Apparently I like buying running shoes. I have a habit of buying shoes I either would like to try, or already own, if they happen to be on sale so I’ve amassed a reasonable collection (I plan to get them all together for a group picture sometime this week and will post it when I do).
My latest purchase is a pair of the Newton Running Distance S, Road Runner Sports had them on clearance and they have a pretty good return policy so I decided to go for it.
I first came across Newton Running shoes last year and I was interested. At the Rutgers Half Marathon Expo they had them and I tried some on, but the price tag kept me away. I was intrigued by the idea I could keep the form I have developed from running in minimalist shoes, but have some padding/springiness as well (if there are springs in the shoe won’t they make me go faster?).
Even in the sale, they weren’t cheap (I don’t think I’ve spent that much on shoes before) so the price is going to be an issue if I decide I like them enough.
Anyway, they arrived yesterday, just in time for the RVRR group run.
Before heading out I ran up and down the street a couple of times, and I wasn’t convinced. I was a little worried about the fit – Road Runner Sports website had said to buy a half size up, and I had, but they seemed a little looser than I would have liked. Ultimately this doesn’t seem to have been a problem though. They felt very strange, but I had read a review before I bought them where the reviewer had said that if they hadn’t gone for a long run in these as the first run, they wouldn’t have liked them.
This seemed to ring true for me too. For the first 2.5 miles I was still really unsure but suddenly everything seemed to fall into place and everything felt right. I was running with a small group of people at that point, and found myself getting a little ahead on what was already a reasonably paced run. Initially I held back but one of the group cut his run short, and as I kept going I realized I couldn’t hear the others behind me either.
The group run had turned into a solo run, although I could just about see another group ahead of me on the road, but I knew they were fast and I probably wouldn’t be able to catch them.
The run seemed relatively easy from then on (sometimes you just get a good day anyway, so it may not have been the shoes). I was doing the 7.3 mile route, and miles 5, 6, and 7 all clocked in at faster than 7:20/mile and I don’t think I’ve been running that far that fast for a couple of months.
I have no idea if this was partly down to the shoes, and I plan to try them out on some longer runs as soon as I can. It did seem like certain muscles in my legs were tight after the run that I wouldn’t normally have a problem with so I’ll be keeping an eye on that, and I will try to get some similar distance/pace runs in on other shoes as a like-for-like comparison if I can.
At the moment this does seem like it might be a good option for me on the longer distances.
(UPDATED thoughts on the Newton Running shoe on Feb 19th: http://runninginnj.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/running-is-achieving-personal-goals/)