I’m fortunate that I have bulletproof (but sweaty and stinky) feet and joints. Well, except for the time when I tore the tendon across the top of my left foot. Or the time I sprained my right foot which hurts like holy hell. Or when I almost (maybe did) tore my ACL playing rugby. Growing up, I was told that my flat feet always required bulky stability control shoes. Between that and playing either ball sports or rowing, I never really wore a lightweight pair of running shoes until after college. In fact, it wasn’t until after my second ironman that I decided to go lightweight. I think I had been reading Jordan Rapp’s blog or tweets or something and he noted that shoes were essentially dead weight for a lot of people and they should look to get into the lightest weight shoes possible. Being naive (where is my diaeresis when I need it?!) I decided that I would try to wear a lightweight shoe. So my first lightweight shoe was the Mizuno Wave Musha, which I bought (of course) because they were green. These got me through my first open Marathon (Philly). They caused no harm, but I wasn’t quite as fit as I would’ve liked to be for that race. Also, they may have been a size too small as I ended up losing a toenail or two after the race. The bigger issue was that they required wearing socks, which in triathlon is a bit of a pain as you can’t swim with socks on. I eventually threw these shoes out (only this year!) after my apartment flooded.
After Philly I went out and raced at Wildflower for the first time. There I found the (green) Avia Avi-Bolts, which again, having bulletproof feet, worked out well for me. Lighter at ~8oz, they could be worn sockless (although the Avia people told me this wasn’t recommended). Wore them for a number of races, and found that the only real issue with them was that when they got wet, they tended to cut the skin (lots of blood was shed at Timberman and while running during snow melt periods). I was ok with them enough that I bought the Avi-Bolt IIs (now in orange and blue) last year. They were slightly heavier, but still ok. I wasn’t as huge a fan, and ended up wearing the green Avi-Bolts at Coeur d’Alene last year.
And then I passed up the Weston 5 Miler and did the Sugar Bowl 5 miler instead (traffic wouldn’t have let me get out to Weston in time). New Balance was letting runner’s demo the 1400s for the entire race, and I fell in love. Some fun was had on twitter when I started asking Marathon Sports if they could get me another pair of the WR1400s, not realizing that the men’s version was the MR1400 and the women’s was the WR1400. Whatever. I’m an idiot. But these shoes were lightweight, fast and fun as hell to run in. Wore them for Marine Corps and cut 20+ minutes off of my PR (ok, that had little to do with the shoes and a whole lot to do with setting up and following a good training schedule). But the 1400s are a true running shoe: socks are necessary. Which brings us to the point of today’s post.
Part of the nice thing about being on Rev3 is that we get sponsorship deals. One of our sponsors is Peal Izumi. Really well known for their cycling gear, they’ve gotten into running/triathlon lately. The full on orange pair above is a trail running shoe that I plan on test-running this weekend, and the white shoe is the IsoTransition. 9 miles in and I’m in love again. Sockless running is a breeze. Monday it had rained all day and I jumped in every puddle I could find. By the end of the run, my feel were relatively dry for the amount of water I’d run through, there were no hot spots where a blister was forming, and my joints felt fantastic. I’m really excited about these shoes.
Yes, I realize that I get a discount on them and that PI is a sponsor, but holy crap guys, the isoTransitions are amazing. I feel about them the same way I do about the MR1400s, and now I’m just worried that the MR1400s might get jealous about how much time I spend in the isoTransitions. And then there’s the whole issue with the trail shoes. I love trail running. I don’t know how it fits into my training but going up and up and up and down really fast through the woods and mountains is really relaxing and enjoyable. And it’s something I’d like to do more of.