Thursday, September 18, 2014

Flight of the Conquests


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....

  

They look pretty heavy, and a bit ridiculous, yes. But they are only ridiculous. Coming in at under 12 oz they are surprisingly light. And the cushioning, the bounce - in the words of George Thorogood, "she was so nice....lord she was lovey-dovey." They have other models obviously, the Clifton (under 8 oz) being one of their most popular. If you pay attention you will begin seeing lots of these out on the road. And if you are not paying attention, you will see lots of these out on the road.

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.

Happy Trails.

29 comments:

Greg said...

I've seen a lot of guys in the "On Clouds" which look okay...as opposed to the Reebok ATV ones which actually get good ratings but look weird.

I've been using inov-8 240's for the past 4 months and I love them.

Squeaky said...

I've got two pairs of Hokas and have to say I like the Bondis better than the Rapa Nuis. But they definitely help with my knee and hip pain.

rob said...

gotta look good to run fast, boys. that's my excuse, anyway.

Squeaky said...

So it looks like Pitchfork picked up the rant from Jack White at Fenway last night. I was there and it was funny then creepy, the rant at least. Solid 2+ hours of music.

They did make use of the ballpark for band introductions. Nothing like coming out of the green monster to your name being announced.

zman said...

Those look like the Reebok Hexalites I had in 8th grade.

mr kq said...

Wonder if the kicks will help someone who's up 25 and got diagnosed with arthritis in the hip? Not to mention no acl in right knee.

Squeaky said...

Mr KQ, I have bone on bone (joke in there some where) in my right knee and only about 40% of cartilage in my left one. Thank you years of soccer. Not to mention my right IT Band sucks ass and these shoes really help me keep up this fool hearty obsession of running.

mr kq said...

Thanks mate may have to give em a go. Although might look like "that guy": Up 30, (pimp) with a limp, breathing and sweating profusely, with flashy bright expensive shoes.

#smooth

rob said...

fulham have 1 point from 7 matches with a -12 goal differential. they just sacked their manager. brilliant.

/soccergrammar

Greg said...

Fulham are a pants side.

rob said...

pants sides look down at fulham. they're a knickers side.

rob said...

great moments in aging: was really excited when i came in here several weeks ago to say that the english beat was coming to my town. completely spaced on the show, which is tonight. i won't be going. neat.

Clarence said...

Nice spontaneity for you. YOLO, as the teenyboppers say.

On the same note, Trombone Shorty in VB Tuesday night was outstanding. Between rushing out of the house early to make the radio show and coming back at 2am after a terrific Shorty show and some bar-hopping afterwards, the wife was not thrilled, to say the least. But that doghouse stint lasted about 18 hours , and then we were fine. Forgiveness over permission...

rob said...

got a softball game. can't let the team down.

TR said...

I owe Danimal a drink or a bottle for this. Finding a good shoe has been a perpetual struggle. I buy solely based on color b/c my running karma depends on black and red. Not sure when my soul told me this, but it's a fact.

I suffered through plantar fasciitis two years ago, partially due to arches so high two podiatrists have asked me with a lot of incredulity how I never had foot problems before. I also have wide-ass feet and weak ankles that roll easily. All of this led to the staggeringly dumb decision to start running in Nike Free Flyknit when I went on vacation. These are essentially socks with sole support and no ankle support. After a half mile on my second run, I rolled the hell out of my ankle. Three weeks later I am still out of commission.

I may sniff out a pair for my freakishly arched, hammer-toed, wide feet. Thx for the info.

zman said...

Who picked the font for the Bucs' uniforms?

Danimal said...

I like bottles.

TR said...

The problems may run deeper than the font, Zman. This is the first Thursday nighter I have been able to dig into, and it's a shit sandwich.

In today's National Football League, if you don't get a first down or tackle punt returners, you may not win.

TR said...

That flag for imitating Deion is ridiculous. No Fun League.

TR said...

Devin Hester may be getting a little too emotional. It's not like Deion's return TD record was Emmett's career rushing record or Dimaggio's hit streak. No need for tears, Devin. Wuss.

TR said...

The Bucs are tardy for the party.

TR said...

Mark Teixeira is hitting .217 this year. At least he doesn't have two years and $45 million left on his contract. Oh wait...

Clarence said...

Mark, the Bucs may be worse than the Washington pro football team.

zman said...

Yeah this isn't exactly a fun game. But how can we expect TB to play well when they're wearing such shit unis?

zman said...

All the balls are greased?

Mark said...

TR watches Bravo. And there's no 'maybe' about it, Clarence. The Bucs are shit. Feels like my youth.

zman said...

Julio Jones is too big to be that fast and agile. Impossible.

zman said...

I blame it on the uniforms. Pewter crimson and orange is not a good look.

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