Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Winter/Spring shoes: Hokas, New Balance, Adidas Boost and On.

After joining Fleet Feet for their fun runs, I learned about an even more amazing thing - sponsored fun runs.  Usually including shoe trials and some sort of food and beverage, I found it to be the perfect way for a newbie like myself to try out running gear without the pressure to buy.

My very first breakfast club run was sponsored by Hoka One One and I got to try their Conquest shoes.

I must admit that when I first saw these, I thought I would topple over because they were so high up and the roads were very icy at this point in the winter.  They were not "squishy" in feel and almost felt hard in the sole but it was not uncomfortable.  And off I went, setting out on a 3 mile run.

After the run (which was my first 3 mile run without stopping EVER), we returned to the store and unlaced our shoes.  It didn't feel like anything special but they certainly weren't uncomfortable.  And at the steep price of $170 a pair, I gladly returned them to the vendor.  Bonus?  They hosted a nice shindig, offering t-shirts, hats, lip balm, coffee and bagels.

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I admit that the New Balance release party was mostly attended for the party (beakers with a tasty concoction, tshirts, tote bags and a mashed potato bar?!).  It was a chilly day but an awesome run none-the-less.  I learned that the new New Balance Fresh Foam 980 shoe was a neutral cushioning shoe.  I had no idea what that meant until we actually went out on the run and we started chatting about not having an angled shoe.  It was more of my feel - a "squishy" sole and a fit like a sock.  I wish I could talk more about the shoe but since it was 10 degrees outside and icy, we were all focused on not slipping and protecting our exposed skin from the wind.  It had a great feel to it and is only $110.  Still, I'm not running to the store for this shoe.

But who can complain about the Stanley's mashed potato bar?!  And look at some of the cool gear (yes, I really meant it when I said beaker).

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The Adidas Boost 2.0 party was in honor of those going to Boston this year so it was a Boston-beer and Boston cream cupcake party.  I arrived just in time to grab a pair in my size (just to learn later that I had the OLDER version of the shoe) and went out for a run.

This pair was my favorite up to date.  About a mile into the run, my right foot's pinky toe did start to go numb but when I brought attention to my stride and strike, it went away in a few minutes so I'm not entirely sure if that is the shoe or not.  When I got back to the store, the rep fitted me for the new pair of Adidas.  Sadly, I couldn't go run in them but from walking around the store, I knew that they would be good for me.  I couldn't bring myself to fork up that much cash ($160).  They were offering 30% off shoes purchased that week but only on your second pair.  Eek....so back to the cupcakes I went.  Definitely on my wishlist.

* . * . *

I was actually very excited at the concept of this shoe.  I have no reason why.  It just looked cool!  On, a Swiss shoe company, hosted one of our Saturday morning Breakfast Club runs.  They were sporting "cloud technology" - little square pockets that collapse on impact but spring back.  It was very interesting and I was looking forward to using them.

But oh, things did not end as I hoped for.  Halfway through the run, I noticed that the left shoe was rubbing my ankle the wrong way so I stopped to adjust and retie.  Getting back to the store, I mentioned it to the rep who said I had the wrong size on (though he sized me?) and that I should have gone up a half size.  No matter, I said, since the run was over anyways.  But after settling down after the run, I noticed that my left leg was much tighter than the right.  A few hours later, it was super tight and I felt limpy.  I ended up foam rolling my leg and I felt that way for almost a whole week.  These shoes are definitely not for me.

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