The last 1.5 years for me have been plagued with injuries - back, calf, back, back, and now foot. The first 4 kept me from doing much of anything other than PT and swimming. The latter has me gimpy and feeling some discomfort. It started off as minor Plantar, but has evolved into something else where the top and bottom of my left foot hurt when walking, but when running after a mile or so the pain subsides until post-run. I've got a half IM in Augusta in 11 days and come hell or high water I am doing it after having been on the sidelines for too long. You are aware that the Newton brand of running shoes is one I have been a big endorser of and will continue to be. My last 4 pairs have either been the Gravity's or a close cousin. (Yes, Zoot's too but those are for races, and traveling)
Newton's are great if you have a pretty good foot strike, that is a mid or forefoot strike rather than the heel. Also, if you have a high arch and/or wide foot like me (you know what they say), the Newton is terrific because it has a spacious toe box. I love me some spacious boxes. And yes, they are expensive at $175, but they last forevah and especially if you have fair to good technique - I define "forevah" as a minimum of 700 miles. Our little pal Rob who weighs what, 80 lbs? could probably wear these until retirement.
So over the last few weeks my foot pain and discomfort has worsened to the point where I felt the need for a change if I wanted to finish out the plan and participate in this race. You may be thinking that an unwise decision to run through the injury and you may well be correct, but I doubt it. It's not to that point. Yet.
Anyway, in the circles we run in here, no pun intended, there are a good number of peeps that just run. And run. And run. Taking part in wacky ultramarathons like Badlands and other events requiring mad miles. Many of them have begun sporting the up and coming, buzzworthy, part clown-shoe, HOKA's. I tried some on a few months ago for grins and giggles, and more giggles. This was pre-foot aggravation and with loads of miles left on my Gravity's, so I was really just sniffin. Fast forward a few weeks with time in-between hearing about how these running freaks love them, plus the foot prob, I decided to try again with different intent. After trying on 3-4 different models while sampling on the treadmill in the store, there was no doubt what felt the best. But I couldn't get over the look. I said, "I can't wear these....look at 'em!" You really shouldn't buy running shoes based on aesthetics, especially if you're logging miles. So I said "fuck it," and walked out with the beasts shown below....
I bought them on a Friday with a 14-miler to do over that weekend. My original intent was to break it up with 7 miles in the HOKA's and in 7 in the Newton's. But I didn't need to. They were fine the entire slog. That does not mean everyone could expect as much, but it is telling for sure. My foot pain post-run and the day after was significantly reduced. My loyalty being won over, not entirely but enough to always own say one pair out of two or three in use, I bring them to you, the GTB Nation, comprised of roughly three people that might read this with any interest.