New Blue Shoes

Posted by martin.parnell |

Next Event:

Lacrosse Quest 24


  • Start: 7.00pm Friday May 4th

  • Finish: 7.00pm Saturday May 5th

  • Location: South Fish Creek Recreational Centre

  • RTP Fund raising target: $50,000

Just over a week ago, I picked up a new pair of Brooks Pure Connect running shoes. These fall within the "Barefoot" category and Chris at IMPACT magazine had asked if I was interested in testing a pair, for their future Running edition. I was surprised at their weight, or lack of. The box they came in was heavier than the shoes.

The runners I've been using weigh 2 lbs a pair and have the cushioning of a Lazy Boy. The key element I look for in a shoe is comfort. In 2010 I had used shoes from nine different manufactures and 19 different models. When anyone asks what kind of shoe I use I just say 11 neutral. So, holding these featherweights, I wondered what I had let myself in for.

I've been keeping up-to-date on the "Barefoot running" phenomenon. Like millions of other people, I've read "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall. He does a great job telling the story of the Tarahumara Indians, a race of people who live in the Copper Canyons of Mexico. The terrain is savage and they only wear thin leather sandals, but are able to run incredible distances. On the pathways in Calgary, I see a number of runners wearing Vibram's five-fingers or minimalist shoes. To be honest, the closest I've come to barefoot running is at night when I put on my Winnie the Pooh slipper socks.

I took the shoes home and showed Sue. The first thing she said was how she loved the colour. She called them "Corn Flower Blue" and I must admit they are pretty striking. Chris had asked me to test them for a week so I thought I'd better have a plan. The main thing was not to get injured so I started with a 5km easy treadmill run. The shoes fit like a glove but with plenty of room in the toe box. Getting on the treadmill I stared running with my normal gait. It was weird. There's no heel so I was up on the balls of my foot. Afterwards, I was a little sore, but no permanent damage.

The next run was on Saturday morning with members of the Cochrane Red Rock Runners and Tri Club. As we waited to get going I got a number of comments about the colour of the shoes. Definitely a hit. This time I ran 8km on pavement and some gravel pathways. Again some soreness. I still haven't figured out the correct gait for these shoes.

On Sunday I got back on the treadmill and ran 10km. Things started to feel better. I changed my stride to more of a midsole landing and I felt a lot more comfortable. On Tuesday I ran 14km on the pathways in Calgary and really enjoyed the lightness of the shoe.

The final test was on Thursday. A group of us got together for a night run and we headed out on the Cochrane Pathways. I veered off and ran some single track, along the river. I caught a root and a couple of boulders. These shoes don't offer a lot of protection for the toes or for ankle rollovers but I came back no worse for wear.

In summary. Well, it was a huge learning experience for me. The shoes were a perfect fit with no pressure points. The heel area had excellent support while there was ample room in the toe box. The shoes performed well on pavement, gravel and single track trail.

Am I a convert to "Barefoot running"? Well let's just say I'm taking it one step at a time.

Quote of the Day

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Brooks Pure Connect: Ready for the off.

New Blue Shoes


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