On Wednesday nights at 1800 the Shop, Up and Running puts on a social run. My friend Richard goes along regularly and occasionally I like to run with them too. Truth be told it’s often a little fast for me but it’s quite good to push myself a little bit now and again.
This evening Saucony are there and they have some fancy new shoes for us to try. These are the new Saucony Triumph ISO. I happily strap some on to give them a go. The lacing is the first thing I notice. There are long tags on each of the lace up points. This allows them to flex and brace all along the foot in different ways. The human foot is an infinitely variable thing and this design allows the shoes to be strapped to any and all shapes of foot and still mould itself to the shape. I take them out onto the streets of Cambridge and feel how they hit the ground. They are a completely foam sole and flex and shift every time you hit the ground. The chap that brought them along suggested that we might like to try a little bit of hitting the ground hard to see what the feedback was like. The theory is that this design will not just absorb and dissipate your impact in the way that gel does but give you some kickback so you feel a little bounce when you hit the ground.
They felt strange at first. There was a kind of squidge in the middle of the shoe when I hit the ground as if I’d stood on a particularly well fed mouse and then a crunch slightly forward of that point as if I was spreading his tiny bones around a little. It took only around 2 minutes before I’d become accustomed to this rather unusual sensation and accepted it as part of what the shoes did. The shoes felt light and gave quite a bit of bounce. I really enjoyed running in them. I asked how much they might be and was told around 125 pounds or so. This is a lot of money. I paid only 48 pounds for the running shoes I currently use but would admit that these seem a heck of a lot better. However – the only way I could convince myself to pay so much for running shoes would be if I knew for sure that they would cut down the number of injuries I receive from running. This is a very difficult thing to prove.
We followed a little of the upcoming Cambridge Half Marathon route and I relished the delicious bounce and sheer lightness of these shoes. Apparently Saucony have gone all out to get them under 300 grammes and I can definitely feel the benefit. They feel good and if I earned about twice the amount that I do then I reckon I would now be the owner of some shiny new shoes.
As for the run – I didn’t enjoy the environment all that much. The streets of Cambridge were very crowded indeed. There were people weaving about in front of us and I felt that I was forever checking my stride to weave in and out of the fantastically erratic movements of the Cambridge Wednesday evening visitors. I quit after the first circuit and left the rest of the gang to explore a little more of the route. I stripped myself of the fancy running shoes and went home.