p pol The Adventures of Carboman: About Shoes

Thursday, October 25, 2007

About Shoes

I had a great run yesterday evening. The rain had just stopped when I stepped out. The skies remained dark and overcast with a slight breeze. Perfect weather for a run, yes? Even as the workout progressed and with the pace quickening, I felt very comfortable and as if I can go on and on. The overall average pace was 5:56 which meant that my workout is lodged right in between the Steady-State (stamina building) and the Easy Run (endurance building) workouts. I used the 205 primarily to measure the distance and not to monitor the pace. It was a run-by-feel workout.

Distance: 11.64K

Splits: 6:07 > 6:19 > 6:18 > 6:12 > 6:16 > 6:14 > 6:08 > 5:45 > 5:46 > 5:36 > 5:14 > 5:10

Time: 1:09

A friend remarked at the number of running shoes that I have. I admit that the number I have stashed in the shoe cabinet is more than what the average runner has (or is it, since runners are shoe hoggers?!) but all of these shoes are on active duty. I've been rotating my shoes more than ever, which is good thing. Besides training your legs and feet to adapt to different shoe feel, the rotation policy also allows the shoes to recover from the previous use.

Rotating the shoes, unlike Rafa Benitez's Liverfool (typo fully intended!) squad rotation, will also allow the extension of the shoes' durability. Research shows that the midsole foam requires 24 hours before it's supportive and cushioning properties are restored.

The selection of running shoes available in Malaysia has improved over the years but we're still behind Singapore where the buying power is. Needless to say, the number of runners in Singapore is also larger. Due to the limited market here, we don't see many niche models such as racers. Regardless, we've seen the re-emergence of brands like asics and Saucony (thanks to the good work by CCube in promoting it), while Mizuno and NB (traditionally conservative brands) have setup impressive full-fledge boutiques in the newly Gardens mall. See here on the feature on the NB Boutique.

On the pricing side of things, NB and Saucony present the best in value for their shoes. While I've more or less done away with NB - purely a personal preference thing, though their 902 looks impressive - Saucony have done well to bring in their new models such as Sinister, Trigon 5 and Triumph 4 (the high-end Paramount is coming too) quickly. We've also been seeing lots of good buys at the Studio R, World of Sport and Isetan. Many of last year's top-end Nike, adidas and asics models were at 50% off while we saw a few racing models brought in here to be "disposed".

Nike running shoes have not done well in Malaysia the last 5 to 8 years. Thanks to the build quality, durablity and pricing, Nike buyers are typically gym and general fitness folks who go for fashion and hipness in their purchases. The Pegasus, Structure, Free are the exceptions. However, I've seen a shift in Nike since late last year. They've brought back some iterations like the Pegasus '07, Vomero 2, Zoom Elite 3 are good models and worthy of trying out. If I can get a good discount, I may get the Vomero 2 in place of the very expensive Gel Nimbus 9, when my 2120 or Supernova expires.

Oh yes, my rubbers are as follows - favourites in asterisks:

Trainers/Races up to the Full Marathon (KM used/max mileage)

*2120 - 542/800. This is my favourite and I've been using it less so that it will still be available going into my marathon base training next month.

Supernova Cushion 6 - 255/750. After the initial misgivings, this is turning out into a value buy (RM240 after discount). The cushioning is soft yet responsive if you need to be going faster. This model has a wider fit unlike nearly all other adidas models. A review is forthcoming.

Pegasus '05 - 234/700. A good year but this second pair seems to be much firmer hence I've relegated it to backup duties. I believe it still has a role to play.

Speedwork/Races up to the Half Marathon

Axiom 2 - 223/600. Brooks shoes are always firm, which makes it an acquired taste. This pair is no different. In my attempts to "train" my legs to adapt to lightweight trainers, the Axioms have been used quite extensively. The midsole is still the old Substance 257 compound instead of the new MoGo. Wear and tear not that good. I also hope to write a review soon.

*Forster - 39/500. In all of the 3 races I wore them, I ran great times, though not PRs given my level of fitness. Absolutely no complaints and it will have no problems up to the Half. I'll be able to experiment with it for distances up to 30K to gauge its qualities for the longer distances.

I still have a new secret pair that I'm saving up for the GE 30K and KLIM. I smell potential in this pair - possibly a PR shoe for the marathon. That's a story for another day.



  • Hi, Jamie.

    I notice you like the 2120 very much -- but also that you otherwise seem to run in un-posted (neutral/cushioned) shoes. Have you considered trying the Asics Landreth? It's basically the same shoe as the 21XX but with a single density midsole (i.e., no medial post).

    My wife has run in the various versions of the Landreth since it came out and likes it quite a lot. I am a moderate OPer myself and so always wear stability or light MC shoes.

    Have fun,

    Shaker Heights, OH USA

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:55 PM  

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