Have you ever started talking to someone and found out that they actually are your cousin and that you have a lot more in common than you ever thought possible. After that initial conversation, you decide that this person is someone you would like to have in your life.
Well, today I ran for the first time in my new to me New Balance 1400 v6 that I got off eBay for under $30 and the similarities between the scenario above and the how I felt after I finished are pretty amazing.
I have tried on the 1400 v6 once before and liked the initial step-in fit and feel, but I had a bunch of other shoes on the docket and couldn’t get myself to add, yet another pair to the mix. Which is too bad, because I have a feeling, I might have gone in a different direction than I did for a while, if I had actually run in the 1400 v6.
The NB 1400 v6 felt a lot like something between the 890 v7 and a pair of Vazee Pace that I had for a while. They were very quiet, light-weight, despite the amount of rubber that they had underfoot and had great grip on the dirt road down-back. There was a lot of familiar feel to them while I was running and it made me feel pretty confident about running more in them.
Yeah, a lot like a long lost cousin that I never met before, but sure did seem to know pretty well, once we got to know one another.
No, I purposely didn’t run fast in the 1400s despite the fact that they are racing shoes. Sometimes you find out more about a pair of “flats” by running slow in them, than you do by running fast in them. So that was the plan for today’s run.
Run slow and mostly easy with a few strides at the end.
They fit like New Balance shoes usually do for me and I can actually wear true to size shoes – size 8.0. Which is nice and New Balance is about the only brand that I can reliably wear true to size, so it makes it nice when I have to order a pair of running shoe that most of the time I get the correct fit, without frig farting around too much.
I wore the Timex, so I don’t have a clue about what data points I hit or missed other than how long it took me to get around the course. Yes, I did play with the tap lap feature, but I screwed things up so it was useless data. Which I sort of chuckled about when I saw the results.
The weather was in the 70s, with low humidity and a little breeze – just about a perfect summer day, but definitely the kind that will make you sweat buckets before your run is done.
The first mile the shoes felt good, no hot spots and coming down Philbrick Hill, they didn’t bottom out and actually provided a good amount of protection. Wow, where did all the traffic come from on Shepard Road, there must have been about 10 cars in that short section of road!!!
I know that is not THAT busy, but I am used to 3-4 vehicles, so something had to be going on. 🙂
During mile 2, I cruised along at a nice pace, but nothing like the other day. While I knew that I could pick up the speed at any time, unlike the Zoom Fly SPs, which for me always want to go fast, the 1400 v6 were content to bide their time and run the pace I wanted without nudging me that I needed to go faster.
Going along the Middle Road, I had several opportunities to jump onto the unpaved road side and check out the grip on dirt, knee high weeds and the like. No issues other than the one time I had to dart into a driveway, to avoid traffic going in both direction instead of challenging the knee-high weeds and the uncertain footing underneath. I did pick up the pace a little in front of the school just to see how they performed at a faster speed. Great manners at faster paces.
Even going up the small hill in front of the Campbell farm, I felt that I had plenty in the tank and the shoes felt really comfortable. Well the left Plantar Fascia was thinking about discussing a little tightness. Which was in the past the biggest pitfall that NB shoes had for me and why I very seldom had success running in their shoes.
However, it was a false alarm and once I got on the dirt road, the niggle went away. Phew!!!
That was good and I got to check out the 1400 on the dirt road. Fabulous grip and I wouldn’t hesitate using them to race any of the Quarry Road Series races and would use them to race most local shorter trail courses in dry conditions. The grip is that good, although the forefoot is pretty thin compared to most of the shoes I now run in and the rocks could be felt without any problems. So I simply avoided running on rocks whenever I could. 😉
I did felt pretty good coming up Blake Hill, but when I got almost to the top, all of a sudden – like boom, I had no choice but to head for the woods and find a big tree – quickly. I don’t know where that came from, well I do, but let’s be nice. That was one of those no choice ones and I am very glad that I was down-back where there are not a lot of people and lots of trees!
Once I got going again – lighter, I got back to a comfortable pace and maintained a good effort up Stevens Hill right through to the finish. Nope, I didn’t set any land speed records on this run and felt as though I could have gone around the loop again without any issues.
Oh yeah, I was going to do some strides, but when I was walking back to the starting area, Bennie could see me and put up such a whiney fit that I didn’t have the heart to go do the strides. I could have probably done them with him and he would have been happy, but I didn’t want to tax him too much either.
How did the 1400 v6 do?
Nice, comfortable shoes that have great manners at all speeds. They don’t make you feel as though you have to go fast in them, but if you want to they will happily oblige your need for speed.
Other than that quick little niggle on the left PF, the 1400 were quiet and comfortable. I coudn’t ask for anything more on a first run.
The reality is that
It was a good run where I didn’t feel like I had to push the pace or worry about what the data points were going to look like on the resulting graph. Although I did screw up the tap lap feature, it really didn’t bother me all that much and being able to run a 45:49 time, without worrying about the time was actually nice.
The New Balance 1400 v6 did everything I asked of them during the run and I am looking forward to checking them out on the track, where I really think that they will shine.
A good day.