In the last two weeks, both Saucony and New Balance have sent me sample shoes to wear-test. What a blessing. After burning through a pair of shoes every two weeks last year, my appetite for shoe shopping has been somewhat curbed. Free? Not a problem. I will take what I can get and what I have gotten recently has been plenty.
The Sauconys are great, a pair of Triump 7s. They are a very stiff, well supported and cusioned neutral trainer. A bit too stiff for my liking, but I can see the value in such a rigid sole as it guides the stride. After week of training in them my feelings are mixed. Mostly, I am pleased. The shoe has provided just the sort of stiffness and support I have been needing to get my strike and stride back on track, while supporting my healing foot.
I went out for my first run in the New Balances this morning. Apparently, New Balance is testing out a new material for the outsole. I don't know the details of the material, but I do know how I feel about these shoes. Awesome. They have significantly more flexion than the Sauconys. They too, are a neutral trainer, but with an impressive amount of response and control. The upper-body breaths easy and hugs the foot much more lovingly than the Sauconys (by this I mean they are comfortably conforming. The tread on these bad boys is meaty. They have a high, raised-heel, with gnarly trail treads on the front. They performed splendidly on the roads, ice, snow and trails this morning (I think rubber, as in treadmill, is the only surface I did not interact with on my morning run). Too, they are noticably lighter than the Saucony. All told, they are a great multi-terrain, well-cushioned neutral trainer. Can't wait to put some more miles on them.
Updates on Copper Canyon training, as well as more info on travel arrangements and fundraising coming soon...