The Saucony Kinvara is here to stay

July 8, 2010

Asia has a great review of the Kinvara on her blog today. I’d mentioned this new shoe as something I decided to try and figured I might as well post an update. My review unfortunately isn’t as well though out as the one Asia wrote today.

The Brooks Green Silence is now off my list of shoes I like to wear, the way the laces dig in just doesn’t work for me. Overall my ranking on shoes I now wear is:

  1. Saucony Kinvara
  2. Brooks Launch
  3. Nike LunarRacer+ 2

I like all three of these shoes. The Saucony Kinvara is very comfortable, responsive but still has some cushion where longer runs are manageable with it. It’s a really tough balancing act that Saucony seems to have managed. I still use the Brooks Launch for most of my runs right now since it’s a “more shoe” and support and with my higher mileage target this season I need all the help I can get. It was the first shoe where the first time I put it on it just felt great, a very different feel from anything I’d tried before. The Nike LunarRacer+ 2 feels pretty good too but seems to pinch my right outer toe a little my personal negative issue. This could be just because of my form and how I push off. From others, the Nike may also not really last very long and I don’t think I can really go with a show that doesn’t give me 250ish miles given a 90 miles/week target this season.

If you are looking for some light weight trainers I wouldn’t hesitate recommending you try all three of these out. They’re all at Rogue so go try them all side by side and see what you think, I’d love to hear your take on these shoes.

Another shoe to try out is on the list, the Saucony Kinvara

May 16, 2010

After talking with John at Rogue Equipment I’ve decided to give another show a try, and from a totally new brand. It’s the Saucony Kinvara. I haven’t tried them on since they aren’t available yet but John got a pair to try out and described them to me and I think I’ll have to give them a go. He hasn’t done me wrong on show advice yet so I’ll have to give it a go.

Saucony Kinvara

Some of the highlights from John on the Kinvara compared to the Brooks Launch that have been my trainer of choice for over a year:

  • The Kinvara is lighter maybe 1.5 oz lighter than the Launch.
  • It’s a little firmer than the launch. The softness of the Launch has been one challenge with them for me from a responsiveness standpoint so the comparison will be interesting.
  • The upper is made of three layers, which may or may not be something each person likes.
  • It’s relatively flat. In John’s words “A standard training shoe runs 24mm under the heel, 12 mm under the forefoot.  The Launch is lower, 22/11.  The Kinvara is 18/14.  18 is low, for sure, but 14 is really unusual.  So it serves to bring the foot to a natural position.  Or closer to it, anyway.”. Note to self: be careful with the flatness and ease into wearing the shoes to avoid any issues with my my calf and Achilles.

So pretty soon my running shoes will consist of this colorful bunch.

Brooks Launch

Saucony Kinvara

Brooks Green Silence

Nike Lunarracer+ 2

Changing my race shoes from the Brooks Launch for the Boston Marathon

April 11, 2010

I’ve decided to change my race shoes for the Boston Marathon from the Brooks Launch which I ran Portland in. The new shoes are the Green Silence, also from Brooks. They have the same material for the sole as the Launch, are just over 6 oz in weight and feel great to run in.

Brooks Green Silence

I wrote while training for the Portland marathon why I switched to the Brooks Launch from Mizuno Percisions. The Launch are now my trainers. The Green Silence have a very similar feel to the launch from a softness standpoint but are lighter and have even better responsiveness. I’ve tested the Green Silence out on 3 runs now. The first was on the first 6 miles of a 16 mile run a month and a half ago. Then last weekend on a 16 mile run and then today during the Capital 10k where I was running at marathon goal pace. I think they have just the right amount of cushioning for a road race and marathon. When I tried the Musha from Mizuno they weren’t as soft, they kind of felt like my Percisions do after I have 200 miles on them from a “feeling the road every foot strike” standpoint so I don’t think I’ll be racing in them.

I do have one complaint about the Green Silence. The way the laces are done at the top they can really dig in, the good thing is right at the top on the tongue there are these slots you can use to feed the laces back in. I’ve had to do that so the laces stay on the tongue and don’t go off and directly onto my foot. Brooks, please look at that 🙂

Do I need to switch from the Brooks Launch?

February 23, 2010

The answer is no. The reason I ask, today when we started our run at Rogue the “Brooks Launch Count” went up considerably. Just with the folks I noticed there were at least 5 guys wearing them today. I do really like them so I can’t blame anybody. My comments from my review still stand and I’m starting to wear the Launch almost exclusively for training now.

Brooks Green Silence Shoe Review

February 10, 2010

Today I got to run in my Brooks Green Silence for the first time and I have to say I like them.

Brooks Green Silence

I had an earlier post where I talked about the Mizuno Musha. The biggest difference for me has been the softness/coushion in the Green Silence over the Musha. I’m used to running in Mizuno’s and they’re not the most giving shoes and Musha are very light so I felt the road quite a bit in them on my 8 mile test run. My 10 mile run in the Green Silence today was better compared to the Musha in this area. The Musha had some more support but I felt fine in the Green Silence. The Green Silence did feel a little loose in the toe box before running but when I did run it felt fine. The other cool thing is the Green Silence has some cool features as far as the recyclables used in making them as well as the bio degradeble insole.

I don’t think I have the stability to train in these but these are starting to look like the front runner as my race shoes for the marathon. They’re very light, responsive and I like the cushioning they provide for my foot strike. Before deciding for sure if I’ll race in them I need to test them out on a faster run and see how they feel compared to the Musha at sub 6:30 min/mile paces.

Long run of 24 miles and Mizuno Musha test run

February 6, 2010

Today was a little under 24 miles around a 7:30 min/mile overall pace so nice and easy. The team met up at 6:00 and got 8 miles in before another 16 with the rest of the Rogues at 7:00. I decided to try the Mizuno Musha during the first 8 miles.

Mizuno Musha

The Mizuno Musha are racing shoes, very light with just a little support, and should be great for racing a marathon if my legs can handle them. The first 8 miles of the run went well with them on, it was a very different feel and I could tell that they didn’t have any cushioning so they would not be good trainers. They’re very flexible and responsive so they should feel good to run in at faster paces but aren’t quite right for the more plodding motion of easy runs.

I’m also going to give the Brooks Green Silence a go and decide if either of these shoes will be my racing shoes, ideally for the marathon but if not then for some shorter distances. I’m positive they will not suit me for everyday training shoes.

Brooks Green Silence

This week should end somewhere around 70 miles, it would have been closer to 80 but getting a cold over the weekend made me miss a couple of runs this week.

New Marathon Race Shoes selected … they’re Brooks for the first time

September 6, 2009

This is a complete change for me as far as shoes go. For years, ever since I started running the only shoes I’ve consistently worn are Mizuno’s. I recently tried the Brooks Launch and really like them, so much so that for the first time ever I’ll be running my marathon in a pair of shoes that aren’t Mizuno’s.

Brooks Launch

Brooks Launch

A little on the history behind the change

So why the change. As I wrote earlier I started wearing the Elixir instead of the Precisions after my last injury for just a little more support. After a while I did notice that my toes pinch a little in the Elixir, not too bad but something I need to pay attention to and if everything else isn’t going perfectly it can become annoying.

For a while I was alternating between the Mizuno Elixir, Mizuno Precision and Asics DS Trainers. One issue I started having was with the metatarsal pad on my right foot. I have hpyer flexible shoes and I though the relatively stiffer DS trainers might be better for me … wrong. I started having more issues and went in to see John (the store manager) at Rogue Equipment. The slightly less flexible DS trainers were apparently making me work harder on my push off, I asked him about any other shoes I should try out and he suggested the Brooks Launch.

So what do I like about the launch?

When I put them on and was just standing they just felt different, and different in a great way. I felt like my entire foot was on the ground. The way the weight seemed to distribute was different than any other shoe I’ve worn. The forefoot is also cushioned very well and as I took a few strides in them the stride felt great and very natural. They’ve very light as well. One thing I’ve disliked in the past about brooks has been the cut around the ankle. In other Brooks shoes I tried the show would push up against my heel, another problem that isn’t there in the Launch at all. I’ve now put over a hundred miles on my pair of launch and decided that I’ll use them in my marathon in Portland in 4 weeks … I just got my race pair and will break them in on a couple of runs over the next two weeks and then we’ll see how it goes.

One of the negative things I have heard about the launch is that the cushioning in the heel isn’t very good. Now heel striking isn’t something I really do, and anybody wearing shoes as light as these probably shouldn’t either … unless they’re on a very very easy run/jog. So if you do heel strike you may … ok I could say don’t try these shoes … but whatever shoes you do wear work with your coach or somebody to stop heel striking 🙂

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