02 September 2009

The hunt is over - a decision has been made

My hunt for a new pair of running shoes has taken me to three separate running shoe stores in search of the perfect shoe. Not all shoe stores are created equal though as I found out, and as posted about here.

Two stores did however stand out, giving quality customer service, having excellent knowledge and making good use of video running gait technology were. These stores were Shoe Clinic and Shoe Science. I visited the Albany branch of both stores and was equally impressed with the sales persons knowledge and friendliness and could easily have purchased shoes from either store.

It was interesting though the running shoe recommendations they came up with.

In the case of Shoe Clinic I was recommended the Brooks Adrenaline GTS9. A structured stability shoe that adequately kept my not too excessive pronation in check.

Shoe Science on the other hand recommended the Adidas Salvation, another Stability / control shoe which offered a superbly cushioned ride and controlled my pronation well. Of the two the Adidas was my favorite.

Neither store was able to offer me a shoe for mid foot running though Shoe Science suggested the New Balance MR 800 as being a good mid foot shoe . Unfortunately they had little stock and are waiting for the next model, the MR 801, to come out in the next month or two.

As great as the Adidas felt, the one shoe I have been reading about all year but just have not been able to get my hands on, due to New Zealand stores not stocking them, is a pair of Newtons, from Newton Running.

Newton Running produce a shoe specifically designed to accommodate the naturally efficient running gait of a mid foot landing runner. The shoes incorporate a radically different forefoot cushioning technology, termed Action / Reaction Technology by the folk at Newton. The design incorporates four external actuator lugs which upon landing are depressed into hollow chambers inside the shoes mid sole.

The revolutionary sole of a Newton Shoe. photo from runtotri.blogspot.com

These shoes seem to be a perfect fit for the style of running that I'm going to persevere with, and that's a mid foot running gait, specifically the style promoted by Danny Dreyer known as Chi Running .

As I've said these shoes are hard to track down here but I was lucky enough to stumble upon the local importer's website. Evidently the shoes are often on display and available for trial at events around the country. As it happens once these trial shoes have run up a few K's they are then sold off at way less than half price.

Given my history of injury and failed comebacks, I was naturally wary about forking out $260 for a pair of radical shoes that I haven't even been able to try on before. Instead for $110 I can pick up a used pair that may have done 20 or 30 miles at most - and still with plenty of life left in them. So the other night I took the plunge and ordered a pair online.

I am about to join the world of Newton Running - wish me luck.


Ewen September 4, 2009 at 9:35 PM  

Interesting! I know LLs has a pair of those and likes them. She said they're 'different' and take some getting used to - fast though.

It'll be good to see how they go. It's a shoe I'd like to try. Good price!

Toni September 9, 2009 at 8:52 PM  

Hi Bruce
Would be good to hear how you are enjoying the new shoes. I rate Shoe Science very highly! I must admit though I am a Nike fan now (never thought I would be) and it's all due to the Nike Sports Kit and the fact the receiver fits in the shoes. No problems so far though and I'm on my second pair.
Hope the new shoes work for you.

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