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

Trying another shoe, the Nike LunarRacer+ 2

April 25, 2010

Yes, I try on many running shoes so enough with the jokes and snickering. Asia had a review of these shoes on her blog. We were talking about them and she convinced me that I should give the Nike LunarRacer+ 2 a try, so I picked up a pair at Rogue yesterday.

Nike LunarRacer +2

I’ll come out with it now. I’ve never liked running in a pair of Nike shoes until today. Blasphemy you say!! It may be but I’ve never liked a pair of Nike running shoes until these. One thing I’ve found very annoying about most Nike running shoes, expect for the Nike Streak which I like to wear around more as a casual shoe, is the cut for the ankle. It just rides way too high. Take a look at the image of the Lunar Trainer below for example and how high the shoe runs in the ankle area. This just made running in these near impossible. The other thing I’ve found annoying is the toe box, it tends to be to tight for my feet. This is a complaint I’ve heard from a few runners.

Nike Lunar Trainer

We’ll the LunarRacer+ 2 takes care of both of these issues and brings some positives of its own. My training shoe of choice recently has been the Brooks Launch and I just raced the Boston Marathon in the Brooks Green Silence. You can find my reviews of those shoes on my blog. Asia wrote a great review on the LunarRacer +2 already so I won’t repeat much of what she’s already pointed out. For me the best things about the shoes are they’re light, have a very natural feel, and are soft and cushioned. They feel very natural to run in and the upper doesn’t really feel like it’s there and doesn’t restrict movement at all. The sole is nice and soft but responsive. It’s also two ounces lighter than the Launch and looks just as “flashy” 🙂

Now the true test is Launch vs. LunarRacer+ 2 … for me it’ll have to be both. I used to alternate my Mizuno Precisions and Brooks Launch a year ago. Now it’ll be the Brooks Launch and the Nike LunarRacer+ 2. The LunarRacer+ 2 is really for neutral runners and I know I have a small amount of pronation in my right foot. I plan to do a little strength work before I run anything over 10 miles run in the LunarRacer+ 2.

To be honest, given my past Nike running shoe experience I didn’t think I’d like this shoe as much as I now do. As for the ultimate winner between the Launch and LunarRacer+ 2, I’ll try out a few more runs over the next two months before I declare a final verdict.

Weak or in tune with my body

June 17, 2009

I wrote a few weeks about trying some new shoes out and specifically about running the Elixir instead of the Precision. One area of my foot that bothered me towards the end of my CIM training in 2008 was my toes. Specifically the joint of the toe which would get tight where I couldn’t really bend the toe down on it’s own and pulling it up would hurt. I haven’t had that issue with the Elixir and last week on my trip to Berkeley I decided to run in my Precision again and the felt a little discomfort again. I’ve realized and been told I have some weakness in my toes/foot and need to perform the towel exercises (an example) but what was up with the show change bringing it on. I then went back to my CIM race when I started wearing the Nike Lunar Trainer and when we arrived in Sacramento my toe joint hurt a lot.

Both the Nike Lunar Trainer and Mizuno Precision are very flexible, they pretty much bend with your foot. What that has meant is that when walking or running my foot and toes are flexing more than they really are capable of right now and that seems to be the reason for the soreness and tightness. The flexibility does mean I can get better push off but for now I have some work to do before the Precisions can be used for anything longer than 10 miles.

I was talking to somebody about this at the Rogue Equipment store over the weekend and it was one of those moments where I thought … really, I’m so weak where I can’t handle a small difference in the shoes because of my toes! Then somebody else said runners are just more in tune with their body 🙂

Waited a little too long but still got something

June 27, 2008

Nike Air Zoom Hayward 3I posted earlier about the Nike Air Zoom Hayward 3 and how Nike isn’t making them anymore. I’m off on a vacation and wanted to get a pair to walk around in, my current running shoes have 250 miles on them and they don’t just look like they do but they smell like they do. So I went to the Rogue Equipment store yesterday during the happy hour to pick up the gray pair, well they didn’t have those in a size 9 or 9.5 😉 We could have ordered them but the likelihood of getting them would be low I think and I’m leaving tomorrow on vacation. I did end up getting the blue/white ones. They look a little hipper than the gray ones, which can be good and bad, but just as comfortable.

Get ’em while they last – Nike Air Zoom Hayward 3

June 14, 2008

Nike Air Zoom Hayward 3I was at the Rogue Equipment store today, realized my mileage on my shoes was getting up there and Josh mentioned that the Nike Air Zoom Hayward 3 isn’t being made anymore. These are the very cool looking shoes that are neutral that you’ll see people walking around with. The Rogue Equipment store has some still in stock. I have the yellow ones but think I might need to pick up the gray ones … they fit in a better with everyday clothing.

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