Saturday, February 20, 2010

Road test - the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10

Today's big decision was whether to do this morning's run inside or out. I try to do my week's longest runs on Saturdays and Sundays because I have more time and flexibility on those days. I just purchased a new pair of Brooks GTS 10's and had only run a few miles with them on the treadmill. The experience was fine but 25 minutes on a flat moving surface is far different from how I plan to use these shoes. I was curious to see how the 10's felt after a longer run. While I knew I could do that on the treadmill, I also wanted to know how they performed on the road. Mark, the salesperson at Jackrabbit who sold me the shoes, said I have 14 days to evaluate them but he asked that I do it on the treadmill in case I need to take them back. I finally decided that I couldn't properly evaluate the shoes unless I tried them under the conditions where I'll primarily use them so I went outside for my run.

It was about 33 degrees with a little wind coming from the northwest. I dressed for the a longer run, meaning less layers and enduring the chill until my body heat rose. I was able to wear the 10's tighter because the tongue does not bite into my instep (as happens on the 9's) and as I set out I appreciated way the shoes wrapped my foot and returned energy with each step. I regretted that I didn't wear wool socks and my feet were a little cold for the first mile but that can't be blamed on the shoes. I was pleased that the "high arch" was a non-issue. I stopped noticing that soon after I'd started. I stretched my route around many different streets and noticed that the 10's felt similar to the 9's when I was maintaining my normal cadence. When I accelerated for some tempo runs they really felt fast, almost like a light trainer or racing shoe. At 11.1 ounces they are definitely not racing flats but the bounce and stability are a great improvement over the 9's.

I ran a total of 4.5 miles which was more than a mile longer than my last long run. Prior to my pneumonia I typically ran five or more miles on each weekend day so I'll call that progress. By the time I reached the last part of my run I knew these shoes were keepers. They felt like they fit my feet perfectly and provided a great combination of cushioning, stability and response. The tongue and collar of the shoe is an improvement over the prior version and the subtle changes to the heel (articulated edges that move independently for a smoother transition) and multi-density materials that make up the medial post allow for less jarring correction of a pronating foot. But geek talk aside, it's a great feeling shoe that really performs on the road.

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