Saturday, December 29, 2012

It's Love

I've waited awhile to post my thoughts on my new Brooks Pure Cadence because I wanted to get past the early, lovey-dovey honeymoon phase of new shoes.  I wanted to see how much I truly liked them in various areas, I wanted to see how they did during a race and on a super long run.  Now armed with what I know I can confirm, that I am in love with my Pure Cadence.  I never knew what a difference a pair of shoes could make and as you know from earlier posts, I sort of thought it was silly to get fitted.  Now I know better.  I also think it will be awhile before I switch shoe brands or for that matter style.

Before I get onto the specifics of what I love so much about them, I want to explain where I've been.  Since I started running, I have been through three pairs of shoes.  I started out initially with shoes that were not specifically running shoes.  I stopped wearing those because I thought they felt heavy.  So I switched to another brand that was tailored to women and was considerably lighter.  I bought them because I liked the color (excellent reason to buy a shoe) and because they were not very expensive.  Since I wasn't sure if I would continue running my logic was that I didn't need to invest a whole lot of money into something only if I was going to burn out and stop.
  While I liked the shoes, I was constantly battling blisters.  I tried changing socks, cotton, no cotton, mesh, padded, you name it I tried it and I still had blisters.  It turns out my socks were most maligned as I later discovered I had bought a size too big.  A foot sliding up and down in a shoe is sort of conducive to blisters.  I parted ways with this shoe after developing extensor tendinitis as a result of tying my shoes too tightly on one foot.  Most likely an attempt to stop the foot sliding.  I bought another pair of shoes by yet another brand, spent a little bit more money on these and outside of blisters (notice a recurring theme?) I have nothing bad to say about these shoes.  They did get heavy towards their retirement, but I did really like these shoes.

Enter my birthday present from the hubs a new pair of running shoes.  Higher quality running shoes that might cost a bit more than I have spent in the past.  It became glaring obvious to both of us that much to my surprise I was actually a runner, and a runner who found she liked longer distances and actually ran on purpose.  It was time for some serious shoes.  After hemming and hawing I went to Fleet Feet Tulsa got fitted and tried on two  other equally amazing shoes, Mizuno Wave Elixir and Brooks Ravenna.  After I tried the Mizuno on he had brought out a pair of Pure Cadence.  Cue the sappy music.  It was love at first try.

So here is the lo-down on the shoes, these are just my thoughts on them anyway. I have now been running in them over a month, I have run outside, on a treadmill, running paths and street.  I have now run a 5k (and  PR'ed by the way) and finished an 11 mile run in them last weekend.  So I have truly put them to the test.

What I love:
 They are super light and flexible.  Something I have not had in previous shoes.  I can not imagine at this point that I will ever be able to say that they are heavy.

They are lower to the ground, and surprisingly enough I like that.  I don't feel like I'm up on heels and since I'm kind of klutzy, I feel like I have more stability being more on the ground.

I love that as an overpronator I can run in a more minimal shoe and get the support and guidance that I need without the heaviness.

The IDEAL heel is awesome.  There is a bit of a curve to the outer heel that helps with my overpronation and guides my strike a little better.  A little technical wonder that I can't really find a way to appropriately explain. I just know it works.

If you look close you can see the curve.  Initially it felt weird but I don't even notice it now.

The Nav band is another favorite.  It is a band that starts at the base of the shoe and runs all across the top and back down.  It helps lock my foot in place and thus cuts down on any friction issues.  I can even say that after my 11 mile run last week, I did not have any blisters or feel any friction.  Which is awesome for me.

The non technical stuff, they feel like nothing I've ever worn there is a smooth, less jarring feel and my feet feel great even after 11 miles, and I'm most certainly hoping they feel great after 13.1.

There is only one thing that I have had an issue with and it's more me than the shoe and that is with the Nav band.  If I am in a hurry to get ready (which would be my lunch runs on Tuesday's and Thursday's) I really have to watch where the Nav Band lands.  If it's in the wrong spot, I know it and I have to pause the run to fix it.  It's a quick fix, just slide it to the right spot.  But if I slowed down and made sure that it was where it needed to be the first time it wouldn't be an issue.

All in all, I'm over the moon, I couldn't have asked for a better birthday present, or a better shoe.  Thanks to Brooks I now "run happy" or maybe I should say happier.  Love my Brooks and thanks to Twitter, I know they love me back.