Monday, June 13, 2011

Runner's World got it wrong on the Hattori

I'm happily in the middle
Yesterday afternoon's workout (Cycling): 4.6 miles

After a year of trying to adapt to a mid-foot stride I am finally sure that I've actually done it. Not everyone is comfortable running this way but (fortunately for me) my transition was fairly painless. The Saucony Kinvaras helped that a lot. I'd assumed, after running in the Kinvaras for over a year, that I'm landing closer to my mid-foot. However, the 5-6 mm ramp angle of  both the Kinvaras and the Mirages made it difficult to know that for sure.

Every sharp rock that I land on with the Hattori's (as happened on Saturday) confirms that I'm landing on my mid-foot. Sunday's run of almost seven miles in the Hattori's showed me that heel cushioning and forefoot padding aren't necessary for middle distance running. A mid-foot stride lets your foot's natural shock absorbers -- the arch and the ball -- disburse the pounding.

Experiencing this, I was dismayed to read Runner's World's characterization of the Hattori as a "trainer for efficient runners to use as cooldown shoe or for speedwork drills on grass." This bias surprises me. I'm certainly not an efficient runner when running in highly constructed, stabilized and cushioned running shoes. But when I run in the Hattori it's a whole other story.


  1. Are your shoes wearing on the heal? Mine wears slightly on the heal. I have traind myself to run 180 steps/minutewhich helped

  2. Funny you should ask. I was looking at my Hattori's this afternoon (I have two pair) and compared the wear of my first pair to my unused second pair. The heels on both look similar (accounting for road dirt of course).

    My wear patten is in the middle of the sole and closer to the medial side, exactly where you'd think it would be on a mid-foot strike.

    Congratulations on managing 180 SPM. That will certainly keep you stride length shorter and your strike closer to the mid and front. I wouldn't worry about heel wear though. Saucony's silicon layer should last far longer than the EVA that covers most of the bottom.


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