosted a trail run. I was shocked to see the newbies show up, fresh-clad in five-fingers. I'd venture to say those types of runners will be out of the sport in no time...it's just not the way to create a program.
At times, I'm not proud of the new population in running. We're not inclusive. Minimalist footwear and forefoot strikers don't encompass the entire spectrum of enthusiasts. There's a place for all runners and there's a place for the Brooks Beast within the span of running shoes.
So listen up, haters: Please don't throw the Brooks Beast under the bus.