Posts Tagged ‘road-x 233’

My latest running gear purchase arrived on Friday: a pair of Skechers GOrun. Like many, I was very skeptical of purchasing a ‘serious’ running shoe from Skechers, a brand more commonly associated with fashion, casual and lifestyle shoes.  After having read several very positive reviews from online resources that I respect, however, I decided that the GOruns would make the short list of potential future purchases.

I was debating between the GOruns and a pair of either Brooks PureFlow or PureConnects. My final decision was based on the following two factors: I have read reviews of the Brooks from online retailers, running magazines and retailers like Running Warehouse and Amazon. The reviews I read regarding the Skechers GOruns included several semi-pro runners, coaches, and enthusiasts so I felt I was getting slightly more personal feedback.  Reason number two, to be completely honest, was simply price. I have already invested a lot of money (for me) in this experiment and an opportunity presented itself where I could purchase the Skechers for about $30 less than either Brooks model. Done deal.

Maybe you’re wondering why I needed or wanted another pair of shoes if I’ve already made a few purchases. Especially if I want to save a few dollars, the easiest way is just not buy anything!  True enough.  I rotate several pair of shoes during my weekly runs, which include the Reebok RealFlex, Inov-8 Road-X 233, and Inov-8 F-Lite 195.  Each pair has its pros and cons, the Reeboks serve as an everyday casual shoe, as well as pulling duty on many of my longer runs where their extra cushioning is appreciated.  Having said that, I can at times feel a little lost in the Reeboks, my foot moving a little too much as the foam compresses and rebounds. The Inov-8 F-Lite 195 are my most extreme minimalist shoe, giving me immediate, unbiased, and unforgiving feedback.  I use them now mostly for my shorter, recovery runs, 5ks and also for cross training. My favorite shoe of the bunch is the Road-X 233. Minimal but not extreme. Flexible but with a little stiffness in the sole that I appreciate when pushing the pace or trying for a few extra miles.

The GOruns are just enough of what you need without anything more.  They are the perfect shoe to slide into place between the softer ride of the Reeboks and the precision handling of the Road-X 233s.  The uppers are incredibly light and with a roomy toe box the shoe almost feels like you are wearing a sock with a sole underneath.  The sole of the shoe is slightly curved, with a cut away or ‘missing’ heel.  When you stand tall, erect and with your feet close together you can actually fall backwards with the slightest lean since there is no heel to stop the momentum. This design also really seems to guide your foot into a mid-foot or forefoot landing, compared to other minimalist shoes that are still all too easy to heel strike in, if you are determined to do so.

Today was my first run in the blue and grey pebble crushers and I can say without reservation; all systems go.  I ran a 1 mile warmup, followed by 2 x 800 @ half marathon pace with 800 recoveries, 2 x 400 @ 10k pace with 400 recoveries, and wrapped things up with the run home of approximately three quarters of a mile.  No hot spots, no friction, just nice, care-free propulsion and landing without anything interfering with my perception of the foot strike and heel pull.

If you’re in the market for a light weight trainer or racing shoe, give the GOruns a spin. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

P.S. I purchase many running shoes one half size larger than normal to allow my toes to spread out, as well as accommodate any swelling that might take place during long, hard runs. The toe box on the Skechers is generous enough that I did not find this necessary and have a great fit with my normal shoe size.

 

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To be a great comic, they say that timing is everything.  I believe in that theory, and not only as it relates to generating laughs.  Today is day 2 of recovering from an Achilles tendon strain.  My plans were for a relaxed and lazy day around the house.  A little cooking for the kids when they get home from school.  Testing out some new tennis ball massage techniques for my hamstrings and calves.  And maybe an hour of talking to my laptop while navigating a Rosetta Stone lesson plan in German.

An email arrived that took me completely by surprise.  My new running shoes had arrived and were ready for pick-up.

Inov-8 Road-X 233

Weird angle. I promise that neither my legs nor my feet are that stubby.

A few months ago when I began my latest attempt at running again I was inspired by all of the information I was digesting regarding barefoot and minimalist running.  So I did about a month of barefoot walking and walk/jog training on the treadmill.  Once I began running 3x per week for at least 30 minutes I transitioned to a pair of minimalist kicks, the Inov-8 F-Lite 195.

I love those shoes, and although I don’t have experience with any other minimalist models to make a comparison, I can’t imagine I could be much happier with another brand.  Well done Inov-8!

The shoes that arrived today are the Inov-8 Road-X 233.  I ordered this pair for several reasons.  I wanted a second pair of shoes to alternate runs in, so as not to destroy either pair too quickly and also so that whatever tiny differences existed in my gait with different shoes could help avoid repetitive motion injuries.  I know that’s probably a generous stretch of logic, but it’s nice to rationalize a luxury purchase when you can.

In addition, I wanted to add some diversity and flexibility into my choices, depending on where I might schedule my runs.  As the name suggests, the Road-X is designed specifically for road work,  and the F-Lite 195 is a general purpose fitness shoe that has some light trail capability with its slightly raised tread pattern.  The Road-X sports a 6mm heel to toe differential and weigh in at 8.2 ounces.  Not quite as minimal as the F-Lites  but well within my comfort zone.

Most likely I will not be writing up any type of review for these shoes other than to say that thus far I am very impressed with Inov-8, and would recommend their shoes without hesitation.  I don’t feel I posses the technical knowledge or running experience to dive further into discussing fascia bands, lateral this, and medial that.

After all, the only testing I will be doing in the immediate future is walking around the house.

Timing is everything.

 

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