It is easy to spend an age talking about the smallest details of things.
In another passion of mine, photography and film making, the internets are littered with people who seem to know every minute detail about a camera, or a codex, or how the Bayer Pattern Filter works, or blah blah blah. There is so much talk about how having the right camera will some how make you a better film maker.
Talking geek-tech is easy.
Actually its going out there and doing it, and doing it well that is really hard.
I read many shoe reports, reviews, and indeed, these are useful in helping to narrow decisions down, but you know, I am not really interested the manufacturing process for one type of EVA over another, others can write about this far more eloquently than I ever can. And some of them make it interesting. I am also glad that there are people out there who are happy to take a set of callipers and work out the profile of an insole, because, well, this stuff is interesting, sometimes.
But its not really my style.
Sometime you just need to run in a pair of shoes, feel them, forgetting the dynamic offset, the mm of drop, the rocker, the whatever (but not the colour, that is important) and let the imagination run wild…
So, I want you to imagine being 7 or 8, and your mum/dad/responsible adult is/are busy outside, gardening, sorting out the autumn crop of some vegetables or another, and you know you should probably be helping, but you have snuck back in side.
You are lounging on your bed, reading yet another Willard Price Adventure book and somehow you make the cognitive leap to how much fun it would be to trampoline on your bed. Especially as there is no possible way to get caught…
Do you remember bouncing on your bed? Its such fun, but on a cheap child mattress, its a bit, erm, dangerous.
Those springs can hurt when they suddenly break through. And, banging down on bed slats does hurt the knees/base of spine after a while.
One day though, you decide to sneak into your parent’s room to test their bed for its trampolining potential. First bounce, second bounce, and wow. The luxury divan base, the high quality pocket sprung mattress, the sheer size of it. Performing seat drops is magical.
Until you get shouted at, but hohum.
For the last 600 miles I have run in Skechers GoBionics. I have even done some 25 mile long runs in them. But, when I get to around mile 20 I can start to feel a bit too much road information. Don’t get me wrong, these shoes are fabulous, and I can’t wait until the 2014 version hits the shelves, but a 40mile weekend is hard work in them.
As someone who is aspiring to run quite a long way, I am on the lookout for the (near) perfect pair of shoes, the right kind of heal to toe drop, level of cushioning, and so on. A pair of shoes that I could actually run 100 miles in.
The internets introduced me to Skechers Performance Line, and I, like most other would have never considered that Skechers made shoes that you could actually run in, let alone shoes that you would actually want to run in. BUT THEY DO.
So I read Robert Youngren account on the GoRun Ultras, how he helped with the design. I read Pete Larson’s (over at RunBlogger) take on it, and have been chatting with fellow shoe geeks on Facebook and decided it would be a shoe worth buying.
I ordered a pair, full price (I’ve never done that before) and eagerly waiting for them to arrive. They came last Friday, so I wore them all evening and they felt fine. That does it I thought, I will wear them on Saturday’s 25 miler.
And I did, and they were great. In fact, they were just like making that childhood transition from trampolining on your own bed to trampolining on a grown up’s bed.
OK, I guess you might want some details…
So far have run just under 40 mils in them, on pavement / roads, over two runs (back to back weekend long runs).
To insole or not to insole? I ran the first 25 miles in these shoes with the insole out. They were comfortable. I ran the next 13 miles with the insoles in. They were comfortable. The extra cushion was welcome on that second 13 mile run though. I think, that with the insole out, my ankle is rubbing on the collar just ever so slightly. I need to run in them more to get a better sense of this. But so far, no issues on road with either insoles in or out
Drainage: I heard that for some this might be an issue. Saturday’s run involved a 10 meter stretch of path that was submerged due to high tide and excessive rain. It was ankle deep and icy cold. Still, I ran through and after about 5 minutes it was just damp. The water appeared to drain out pretty well.
So far they are everything I hoped they would be. I am enjoying the level of flex they have in comparison to their relative bulk.
Have I mentioned its nice to be 5’8 when I wear them? Rather than my usual 5’7 I finally get a sense of what it might be like to be tall(er). On that basis, I need to find ways to factor them in to my work shoes rotation!
for many years I have run in a UK8, I went for UK7.5 in the go bionics, and also for these – the fit is great, so no worries there.
Over the next weeks I am going to run all my long runs in them, and also hit some trails. I will report back soon!