Monday, May 6, 2013

New Shoes

My trusty Asics Gel Hyper Speed shoes have now seen me through three good or pretty good marathons (Big Sur 2012, Boston 2013 and Big Sur 2013) as well as a few hundred miles of training.  It may be time to put them to pasture.  (Maybe not.  I'm not being too hasty with this.  I also see now at that the Hyper Speeds are on sale for $50.  Does foam have a half-life if it sits in a box in my closet?)

That leaves waiting in the wings the newer model Asics DS-Race shoes that I wore in last year's Boston Marathon.  I am not pleased with this revision of my previously favorite shoe.  (The older DS-Races were my marathon PR shoe until last December.)  With the old DS-Races wearing out, the newer DS-Races may become my walking shoes.

I also have the Brooks T-7s that I've been wearing for training shoes.  I've never raced these that I can remember.  I used to like the T-6s quite a bit, and ran my best ever 10K in them in 2011, but I have never felt the same love for the T-7s.  Among other things, their foam seems a little stiff.  I have the same complaint about the Saucony Kinvaras, which I know have been the favorite shoes of many of the runningprofs.  For some reason each foot strike feels like I am slapping the ground, with the best analogy being a belly-flop off of the diving board.  It hurts!  The Kinvaras, with next to no real miles on them (though they were there for my 5K PR in fall 2011), are sitting in the mud room in the basement.  I should either resurrect them (maybe my stride changes will help) or move them out.

Then there are the triathlon specific Zoot Ultra Speeds.  They slip on one-handed in single-digit seconds.  They also offer exactly the (lack of) support such a boast would imply.  But they weigh nothing and they shed water.  I have enjoyed them in my last several triathlons and ran my marathon PR in them in a monsoon last December.  Currently running in my second pair and the third is in a box somewhere in my basement.

Having written all that, I wonder what excuse I thought I had for these recent purchases:
The Asics Gel Noosa-Fast.  (No idea how to invert the picture -- sorry!)  Asics' triathlon offering has for a few years now been the Noosa, which is a ugly ugly shoe with elastic laces that can be worn without socks.  I have avoided it because it is ugly and because at 9 oz. or so it was not that light.  The Noosa-Fast solves the weight problem, coming in under 7 oz.  It offers elastic laces (though I have to re-lace the shoes myself).  It does not solve the ugly problem, as you can see.

And the Newton MV2s, tipping the scales at a mere 5.9 ounces.  Until last week, I hadn't spent more than $100 on a pair of running shoes since, well, the Internet revolutionized retailing.  These are a Subaru driver's experiment with a Cadillac two-seater.  $112 and change after the Roadrunnersports VIP discount.

[Lots of shoes?  Yes.  I do have a fetish.  In my rock climbing days I amassed perhaps a dozen different climbing slippers, ranging from the "all-day trad-climbing shoes" to the "super sensitive slab shoes" to the "ultra stiff steep sport shoes".  Those are still hanging around in bins in the basement.  And we haven't started on my semi-serious efforts to own every loafer Ecco ever made.]


  1. Regarding the Kinvaras, I was much happier with the K2s than I have been with the K3s for just the reason Max describes. I have heard similar gripes from other running friends. I am told that the K4 is due out soon, and is supposed to be an improvement.

  2. I have been enjoying my Kinvara (K2s) and the Mizuno Wave Elixir 7. 9.3 ounces, but a little more cush and structure than the Kinvara.