I’d decided that my oldest pair of trainers (Nike LunarGlide+, bought in 2010, IIRC) were getting to be past their best, and were quite probably responsible for a few injury niggles that I’d had recently. I’d never been particularly happy with them anyway (not that I could tell you why), so wasn’t going to complain about a decent excuse to replace them.
Not long after getting the LunarGlides, I’d gone to Northern Runner for a proper gait analysis, and also the chance to try running in whatever shoes I was thinking of getting. As a result of this, I ended up with a pair of Mizuno Wave Nirvana 7. I’d been pretty happy with them, particularly with the feel of the forefoot, but was starting to think that they were just too chunky around the heel.
I went back to Northern Runner, and told them this, and the immediate response was a pair of Brooks PureCadence. As soon as I put them on, I noticed how much lower the heel felt; quite strange at first. A little jog up and down the corridor behind the shop, and I was sold. I tried a similar pair with a “normal” heel, for comparison’s sake, but I decided I really like the PureCadence and walked out of the shop after my card had taken a £100 battering… plus an extra £7.50 for some Lock Laces that I’d got talked in to buying. [Damn, I hate good salesmen.]
I wore them for an hour or two around the house, and was a bit concerned about how tight they felt around the top of my foot, but this is probably attributable to the so-called NavBand, a strip of thick, slightly elastic material that attaches to the outside of the sole on each side and goes over the top of the foot.
The first chance I had to wear them “in anger” was a strides session, the day before a race. Running at an easy pace to warm up felt very strange, and I almost wondered if I’d made a mistake. I felt very flat-footed and clumsy…
After a mile or so, it was time to start doing some strides. As I sped up, I experienced a revelation as the shoes started to “work”. Running fast seemed so effortless, heel strike was almost completely eliminated, and it felt so much easier to get my legs moving quickly than I’d previously been used to.
After doing six stride repeats and a warm-down jog back to the office, I could feel that my calves were a bit tight in unusual places. Probably a result of the lower heel forcing a different (hopefully more efficient) running style. I don’t think I’ll be wearing them for any races longer than a 5K for a few weeks yet, but I’ve got great hopes for these shoes once my legs have got used to them.
Let’s see if I’m still as happy with them in a month or two’s time…