Monday, March 10, 2014

Kraig's Shoe Review

By Kraig Erickson:

I take my job very seriously.  Since I was a little kid, shoes have always been a passion for me.  There is nothing like a new pair of shoes.  Once, at about 7 years old I got a new pair of runners.  I don’t remember the brand but I remember that they were red, white and blue, and when I was wearing them I was really fast.  My parents have a picture taken the night I got those new shoes.  My mom had pulled back the sheets on my bed as I slept and behold the shoes were still on my feet, and so began my love affair with shoes. 

I teach a Functional Strength Training Class for Runners at the FootZone on Wednesdays at 7:15 PM and Thursdays at 7:15 AM.  Frequently after the Thursday morning class there is a group of us that goes for a run after class.  Last week with the weather not so nice and my knee a little wonky, I decided to run on the treadmill in the store.  I know BORING! The upside is it gave me chance to choose some shoes to test out.  So, I decided to run a mile in three different shoes before I opened the store and write a review of the shoes. 

The first shoe I chose was the new Salomon Sense Pro trail shoe.  I had just gotten a pair of these and I have been super excited about this shoes ever since we got it in the store and I tried it on for the first time.  This shoe is a more affordable version of the S-Lab racing shoe that retailed for $200.  At $130 it is very competitively priced against similar shoes. I have been impressed with the last couple new offerings from Salomon.  This shoe is a slightly minimal shoe with a 6mm heel to toe offset and a moderately flexible midsole.  I have never been a fan of the speed laces on Salomon’s but this pair actually grabs well through the mid-foot thanks to some plastic tubing added to the eyelets so the lace tightens evenly.  The shoe wraps the mid-foot well, holds the heel and has an ample toe box.  There is some great protection underfoot with Salomon’s Profeel Film and a great toe bumper all the way around.  The outsole is perfect for Central Oregon, it does not have the big lugs of a Speed Cross or Fellraiser but plenty of traction for the trail and it could be used on the road without issue.   Now to the running, I really like this shoe.  It is close to the ground but still has great cushioning without feeling mushy.  It transitions easily off the toe thanks to a flexible midsole that has become common in the trail shoe market.  It is very balanced with full foot contact.  I have a lot of trail training and racing coming this Spring and Summer and this could become my go to shoe.

For my second shoe I switched gears big time from trail minimal to road premium cushioning.  A new company to the FootZone, the Swiss designed, ON Cloud Surfer.  We carrying three shoes from this company and they all fit great and look awesome!  I have been running in the Cloud Racer which is a light weight trainer/racer but I wanted to give their super cush Surfer a shot and see how it stacks up against standby’s like the Brooks Glycerin and Asics Nimbus.  In a word, it does.  ON gets their cushion from their Cloud, small open spaces in the rubber outsole that compress and flex as you run.  Just like it’s name the shoe feels like a cloud under foot.  It is super cushioned and it transitions great, whether you forefoot strike or heel strike this shoe takes up the shock and keeps you moving.   Check out the video on their website that compares shock to the lower leg between a traditional EVA cushioned shoe.  An added bonus is the great job ON did with colors and design on the uppers. They look as good as they feel.  Come in a try one of these ON and see what you think.

My last shoe was the Adidas Glide Boost.  Since Adidas released their Boost foam last year we have had many customers looking for this mythical foam that practically runs for you according to something I read from someone on Twitter.  We got the Adios Boost a couple months ago and were very impressed, it is as “boingy” as people say.  As boingy as the Adios is, the Glide is boingier.  I was really happy with how much better this Glide fit than the past Glide’s with traditional foam.  Adidas continues to refine their fits and these latest shoes show some of that work.  The Boost foam gives you great cushion but is still really responsive.  You could put a lot of miles in this shoe in couch like comfort.  Adidas has also improved their color combos and the shoes look really nice. We also just got the Energy Boost in which will be the boingiest shoe in the bunch. 

There are a lot of new offerings arriving in the FootZone.  Come on in and try on some new kicks as we head into spring. 

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