Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Stalling on a Workout, so here's a shoe review

When I woke up this morning, my Saturday, I told myself I would eat breakfast, read the paper and then make my way to the track to bang out 1,000 meter repeats.  It's 2:30pm now.  Breakfast is digested and so is lunch. The coffee pot is empty and I've read every paper in Billy Joel's song and then some.  I've now mentally committed to a 4pm departure.  It's the most beautiful day in a string of cold winter downers, but my motivation tank is empty.

As I kill time, I'll write about shoes.  Late last week, I picked up a pair of the Adidas Boost which is the company's new shoe.  It promises to revolutionize distance running footwear and perhaps distance running itself.  Some have claimed that the first runner to break the 2 hour marathon will do it wearing a shoe with the Boost technology.

My curiosity, and yes my excitement started growing when I saw the first ad for the shoe some months ago.  I'm already an Adidas junky, thanks mostly to its sponsorship of the Urban Athletics racing team, but also because about two years ago after a string of injuries and missteps, I discovered that I find my stride in their shoes.  My current shoe rotation boasts 10 pair of Adidas which now includes a pair of all black Boost.

So, what makes the Boost so special?  It's cushioning material is different from that found in any other running shoe currently on the market.  Adidas teamed up with chemical giant BASF to create a granular material which was transformed into thousands of small energy capsules to make up the Boost's midsole.  According to Adidas, the capsules store and unleash energy more efficiently with each stride and provide the highest energy return of any leading shoe.  In short, it is super soft ride.  On top of that, it is said to be incredibly durable.  I've heard some say you can put up to 1,000 miles on the shoe.  By comparison, I usually retire a shoe after 350 miles.

The local Adidas representative was nice enough to give me a pair of the $150 shoes so I could share my thoughts.  I've made sure I got three solid runs in before forming an opinion and now I am ready to declare the Boost a solid recovery shoe.  You can't beat the cushioning.  I have been battling tendinitis in my left foot for the better part of a month now.  The pain is generally present enough to be annoying but not debilitating.  In the Boost, it's virtually non-existent.  However, there is a trade-off.  After the first run in the shoes, my knees were a little achy, likely due to the transfer of impact.  I'm not a biomechanics specialist, so I could be way off on this, but other runners described the same feeling.  Fortunately, once I got used to the shoes that post-run soreness disappeared.  I ran 9 miles at a fairly brisk pace yesterday and have no sore knees or otherwise to report.

I call them a solid recovery shoe because I don't think this particular model would be responsive enough for speed work.  If you are looking for a quick turnover, stick with the Adios or even the Bostons (my two personal favorite shoes).  It's less shoe.  This could, however, change when the Boost Adios become available to the general public in July.  The long distance flats are already making waves on the professional international marathon circuit.   They were on the feet of the first and second place finisher at the Tokyo Marathon. 

If you are someone who likes to have a shoe for every type of run, I would recommend having the Boost in your rotation.  Sunday, I ran a 5k (recap to come tonight or tomorrow) in the Adios and followed it up with a 12 mile run in the Bostons.  Monday morning, it was good to have something as forgiving as the Boost to put on for my recovery miles. I'm interested to see how long they last.  It's not the midsole I am worried about, but the rubber on the heel and the tech fit upper which is really comfortable and stretchy, but I question it's durability.  I have a habit of poking holes in the top and sides of shoes. But, I think the new technology has a lot of potential and will end up playing a big role in the advancement of the industry as Adidas adds it to more of its models.  Get on board early and see what it is all about.

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