Friday, October 15, 2010

First impression: Skecher's Resistance Runners

Today's run (street): 3 miles at 9:30

I'm working from home today and I thought I'd take a few extra minutes for my morning run. It was dry and clear with no rain in sight so I took the opportunity to wear the Skecher's Resistance Runners (SRRs) for the first time on a run. I walked around with them for about 30 minutes prior to heading out to make sure they felt sufficiently stable. The last thing I need is an injury caused by footwear.  I'll do a full writeup of the shoes on Runner's Tech Review but I'll relate my first impressions below.

When running with shoes of this design it is important to set expectations. The things I'd expect from a conventional running shoe just don't apply. It is as unfair to ask a dog to turn vegetarian as it would be to ask the SSRs to move with the foot like Brooks Adrenalins or Saucouny Kinvaras. The SRRs are designed to purposely introduce unstable movement into the running process. I understood that as I stood in the driveway and felt the gentle rock of the shoes that is caused by the asymmetrical mid-sole. The SRRs are not comfortable but they aren't made to be. They also run a bit narrow and short for their size. It was an odd sensation when I took off on my run. I'm used to the Kinvara's flat, minimal presence and the SSRs made me feel like I was running with half a tennis ball baked into the bottoms. The SSRs are far heavier than the Kinvaras, or any of my other running shoes for that matter. I kept telling myself "It's okay, they're a special training device, think of them that way."

I can't say I enjoyed the ride but I did feel like I was getting a workout. It may have been the design or merely the extra weight but I felt it in my legs. I couldn't tell where my foot was landing but I tried to focus on the mid to front range. I did notice that when I allowed the shoe to heel strike the energy return was pretty good. Too bad I'm trying not to run that way. My pace began to suffer noticeably after the first mile and I'm sure it was due to the extra work the shoes required. I finished after three miles feeling like I'd given my legs a good workout but not feeling like I'd exerted myself too much overall. I can't see ever switching to this shoe as a regular trainer but it may yet provide some training benefit. I'm going to put them in the rotation for a while to see how they feel after a few more workouts. In the meantime, I'm still questioning whether they fall into the category of training resource or gimmick.

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