A little while ago I was offered some new shoes by Fitness Footwear, how lovely! After having a good look through their range, I decided these would be the best option for my foot type and for the kind of training I’m doing right now. Looking at the picture, I saw them as red and even when I opened the box (always a happy moment for a runner) I thought they were red until Edward gasped ‘PINK!’ Oh my god, they are sooo pink! For my running gear I am quite conservative and usually stick to a dark palette (ie black) with shoes with a blue trim, so these are a bit of a step away from the norm for me.
I normally wear Asics and I’m pretty happy with them, but as Fitness Footwear don’t stock them, I went with New Balance, having had a pair a while ago that I was very happy with. The first thing you notice about a pair of NBs is the laces – they are ingenious – with little nobbles/indents/wiggles that hold them in place and avoid the bending down in the middle of a run to re-tie your laces scenario (which usually ends up with another stop to loosen them again because you’ve tightened them too much…). I appreciate little details like this because they make a big difference.
One big difference for me in these shoes is the price range they fall into. I normally go for the cheap to middle end of the scale but these are a top of the range model, so I was interested to see if there is any difference. Regular readers might remember me having a shaky moment at the beginning of the year when my shins were aching from my new Asics 1140s, and I decided they were too firm and not a ‘straight from the box’ kind of shoe, so broke them in a bit (I am now wearing them for all of my long runs because they feel great once broken in). The New Balance shoes definitely are a ‘straight from the box’ shoe, comfy at the first run. They are nice and firm and have a sort of sticky out bit at the back, which seems to give some extra cushioning on landing (if you heel-strike as I do)…I wondered if they were like some kind of running shoe ‘spoiler’ to keep you on track when you go too fast but have yet to experience such a phenomenon. Something I have noticed that I am not sure about is that I can feel the ground under the ball of my foot, not in a painful way, just that I am used to a bit more shoe between my foot and the ground. I can see how this could help stability by helping to spread the weight of your landing, but I find it a bit odd.
One thing I would say about these shoes, the thing that is stopping me wearing them on my longer runs, is that they have a very square toe box and my toes are feeling the pinch. Comparing them to my other shoes, you can see how much squarer they are alongside the more pointy toe of the Asics. This is definitely a shoe where you go up a half-size for comfort. To sum up, I would say they are good looking shoes (I have forgiven their pinkness), are great from day one with no running-in needed and they offer good support for an over-pronator, but do go up a half-size to avoid black toenails. Eek!
This morning Hector and I leapt out into this glorious sunshine and had some fun along the canal. Lots of diggers to see again and we spent some time watching a tree surgeon at work, climbing up the tree with ropes and lopping great big branches down to be eaten by the big shredder. How exciting!
Time: 54 minutes 34 seconds
Distance: 5.32 miles
Average Pace: 10.15
Best Pace: 7.00