Reviews

Buy this book stat! A review of it will be up by the end of the night but take my word for it, it is the Holy Grail of “get in shape” books. It is everything you need to get in the best shape of your life. You can buy it online over at Stew Smith’s site. Look to your right.

7/9/2008

So this is the first article of the soon-to-be new site, all about the follies of fitness. I am not treating this as an epic event because, well, there is nothing epic about the first of hopefully many thousands of articles. I just want to say hold your breath, plug your nose and lets dive in. And since we are diving in we might as well be in the deep end and talk about chicks, man. (that was from The Soup) Just kidding, but I am not far off. I want to review running/training shoes today.

I am a sucker for running shoe stores. I can’t help it! I am sure there is therapy to help me but much like the difference between a drunk and an alcoholic, as long as it brings me happiness I will keeping huffing new shoe smell and measure my feet on one of these things. But I will tell you, with my affliction also comes a level of knowledge that can only be acquired by bugging the shoe store staff at 8am every Saturday. They pretend to like me.

First, lets start with the ones I own. From the Nike Shox family, this one is the BRS 1000 and as far as running shoes go I rate this one equivalent to a dump in a jar. Just about everything Nike boasted about this shoe was false. It didn’t have the support around the arch what so ever, the tongue was designed for the iPod Nano mount so it never stayed in one place but slid to the left and to the right usually about the point I enter “the zone”. Let’s see..oh yeah! The name Shox really fell a few yards short because after about mile three, I felt like I had tide two text books to the bottom of my feet. Perhaps if Nike would stop making shoes that look like race cars they could design a shoe that doesn’t run like Roosevelt. Was that too soon?

Going to a polar opposite, La Sportiva makes a fine shoe for those of you like me that prefer to haul ass on a mountain trail rather than a paved sidewalk. It’s not everyday that I can go off-roading on “righty’ and “lefty” but on the occasional weekend I do, I rock these. Well, to be honest, I rocked these but I left one on the roof of my car one fateful day. When I found out what I did, I broke out into “Amazing Grace” and I wasn’t even embarrassed that I was at a crowded Starbucks. I still have the other one today.

So I guess you can tell that I really liked these shoes. I do. I guess it can be compared to wearing Humvees on your feet. The comfort level of this shoe is off the chart. I guess it is a good thing that your feet don’t go to sleep when they are comfortable or this review would be a little different. That was lame, I know. But seriously, this is one of the most versatile shoes on the market and it will perform no matter the climate, terrain or speed. It also breaths well making it far less stinky the next day.

The New Balance 992 is another great running shoe that is a not as flashy as others by today’s standard but what it lacks in show it makes up for in support. For the longest time I was under the impression that New Balance was generally for the wide footed and since my foot is the equivalent of an Angelina Joli (long,skinny and bony) I never really gave them a fair chance until last year. The shock absorption for long distant, flat paved roads is where this shoe really makes the grade. It’s not an “off the beaten path” shoe, however. If you find your self going down a steep graveled grade you might as well be on skis. No, this shoe is the perfect shoe for flat, hot, long paved roads and it will cushion every step as if you were running on a path paved with Beanie Babies. Hey, I have been on the 95 degree A1A road in Florida and for all I know, that road was paved with Beanie Babies.

Oh yeah, this shoes doesn’t do well with beach runs. The sand will seep in from everywhere if they get salt water on them, you have to hose them off before they dry. The last ones I had dried in some contorted shape making the next day’s run a little uncomfortable.

I might be a little bias when it comes to the company INOV-8 because, ahem, I will be advertising for them on my new site so, ahem, if you like them as much as I do, ahem, you may want to check them out, ahem ahem. Excuse me, I think there is something in my throat. Anywho, the shoe above in the Inov-8 Mudclaw and I just bought a pair last week. Amazing! Seriously, they are. I can’t believe that such a light weight shoe can be so tough. It is definitely not for paved surfaces so city running is definitely out, but if you are into trail and mountain running like I am, these are the bad boys you want on Righty and Lefty.

Everything about this shoe is designed for support and foot protection. The inter webbed exterior is linked to the lace system so the shoe is literally apart of your foot. The Gortex mesh allows water to wick away but at the same time allows the foot to breath. Yes, feet need to breath. And above all the sole will stick to any surface. No more will I have to scream in terror while I race/slide out of control from a 600 foot descending mountain road. Nope, I bet I could run upside down in these. That will be for another post.

So, these are four shoes for today’s review. I am by no means an expert when it comes to what makes a shoe the best running shoe in the world but I do know that blisters, soles that fall off and broken metatarsals from weak shanks are bad things. If you read this and found it somewhat entertaining, remember, you just where entertained by shoes. Wait until my sock review comes out!

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