Sunday, March 3, 2013

New shoes!

Well, I knew the day was coming and, sadly, it is finally here: my Asicis Landreth are officially retiring.

I've had this pair for longer than I ever expected I would thanks to my nine month, GV-requested exercise hiatus, but with broken laces, worn tread and innumerable miles they're starting to cause a new twinge here, straight up pain there and simply need to be replaced.

While I am sure there are those out there that could not possibly care any less about my foot wear issues, I am positive that the runners among you can appreciate the physical necessity of a good pair of shoes and can identify with the brand loyalty that develops one you find the perfect Cinderella-fit.  For me, Asicis Landreth have been my glass slippers.  They've been my s(tr)ide-kick, running-buddies for some of my best races and one-on-one ego challenges with HB: the time I wound up beating him after he coaxed/dragged me (and the stroller) through a 5k; the race where I fell on the backstretch, was passed by a competitor and came back to beat her and win our age group; and, of course, my first half marathon.  Bottom line is that I thoroughly loved this design and I'd wear them forever... if I could.

The unfortunate, big time bummer is that Asicis stopped making this shoe.  For whatever reason they got it in their pea-brains that it wasn't selling well enough and that people who don't need extreme arch support don't need these kick-butt neutral shoes... I'm not bitter, really.   Anyway, I was completely heart broken to realize I'd have to start over in my search for running kicks, BUT trying to optimistically take a look at the bright side (odd, I know) I figured this was a great opportunity to try something new: minimalist shoes.

For those who are unfamiliar with running shoes, most, typical shoes have an 8-12 mm rise in the heel that provides cushion when your foot hits the pavement.  By switching to a minimalist shoe - or variation there of - you loose that height difference and force your body to create it's own cushion and stability by reducing heel strikes and forcing greater turn over through shorter, toe-dominant strides.  Essentially, these shoes change your gate and train your body to run with increased efficiency.

So there we are, no shit, at the running store and I'm picking out a pair of my own.  I looked at a bunch of different brands, heel heights and scoffed my way through the ridiculously colored women's shoes that are currently available on the market (seriously, what's with the neon?!).   Since all of the shoes were ugly and that held absolutely no weight in my decision, the test runs back and forth in the parking lot helped me make my final choice -  my foot strike is quieter in the 0 mm rise Mizuno Wave than any of the other 1-4 mm rise shoes available.  Since that indicates better form, volia! I found my new shoes. As you can see in the picture they have ZERO tread on the heel and should be 100% different from my Landreth, may they rest in peace.

Of course the warning that comes along with swapping from traditional running sneakers to minimalist shoes is that you should NEVER use them all of the time and you still need a normal pair as you transition.  So despite my reluctance to shy away from Asicis, I wound up getting a pair of New Balance 1080V2 to try out.  Admittedly they are significantly more ugly than the Landreth were, but until I've put several miles under our feet I'm going to keep the jury out on their success as a replacement training shoe.  I'll probably wear these for all of my longer runs and save the Miznuo for three mile or less "off days."

For better or for worse, I'll keep you posted.

No comments:

Post a Comment