You’ve probably never heard of the Antepes Muscle Runners. I hadn’t until recently, but they are probably the perfect match for running form. But as someone who runs on their toes (and boy, is there a lot of unsolicited advice on the internet about it), I can’t think of anything better. You don’t have to run on your toes to use Antepes Muscle Runners; they are designed to strengthen your lower body. Which also means they aren’t a shoe you can dive headfirst into training with (you’ll likely dive headfirst into an injury).
Antepes Muscle Runners Quick Facts:
Weight: 9 oz
Heel to Toe Drop: -10 mm (yes -10)
Anyway, what are the Antepes Muscle Runners?
They are the first shoe designed for forefoot runners. The forefoot sits higher than the heel and is intended for those who run on their toes. But that doesn’t mean they are exclusive to that; anyone can run in them, but it will take time and effort. It would be best if you did not go for a long run the first time you try them.
I can’t think of another brand or shoe with a negative heel-to-toe drop, so if you are looking for a negative heel-to-toe drop, the Antepes Muscle Runners are your only choice.
Antepes Muscle Runners Fit:
The upper of the Antepes Muscle Runners are made from 30% merino wool and moisture-wicking. They are designed to dry quickly. It also features Lenzing™️ Tencel, which is made from Eucalyptus tree fibers. These fibers keep cool when you sweat. The laces are made from 80% Lenzing Tencel with biodegradable lace tips. This makes the laces eco-friendly but also luxurious. The remaining 20% is made from recycled PET.
Finally, the upper has an Eco-Friendly Non-Fluorine Water Repellent Finish. This helps keep your feet dry during inclement weather. I was kind of worried this repellant finish would make the shoe clunky and heavy, but you can’t really tell.
Woo, that is a lot to say about a running shoe upper. I was curious about how the Antepes Muscle Runners would fit and feel. Would the water-repellent finish be more annoying than good? Would it feel heavy and bulky?
Right off the bat, the Antepes Muscle Runners fit and felt comfortable. You shouldn’t be annoyed with running shoe uppers, and there shouldn’t be anything you need to “break in.” That’s how I felt with the Antepes Muscle Runners, and there was nothing I needed to break in. It fits more like a sock or slipper with everything attached versus a traditional shoe. They felt comfortable, breathed well, and there were no hot spots. There is nothing more you need in a running shoe upper. I’m a big fan of the all-white color too. (although they have several color options, don’t worry).
In running shoes, I typically wear between a women’s size 10-11. The Antepes Muscle Runners recommends you go up 1/2 size, so I settled on a size 11 that fits perfectly.
Antepes Muscle Runners Ride:
This is the unique component of the entire review. I can’t think of another shoe or brand designed for forefoot runners. It’s always weird to try a new brand and new shoe. You really have no idea what it’s going to be like.
What’s inside the Antepes Muscle Runners Shoe?
- The Midsole Top Layer in the forefoot and insole is made from Antepes Proprietary PEBAX® Foam Blend.
- The Midsole Bottom Layer and HEELX™️ Counter Foam are made from a second Antepes Proprietary PEBAX® Foam Blend.
- HEELX™️ Counter Hard Exterior – Produced from a proprietary TPU blend
- There is a carbon plate named the ForeSpring™️ Plate: Made from a Dual-Stiffness Dual-Split Carbon Fiber Plate
- ForeGrip™️ Outsole – Natural Rubber-based Proprietary Rubber Blend
I love hearing about the technology, but what does that all mean? First, yes, the Antepes Muscle Runners do have a carbon plate. The majority of the cushion is in the forefoot of the shoe. The cushion is in the back, but the majority is in the front.
The split carbon plate is unique because the carbon Fiber Plate stabilizes the metatarsophalangeal joints and provides weight to the ball of the foot rather than the toes. Many carbon plates disperse the weight on the toes, which is why people find they are more susceptible to toe pain or fractures, but Antepes distributes it to the ball of the foot.
Traction and Durability:
There is a lot of rubber on the bottom. I’ve taken the Antepes Muscle Runners for over 100 miles, and it has no signs of slowing down.
I’ve also used it on trails and in inclement weather, and it feels great. There are no issues with sliding around. The extra rubber on the forefoot is welcomed.
I had no idea how the Antepes Muscle Runners would fit into my rotation. Would it be an easy-run shoe? Fast run? The carbon plate had me thinking it could even be a racing shoe.
I first took Antepes Muscle Runners out on very short (1-mile runs). After a few runs with nothing feeling weird, I opted for longer (2 miles). Another few runs later, with nothing feeling weird, I opted for a 5-mile. After that, I took it through the paces of longer runs and faster to see how it responded with those. If you buy Antepes, I recommend taking it as slow as you need and letting comfort be your guide.
I took it out for several types of runs, including easy runs, fast runs, workouts, and long runs. This did take some time to get used to. The Antepes Muscle Runners shoe is my favorite for shorter runs. The carbon plate makes it feel stiff but not too much. It’s responsive in the right places. While yes, it does have a carbon plate, it feels more responsive but necessarily fast.
Antepes Muscle Runners Conclusion:
I like the Antepes Muscle Runners, and I’ll continue to use them. It’s one of the unique shoes in the industry right now, and I’m glad there are here. It will be interesting to see if more brands come out with something similar: a shoe designed for forefoot runners. I see this as a very niche shoe, but staying around because there is nothing like it in the running industry (similar to Newtons).
Who is the Antepes Muscle Runners made for? If you are a forefoot runner, this is a great option and the only option. It’s going to feel completely different from anything in the running industry…that’s because it is.
Who is the Antepes Muscle Runners not made for? If you are someone who lands on their heal (and is healthy…), there isn’t a need to run in this shoe. If you don’t have the time and patience to work into this shoe safely, it’s also not for you.
My Current Shoe Rotation:
Easy/Daily Runs: Antepes Muscle Runners, Tracksmith Eliot Runner, New Balance 1080v12, Saucony Triumph 19, Mizuno Wave Neo Ultra, 361 Centauri
Speed Work: Hoka Solimar, Altra Vanish Carbon, 361 Flame, Nike Tempo Next%, Reebok Float Ride Run fast Pro, Nike ZoomX Streakfly
Long Runs: ASICS Superblast
Trail Running/Hiking: Brooks Caldera 6, Saucony Peregrine 12, Hoka Torrent 2, Hoka Zinal Shoe, Speedland SL: PDX,
Races: Nike ZoomX Streakfly, Asics Metaspeed Sky, Hoka One One Rocket X, adidas Adizero Pro, New Balance Fuelcell 5280, Nike Next%, Saucony Endorphin Pro 2, Reebok Run fast Pro
You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.
Are you looking to learn more about running shoes? My ebook talks about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths about running shoes.
Questions for you:
Have you tried the Antepes Muscle Runners shoe?
What is your current favorite running shoe?
interesting…we do see toe runners once in a while, I never say there’s anything wrong with that, but shoe as an answer is a good option. it seems those I see, they’re either dancers or have taken up boxing…..
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