First Run New Balance Fuel Cell Propel – RunLog 11/9/19

Another first run in a pair of new shoe – the New Balance Fuel Cell Propel.

Short review that says it all – me likey.

I have been searching all year for a pair of daily trainers that I can run longer distances in comfortably on and off for most of the year. The closest shoes have been the New Balance Beacons versions 1 and 2, but they have been just a bit too firm when I get into the double digit range.

Since September I have tried several bands/models, but they all had fatal flaws that made them not work for me.

As usual the other night I was wandering around the internet and had a price alert on a pair of New Balance Propels at almost 50% off on Amazon. I didn’t immediately get them, I did a lot of reading different reviews (all pretty much positive) about the Propel, searched to see if there were better deals and then went back and forth between getting an 8.0 and 8.5.

Finally, after thinking about it arguing with myself about the pros and cons, how much trouble I would get in with the wife and did I really need yet another pair of running shoes. I decided to go ahead and just do it. They came in yesterday afternoon.

This morning I went through my new shoe ritual which means I inspected them closely for flaws, weighed them and wore them around the house for a while to see if they fit and felt like something that I wanted to keep.

They felt great, my size 8.0 fit like most other New Balance size 8.0’s tend to so they are pretty much true to size.

Saturday’s are my longer run day, but it was also pretty chilly out there first thing this morning for Bennie’s wake-up me up walk at 14*F with a light breeze. Luckily for me by the time I got out the door it was almost upta freezing and the the sun was shining.

A photo from Bennie’s 2.0 mile walk before my run

Planned Workout Description: I figured that I would head towards Goodhue and if the Propels began to bother, I could just turn around. Also today’s run was not about running faster, it was about putting longer miles on the legs.

• Day: Saturday

• Type of Workout: Longer Run

• Course: Goodhue Road 7.0 miler

• Distance: 7.0

• Duration: 1:04:18

• Pace: 9:11

• Clothes: Adidas running pants, Reebok compression shorts, Reebok black tech s/s tee, Adidas orange tech l/s tee, Brooks running jacket, Nike running vest, Saucony Beanie, Nike ball cap and running mittens.

Yeah, it was a little overkill, but I was not cold.

• Rating (1-4): 2

• Running Streak Day #: 16

• Weather: Clear/Sunny, 33*F feels like 27*F, humidity 47%, Wind 6 mph SW

Variables that impacted the run: First run new shoes, chilly, left hip and glute tight at first, left instep a bit of a nuisance, but went away

Comments: I ran most of the run comfortably at an easy pace, where if I had been running with someone else I could have maintained a nice conversation. Even though I wanted to push the pace a few times, but pulled back on the reins pretty quickly. I am attempting to be more disciplined on my runs and not overdo the workout.

Today, I was able to do that, whereas in the past I would have tested my new shoes a little differently than a comfortable longer run.

This getting older thing does have some advantages, i.e. I am not quite as impulsive most of the time.

Shoes: Mileage: New Balance Fuel Cell Propel (7.0) – They did quite nicely for a first run and a longer one at that. No hot spots, blisters, soreness caused by the shoes during or after the run. Which is gratifying. The Propels felt nicely cushioned but firm enough that if I wanted to I could pick up the pace pretty easily.

However, the Propels do not feel like a fast shoe, but they are definitely a comfortable shoe. Which is exactly what I am looking for. I have other shoes that I can run faster in or have more snap, but I need/want and maybe found a pair that will not bother my hard to please feet for daily trainer and long run duties.

I am not going to get my hopes too high, but it would be nice to finally have found something that freaking actually works the way I want, especially for longer runs. That running in discomfort or pain stuff, just takes all the joy out of the runs.

The other part is that the outsole is perfect for where I will be doing most of my runs. A nice multipurpose one that will grip in bad weather, light snow, a little slime (mud) or non technical trails.

Very good first impressions.

How did this run move me towards my goal(s)? I have been searching for that elusive daily trainer that is light, cushioned, comfortable, able to run on multiple surfaces and not break the bank, for it seems like forever.

About the only thing I would change is to make the toe box more rounded like the Beacons. It wasn’t an issue, but I could feel my big toe pushing slightly against the toe box at times.

I don’t know if I have found the beast in the New Balance Fuel Cell Propel, but this was the kind of first run that I have been imagining for quite a while.

Cardio Total: 4.22

Weight: 156 A/R

Salomon Sonic RA Max v1 – 50 Mile Review

This review is more for me and to remind me about how these particular running shoes worked for me this summer.

After writing this post back in July, I decided to put the RA Max v1 under the dresser, give them a couple of months off and figured that I would get them out at some point down the road. Well it is down the road time and after wearing them twice for a mile walk, there has been no change from what I initially wrote back in July.

So I guess it is time to let them go to someone who can actually run in them.

This is what I wrote initially

Have you ever had a pair of running shoes that you really, really love, but they just don’t work for you no matter the little tweaks you attempt or how much you want them to work. That is how I feel about the Salomon Sonic RA Max v1.

It is not that I cannot run in them, because I have gotten them to 50 miles. However, to run in them I have to accept a certain amount of discomfort in my right foot, that varies from run to run, without any rhyme or reason to how much discomfort I will have to endure during a run.

The primary cause is that my right foot has a Tailor’s Bunionette that drives me crazy and limits the type/style of running shoes that I can run comfortably in. The Salomon RA Max v1 is one of a long line of great running shoes that are not comfortable for me to run in – at least in my right foot. My left foot loves theses shoes.

This Spring it seemed as though I had gotten beyond the fit issues that I had with the right foot, but for some reason the problems have returned with a vengeance since my injury (??? No idea why) and unfortunately the RA Max v1 are the shoes that it has affected the most in my current rotation.

Enough background noise.

Let’s get back to my thoughts on the Salomon Sonic RA Max v1

First and foremost I love the Vibe technology and do believe that it was a big part of my being able to return so quickly from my most recent injury – a stress fracture/reaction in my left tibia. This technology is supposed to dampen the tibial vibration and in my opinion, it works exactly as advertised. I could tell a difference between the RA Max v1 (and Sense Ride v1) and other running shoes that I walked and ran in during my recovery. It has a feel that I prefer, which is between cushy and firm that is hard to describe, but I know it when I feel it – this shoe has it.

The weight is great for an everyday trainer and easy run shoe:

For as much rubber is on the outsole, I am very quiet when running in the RA Max v1. The grip is great on dirt roads and even wet tar. I even believe they would work quite nicely for light snow, although wet heavy stuff or mud would cake up pretty quickly.

Unfortunately, the outsole also has a tendency to pick up small rocks and pebbles, which is more annoying than an issue. However, I have a feeling that the outsole will wear quicker than some other shoes, since in several places I can see where the nubs are peeling rubber off, but at the same time, I don’t see it becoming an issue for 300-400 miles.

The upper, is where I run into some issues, but only with my right foot. If I was to base running and wearing the RA Max v1 on how they felt on my left foot, I would consider them to be extremely comfortable running shoes.

Unfortunately, I have this weird right foot and it does not like the fit of the RA Max v1 at all in the toe box/sidewall. While they have a fairly wide toe-box, it seems that the angle of the shoe going past the toes to the end of the shoe is just enough to push my little toe into the 4th toe while running.

Also the structured fit while it holds the foot quite well, one of the side stripes sits directly on my Tailor’s Bunionette and pushes against it just enough that during a run or walk I notice it. When I run my finger between the midsole and lace hole, I can feel the raised ridge of the internal support on the under side of the upper, while it is is not a big deal for most people, it is just enough to bother that damned Tailor’s Bunionette.

Which after walking or running in them I feel varying levels of discomfort ranging from –

  • okay I notice it…
  • I gotta stop and take the damn shoe off

Unfortunately, there is not a lot of rhyme or reason on which level of discomfort is going to happen while I am wearing them. I have tried several different lacing patterns, different style/weight socks, different insoles and how tight I snug the laces up without a lot of success on getting the fit – just right.

Which sucks!!!

Because I do like the RA Max v1 a lot, if I could get the fit of the right foot to match how they fit the left, they would be a great running shoe for me, but unfortunately so far they have not.

So for me the Salomon RA Max v1 is not the answer to my daily trainer search. It is a great shoe for someone who doesn’t have issues with a tailor’s bunionette, but I will keep searching for a daily trainer that I can wear without worrying about what level of discomfort I will have to endure during a run.

Tomorrow, they go away.

Part of the Solution – At Least I Hope

Okay, most of you have heard me whine a little about this minor injury that is plaguing me this time.

You know, a little thing called a stress fracture in the left tibia. Not a big deal in the overall scheme of things, but enough to put way too many DNR “Did Not Run” entries my running log until at least mid-July, but more likely into Early August.

Yeah, that sounds like forever at this point…but it gives me time to figure a few things out.

First up is what part did my running shoes play in this injury.

Let’s be real though, this post is more for me to get stuff out of my head, think about what part my running shoes did play (probably a very small part) and document my thought processes over the last week while I was deciding the direction I would go next with my running shoes.

Background

I have run pretty much major injury-free since October 2018 in Adidas Tempo 9, New Balance Beacon v1, and Nike Epic React v1. Yes, a few minor niggles here or there, but nothing serious. However, when I started wearing a pair of Nike Zoom Fly quite a bit over the last month because I was running great in them, it was then that I got injured.

It might only be a coincidence, but the Zoom Fly is the only running shoe that has changed that my normal gait that I can remember, which in turn allowed me to run faster with less effort. As evidenced by the Milestone App graph of the changes from a fairly consistent middle leg swing to one that was much higher.

IMG_2262

While changing my leg swing was not a bad thing. The resulting change to my gait/leg swing probably changed how I land/take-off just enough to make me feel great about my running prowess, but it came with a price. Feeling that great encouraged me to run too fast, too often, without enough recovery in between runs (that training stoopid thing that I do all too often).

Those factors subjected my left tibia to stresses that it was not used to or ready for.

Resulting in the stress fracture.

It doesn’t mean that I am going to throw out the two pair of Zoom Fly (V1 and SP) that I have, but it does mean that I will be a lot more selective about when and how much I run in them going forward.

After I heal up and get the legs back in shape to run in them.

Even though the other running shoes I have had in my rotation have worked very well for me. Unfortunately, each of them had something I wasn’t completely satisfied with and that kept me searching for something different to replace them. Which meant that this time I needed to search for something that was a bit more supportive, but still not a lead weight or dead feeling for when I am able to get back to running.

I also wanted to get the running shoes now to have them available when my body tells me that I can start running and can get them broke in before then.

When I started my research about which shoes I needed, I went to my usual go-to running blogs, especially Sam Winebaum’s – Road, Trail, Run, who has what I consider some of the best and most in-depth running shoe reviews on the web.

What was I looking for:

Actually, my preferences haven’t changed all that much, other than being more supportive and a touch firmer midsole, since I wrote a blog post last year, so instead of making this any longer than it needs to be, you can read the rest of my running shoe preferences in my I Can Dream – Yeah It’s About Running Shoes post.

What did I find?

  • Salomon Sonic RA Max v1 – size 8.0

img_4007

From everything that I read the Salomon Sonic RA Max line seemed to check off most if not all of the things that I am looking for in a pair of running shoes.

Most of the reviews that I read gave the RA Max v1 and V2 positive comments and yes, they pointed out some areas of concern as well. Like the potential heel slippage/blisters from the pods in the heel pocket in V1 and some higher than usual wear on the outsole on both, which concerned me a little, but not enough to stop me from getting the shoes.

Probably the biggest thing that made up my mind to go with the RA Max was the Vibe technology that supposedly dampens the amount of vibration in the tibial area of the leg.

This dampening of the vibration to the lower leg is very important to me since I am and will be rehabbing a stress fracture in my left tibia. You can read more about the Vibe technology in this Road, Trail, Run Review that gives a really good and down-to-earth explanation of what it is supposed to do.

Next was finding the best price for a pair of new RA Max. The newest version (V2) lists for $130, which is about what a decent running shoe goes for, but it was above the budget that I have for an experimental pair of running shoes.

Which meant I needed to find a pair of Version 1 on closeout at a decent price. After searching several sites, I ended up buying a pair of new RA Max v1 for $69 through a seller on eBay in the colorway that I wanted. There were cheaper offerings, but based on prior experiences on eBay, I believed that this was the best deal I could find.

They came in the other day and I have worn the RA Max around the house, done a long walk and did a gym workout in them. I took a chance on the size 8s and am very happy that I stayed true to size, the length and toe box fit is just right.

While walking in the RA Max and riding on the stationary bike they felt very comfortable.

img_3998

I also was very surprised at how little they weighed. At 8.6 ounces for my size 8.0 they are quite a bit lighter than I expected, which I think is phenomenal in a shoe with this much cushioning and support.

How they will work as running shoes is still to be determined, but at least the fit feels right and they were comfortable for an extended wearing around the gym. A good test of the Vibe technology will be this weekend when I wear them while wandering around the Acadia National Park carriage roads, and spending time with D2 and her husband.

The reality is that

I don’t really know if my running shoes were part of the problem or not, but I have a sneaking suspicion that they did play a part in a cascade of events that lead to me having a stress fracture in my left tibia.

Although, I am pretty certain that training plunders on my part were the biggest culprit and I have no one to blame but myself for not being able to run. More on those blunders in a different post.

Only time will tell if the Salomon Sonic RA Max v1s are part of the solution, but the initial impression is pretty good.

 

Going Off Plan – ME!!! Yeah – RunLog 5/28/19

Tuesdays are my weekly speed training day and this week the plan called for 4 x .75 @ 5K race pace.

Yeah, that was the plan. 😉

However, I got a bad case of Harold being Harold and wanted to try out a new pair of running shoes that have been sitting on my dresser for a couple of weeks. Especially, after I took them out of the wrapper yesterday, tried them on, weighed them and was suitably impressed.

Now I am planning on these shoes being my go fast for me shoes and in order to test them out, I decided in my infinite wisdom to use them for my Tuesday speed work session but didn’t want to do the longer repeats originally in the plan. So I decided to do my “go to” workout 12 x .25 @ 5K race pace.

With the understanding that if the new shoes bothered that I could stop the workout and change to my other shoes that I would bring with me.

I also was going to set up my Garmin 230 to timed Intervals and let it tell me when to do my repeats. It was a great plan, but one that failed miserably, once I started the watch, I noticed that the distance was waaaay off. Yes, it was set to Indoor mode, but for some reason, it attempted to use the GPS too.

Annotation 2019-05-28 210643

So I paused the treadmill, adjusted the laces and restarted the watch – it did it again, after that, I just ignored the watch and went by the treadmill display.

However, I went ahead and changed up the workout slightly and made it harder. Yeah, I know – new shoes and a harder than usual speed workout.

Yeah, you really were Harold being Harold today.

What did I end up doing?

  • 1.0 @ 6.7 mph for a warm-up
  • Recoveries after each fast .25 was 6.5 mph.
  • 4 x .25 @ 8.7 mph, with that pause to try to get the watch working correctly, slightly faster than what I would like to run for a 5K
  • 4 x .25 @ 8.9 mph – a little more difficult, but doable, but the recoveries felt pretty short
  • 4 x .25 @ 9.1 mph – actually I felt smoother running at this speed, but the recoveries seemed way too short

At this point, I looked like I had gone swimming or running in the rain, but I was still feeling pretty strong, so I decided to make this workout even harder. What a dumbshit! Like twelve quarter-mile repeats at increasing speeds were not enough.

Time for strides.

  • 5 x .1 @ 9.6 mph – my treadmill strides distance
  • 1 x .1 @ 10.1 mph – yeah that one sucked!

8.0 miles total in 60:42 or as close as I could figure.

One of those workouts that I kept changing on the fly since I was feeling pretty good throughout and wanted to test the new shoes to see how they would when I was tired and still attempting to run fast. Surprisingly, I felt better with each mile I ran in them, even though I was getting pretty tired.

I didn’t get any hotspots and my feet did not bother or hurt. Although I did have to adjust the lacing when I paused the treadmill and still have some minor adjustments to do. Otherwise no issues with the shoes – other than being impressed with how well they performed on a pretty tough initial run.

Oh yeah, the shoes were Nike Zoom Fly SP in size 8.5.

img_3951

They do feel very different from my Zoom Fly v1, which to me feel more like a light-weight daily trainer style of running shoe. The SPs feel much more like a go faster shoe.

Now to get a bunch more miles and hopefully a race in them to see how they really do.

A good first run in the Zoom Fly SPs and an excellent quarter-mile speed workout.

Nike Zoom Fly v1 – 30 Mile Review

The Nike Zoom Fly v1 – Another older shoe that is finally coming down into the price range where I am willing to experiment with them, i.e. checking them out to see how they actually work with my weird running style and a body with too many hard miles on it.

20190512_194815450_iOS.jpg

I have tried on a few pair of the Zoom Fly at the Nike Outlets a couple of times and looked longingly at them at various online shopping places I frequent for cheap running shoes.

kimg0016

Unfortunately, the price point or else the size never seemed quite where it needed to be for me to justify the experiment.

Until Now!!!

Luckily things finally worked out and I managed to get a pair of Zoom Flys for a song and have been using them on a variety of runs.

Sizing

The size 9.0 Zoom Fly v1 I currently have are about a full size too big but are still working great. I had tried on a pair of 9.5 Zoom Fly SPs a few weeks ago and based my sizing on the SP version, which was a mistake.

IMG_3740

I think if I were to get another pair of v1s that I would go with a pair of 8.0s (true to size) and if I get pair of SPs I will go with a pair of size 8.5. Sometimes you gotta go with the size you get, when it is a great price and deal with the fit as best you can.

Why 30 Miles?

What is going on Harold you usually do 50 or 100-mile reviews, what is up with the 30-mile jobbie?

Supposedly the Zoom Fly line is a racing shoe and that means that I typically do not run a lot of miles in my racing shoes, so to get a review of them out before I forget about all the stuff I meant to write about them and 30 miles is a good mileage to review racing shoes.

By then I have a pretty good idea of how they work for me when I attempt to run faster in them.

What Kind of Runs?

Zoom Fly Runs 5-9-19

Treadmill, Track, Longer run, Test Course, Dirt Road, Hills – just about everything that I do with a pair of go-fast shoes – well except for a race. I am still zero for 2019 when it comes to racing. My average pace is usually somewhere between 8:45 and 9:00, so the paces in the Zoom Fly are faster than I normally run.

Short Version

I like them – a lot.

No, they are not really a poor man’s Vapor Fly, they are too heavy. However, they are a damn nice running shoe that is (in my opinion) being unfairly placed and marketed in the wrong category.

Yes, I could race in the Zoom Fly and most likely will soon, but are the Zoom Fly actually a race day shoe, especially for the 5K to 10K distances for faster runners?

In my opinion – not really.

img_3808

From where I sit as an average middle of the pack old fart with delusions of grandeur still running through the feeble bonnet on top, the Zoom Fly line-up fit quite nicely as a pair of light-weight trainers that I can run faster in. When my last two pairs of daily trainers were almost a full ounce less than the Zoom Fly, calling them race day shoes is a tough pill to swallow.

However, I will use them as my go faster shoes. 🙂

Long Version

The big question that I and a lot of runners seem to have is/are the Zoom Fly line actually a racing shoe or something else?

IMG_3781

Now that I have been running in them a bit, I really believe that the Zoom Flys are a great light-weight maximal trainer that I can run well in at any speed, but they really shine when it comes to picking up the pace for this old duffer.

In other words pretty much what I have been looking for.

When I first got them and wore the Zoom Fly around the house, they feel like crap to walk in, but when I started to run in them that feeling quickly went away. I felt that I ran “differently” and the watch was telling me I was running faster than I expected for that effort level. The more I have run in them the more comfortable they have become, so there is a certain amount of break-in with the Zoom Fly.

Milestone Pod Results

I wasn’t sure of how or what was different, so I also put my Milestone Pod on them and noticed a change in the results of the last 30 runs that was very, very interesting to say the least. Remember I have only had 6 runs in the Zoom Fly.

IMG_3785

Milestone Definition of Leg Swing is:

Leg swing is how high you get your foot off the ground and towards your butt following push-off. Higher is better. A higher leg swing means you are keeping your body movement closer to your center of gravity. The result is less work/less energy loss. …

The other metrics stayed pretty much the same, but the leg swing metric is very different and the only variable is the change to the Zoom Fly.

I have been using the Milestone App for almost a year, with several different shoes and it has consistently shown my leg swing as mostly Leg Swing on most runs. Now I am suddenly in the High range a LOT more than I had been in my: Reebok RunFasts, adidas Adios 3, adidas Tempo 9, New Balance Beacons or Nike Epic React v1.

So according to the Milestone App, I am doing something different with my Leg Swing in the Zoom Fly v1 than I have in any other shoe I have used with the Milestone Pod.

Which is food for thought when it comes to the Zoom Fly.

What I like

I run well in the Zoom Fly v1. I believe that this is the most important thing, while I will complain about the weight and some other stuff, the bottom line is that I enjoy running in them. Plus it does help that I do seem to be running some fast for me times in them.

I love the cush feeling that there is underfoot, yet it is not marshmallowly. The best part is that I do not feel as beat up after I run in them, as I do some other go fast shoes that I have in my rotation.

IMG_3712

Even though they are heavy for a shorter distance racing shoe (I prefer something in the 6 oz range), they are right in the ballpark for a light-weight trainer. Their weight is what I would prefer to run in for a daily trainer for me. The design seems to propel me forward more easily and the plate gives the shoe a little more umph/pop than the usual light-weight trainer.

20190512_195014393_iOS

The outsole has provided surprising grip on the roads out where I live and have done well in wet weather outside. Although I don’t see them being super durable, I imagine that I will be able to get around 300 miles or so out of the outsole. Which is about when I seem to retire most of my running shoes that make it that far in any case.

The Zoom Flys are comfortable for my feet and that has been an issue for many years, because of the wonderful Tailor’s Bunionette that talks to me if the shoe isn’t right for my foot.

20190512_195059568_iOS

I did undo the flywire that crossed directly over that wonderful spot on my foot and that seemed to make a huge difference in the comfort. This is where I think the FlyKnit version might be a better fit for me – once the price comes down a lot more.

They are very quiet, which means that the heel-to-toe transition is good and with the forefoot design (rocker), along with the internal plate, seems to help with my ankle/foot lack of mobility. As my old physical therapist claimed – two 2×4 nailed together had more flexibility than my feet and ankles. 🙂

Cons

On the sides of the midsole, there are compression lines already there, but my experience with this type of midsole is that they don’t mean much beyond making the shoe look older than it actually is.

img_3821

The grooves and pockets in the outsole do collect rocks more than some of my other shoes, especially on the dirt road down-back and the leftover salt/sand from last winter.

The Zoom Fly v1 are softer, err more cushioned than most of what I consider true racing shoes – something that I found out the other day when I went to the track. It was as though they were too cushioned and in combination with the track, made it more noticeable than other shoes I have run in. While I was still running decent times for me, it did feel as though I could have been going faster in a firmer shoe?

20190512_194905696_iOS.jpg

I am noticing some discomfort in the bottoms of my feet that some other reviewers have noted – it seems as though my feet need to toughen up a little to go longer in the Zoom Flys than some other shoes in my rotation or break in the shoes a little more.

img_3817

The tongue is just a piece of fabric with no padding, so I need to be careful of much I cinch down on the laces, otherwise, it does bother the top of my feet.

Speaking of laces, the stock blue laces were too damn long – they would wack against the other leg and became an unnecessary distraction later in a run when I was getting fatigued. I changed them out to shorter white flat laces and they are working like a charm.

IMG_3779

The reality is that

I see the Zoom Fly as more a light-weight/go fast trainer than I do a racing “flat” or shoe for shorter distances and I am not sure how they are at longer distances yet. In my opinion, they weigh too much and are too soft for many runners to use them as their “flats”.

20190512_194923980_iOS.jpg

So, in other words, they are probably just what I need.

At this stage of my running, I am more concerned with comfort and cushion, than I am about race fit and firm shoes. While they might not be the fastest shoes I could run in, I do not seem to be as sore after running faster in them when I am done.

Yeah, I am getting old and being able to recover from a fast/hard run is an important consideration, beyond just being able to run fast.

Quite frankly, I don’t really see the Zoom Fly as a great racing flat for shorter distances, although they will probably be on my feet when I do a race. Especially, since I do not see myself getting the Vapor Fly anytime soon and while they may not be perfect as a race day shoe, they are good enough for what I want to accomplish.

I also see my Zoom Fly v1s getting more use as a daily trainer, as my other trainers get more miles on them and the pair of Zoom Fly SP that are on their way as Bennie’s Father’s Day gift, become my go fast shoes. 🙂

It will also be interesting to see if the Zoom Fly SP version affects my Leg Swing the same as the V1s have.

New Balance Beacon – 200 Mile Review

Well, getting the New Balance Beacons to 200 miles did not take all that long (my first run was on January 24, 2019) and you know something there was a really good reason for it…they just work for the way I run and do not bother my feet.

Which is what I want and expect from my running shoes.

Let’s get this out of the way. I purchased the Beacons from Running Warehouse when they were on sale. So all the comments and opinions in this review are my own. Of course since we are all experiments of one, your experiences or opinions of these running shoes may be different.

If you want to read my initial thoughts or 50 mile review of the Beacons, please click the links to go there.

Pros Continue reading “New Balance Beacon – 200 Mile Review”

I Almost Bought One of My Unicorn Shoes

I did have to stop at Fleet Feet Sports to check out some of the newer shoes while we were in Portland yesterday and what do I see when I walk in the the door, one of my Unicorn Shoes:

Nike Vapor Fly 4%

Sitting on a table as I walk through the door…they had size 8.5 sitting out on top of the boxes, just SCREAMING — “BUY ME!!!”

They were just a shoe that screamed let me run fast. Continue reading “I Almost Bought One of My Unicorn Shoes”

Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Road – 50 Mile Review

I have over 50 miles (actually over 70) on my new Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Road running shoes, which means – I get to write about them again.

N1 Road Mileage 8-29-14
N1 Road Mileage 8-29-14

Here were my initial impressions from my first run and why I chose to buy the N1 Roads.

While the N1 Roads are still one of Pearl Izumi’s flagship running shoes, they are getting long in the tooth, when it comes to the typical life cycle of running shoes.

Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Roads
Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Roads

In other words they are no longer the newest/greatest thing on the roads anymore. All the marketing hype/multiple blog reviews around them and their “new when first released” Dynamic Offset design has pretty much died away and like most of last year’s models are beginning to fade away or overlooked in the anticipation the newest and greatest versions from all the brands that will be coming out over the next 6 months.

What do I think of the Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Roads after 50 plus miles, without all the hype? Continue reading “Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Road – 50 Mile Review”

Skechers GoBionic Trails – Didn’t Work For Me Review

Over the next few weeks I am going to go through all of the running shoes left in the house, to figure out whether to keep them or get rid of them.

First up are the Skechers GoBionic Trails, a pair of trail running shoes that I had been looking at for more than a year, but never got until this June. 

I stopped running in them back on July 6th, quite simply because they did not feel comfortable.

Skechers GoBionic Trails
Skechers GoBionic Trails

This morning’s run definitely showed me why I stopped running in them, back then.

Okay, based on that sentence, you can probably guess that this review is not going to be one of those ones that anoints a pair of running shoes as the greatest ever or even bemoans the fact that Skechers decided to not continue to update this model… Continue reading “Skechers GoBionic Trails – Didn’t Work For Me Review”

Why Review Old Running Shoe Models

Why in the hell are you still doing reviews on older than dirt running shoes?

You know what I am talking about those running shoes that I write about, which are last year’s or older models.

Pearl Izumi Peak II
Pearl Izumi Peak II

Although I love the newest and greatest running shoes as much or more than most runners, they are not the shoes that I actually usually get to run in.

Whaddayamean?

You see, I don’t work for any running shoe brand (though I do have my favorites), a sporting goods chains, local running store or even have a popular blog where I get a variety of free promotional shoes to review (although I did get free pair of shoes for working a display booth for a brand I like, back in June).

Oh, I have had my chances to do some of this stuff and last year, when I retired, those kind of opportunities disappeared.

Like the majority of runners, I pay for most of my running shoes or get them as gifts for my birthday/Christmas.

Which means many of those newest and greatest running shoes are also budget breakers.

Being retired and on a fixed budget, means that those new shoes costing $160, hell $100 or more for a pair of running shoes is simply more than I am usually willing to spend on new shoes and more than most people want to shell out for a present. Continue reading “Why Review Old Running Shoe Models”