Three nights in London and I’ve purchased three new pairs of road shoes – I may have got a bit carried away!
I know I needed new road shoes – my old faithfuls are the Brooks Trance 11 pair, second from the left. I’ve been putting the miles on these for a couple of years and are my favourite road running shoes. Over time they’ve moulded to my feet and I’ve grown accustomed to that feeling like I’m running on clouds. I have elastic laces on them so I can get them on quickly in triathlons. However, they’re a bit tired now, so I shelled out for the Brooks Trance 12. The Trance 12 is the last in the Trance series – I’ve been told that Brooks will not update this model any further (although expect a new model to be announced in the next month or two).
The red pair of shoes are the Brooks Pure Cadence. Being part of the Pure range, these take inspiration from the minimalist shoe approach, but with some of the stability and cushioning of my old traditional long distance road shoe. I’m planning on transitioning to these for longer runs. The sole has a slight curved slope to encourage forefoot striking. Another benefit is that due to reduced cushioning, these are noticeably lighter than the Trance 12s.
Finally, least practical but just fantastic minimalist and light road shoes – the blue Inov-8 F-Lite 195s. These are out and out minimalist high speed trainers. The number in the name is a reference to the weight of a size 8 of the shoe. There’s even a 150 available, but I was happy with the 195. There’s such a low heel drop that you can’t help but run on your forefoot. Being wary of the horror stories associated with people who transition too quickly to minimalist shoes, I’ve opted to get used to them by incorporating them into days when I’m doing short speed work sessions. And boy do they help you speed! My first couple of runs were around central London. The increased proprioception was instantly noticeable, making me feel more in contact with the road. It allowed me to place my feet with precision and push off strongly from the front of my feet. The only downside was the screaming pain in my calves, which just aren’t used to being used to such an intense workout, but through gently ramping up the usage of these shoes I should get used to them without injury.
Needless to say, I’m well heeled for the rest of my road runs this summer and autumn!