Showing posts with label Champion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Champion. Show all posts

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Why we spend $100 for running shoes

Run away!
Today's run (street): 4.4 miles

My new reality is long busy work days. I'm not complaining (well maybe a little) but my work schedule did take a bite out of my running this week. I made it into the city on Thursday for an industry meeting and saw my buddy and fellow Runsketeer, KWL, who ran the NYC marathon last weekend. I probably covered 20K steps that day, so at least I burned some calories.

We had to go out east this morning, which required me to get out early for my first run of the week. Even though it's early November, the temperature felt more like late September and the cloudy skies helped keep things cool. I had no particular route in mind when I took off and ended up circumnavigating the middle school before heading to the north end of my neighborhood. There was a little humidity, but otherwise conditions were fall-perfect.

We spent much of the day in eastern Long Island and we stopped at Target before we headed home. While my wife and kids looked for stuff on their lists, I ambled over to the men's section that has the Champion C9 line of athletic clothes. They had some nice, lightweight vests that would be perfect with a long sleeve running shirt on a 30° morning, but the price was higher than I was prepared to pay.

Out of curiosity, I looked in the shoe section, where they sell C9 running shoes for $29.99. Most of the big running shoe brands have entry level models that Dick's and Sports Authority sell for $50-$60. These shoes may not have the advanced technologies and features of their flagship models, but they generally provide a decent fit and feel. I decided to try on a pair of the C9 Drives to experience the difference between them and the ASICS Kayano 20s I was wearing.

Drive this off a cliff
The C9 shoes did not seem junky and I wondered what they'd feel like on my foot. After realizing they ran a half size bigger than most of the shoes in my collection, I found a smaller pair and tried them on. My first impression of the Drives was that they had almost no cushioning. That isn't a show stopper for me, because I like a minimal shoe. But when I stood up and took a few steps, I realized why I typically spend $100 or more for Sauconys, ASICS or Brooks.

The lack of cushioning and a poorly constructed mid-sole resulted in a lumpy, uncomfortable foot bed. I suddenly understood the difference between quality brands and cheap $29.99 knockoffs. I've been fortunate to either receive shoes for testing from the manufacturers, or find great discounted running shoes at places like SA Elite or Famous Footwear. Believe me, paying $60 for a pair of $100 running shoes is a much better deal than paying $30 for "bargain" trainers.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Hattori's will show me how much minimalism I can take

The Saucony Hattori - a most minimal shoe
Today's workout (elliptical) 25 minutes

I'll be posting my review of the Saucony Mirages soon on Runner's Tech Review and I'm excited that I'll soon receive a pair of Hattori super-minimal shoes from Saucony. The Hattori are a zero-drop shoe that weigh an unbelievable 4.4 oz and are being marketed as a trainer -- not just for intervals and racing. My taste in running shoes has changed for good since I switched to the Kinvaras about a year ago. The lower platform and a flatter drop (the Kinvara's is ~5.5 mm) feels right to me, more so than the built-up Brooks Adrenalins that had been my gold standard.

The Mirages have proven to be a worthy addition to my collection and I would probably appreciate their minimal features more had I tried them before the Kinvaras. Going from the Kinvaras to the Mirages is a bit like trading up from a fast but simple sports car to high performance luxury GT. It will be interesting to run in the Hattori's which may be more like riding a trail bike. That actually sounds pretty good.

Champion Activeflex - lightweight, cheap and painful!
Related to minimal shoes, I was at Payless this past weekend because my daughter needed some shoes for an event. I checked out the men's shoes and saw this Kinvara look-alike on sale for $29.99. I tried it on and was surprised by the way it fit. Not too bad. The shoe was lightweight (it really did seem similar to the Saucony) and the foot bed felt springy. I trotted across the floor and that was when I felt the difference, the upper flexed in a way that dug painfully into the top of my foot. I couldn't take them off fast enough. Another example of why we pay for quality brands.

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