The T7 is Brooks' entry into the 5K-10K racing flat category (though obviously some people will be able to wear it for longer races too). It's intended for the neutral, biomechanically efficient runner. Brooks' website describes the T7 as follows:
Looking for something "lickety-split"? This incredibly light road-racing shoe is the fastest in the pack, with a new eye-catching upper for fly-by style. The streamlined, asymmetric upper works with the anatomy of the foot to perfectly wrap the arch securely from start to finish.
Triathlete Chrissie Wellington races in the T7 and calls it "an amazing shoe!" She was rocking a pair when she smashed the world record at the Ford Ironman Arizona in November.
Available in men's sizes only. (For women we suggest ordering 1.5 sizes smaller than what you usually wear).
Note: As this shoe is a very lightweight, minimal support racing flat, the vast majority of runners will not find it "enough shoe" for a full marathon. If you have a light frame and a biomechanically efficient stride, however, you may be able to get away with it. We suggest you work up to it in several half marathon-plus races beforehand to see how it works for you before running in it for a full marathon.
Weight: 6.4 oz
Sizing Note: Men's Sizing/D width only.
|T6 traditional lacing vs. T7 asymmetrical lacing|
|T6 vs. T7 heel collar heights|
|T7 vs. Launch insoles|
|Take that, minimalist shoe fans!|
|Look! Unlike last time, I cleaned my shoes for you! Oh wait, I lied, they just didn't get dirty on the indoor track.|
Finally, if the T7 is anything like its predecessors, it will be fairly durable for a flat. Racing flats in general don't have very long lifespans, and it's not abnormal for them to wear out at 150 miles or so. I suspect this is a combination of lighter rubber being less durable and faster running being harder on the shoe. However, I can get significantly more than 150 miles on a pair of T Racers before they wear out (though it's still a lot less than I get on a pair of trainers). A friend of mine once commented on this too, stating that she normally threw out shoes when they wore out, but replaced her T Racers when they got gross, because that happened long before they wore out. Obviously I have not had time to wear out a pair of T7s yet, so its predicted durability is based on previous incarnations of the T Racer.
So, will this shoe make you run faster? No, of course not. Training makes you run faster, not magic shoes. But will it help you take advantage of your training? Oh heck yes.
The Brooks T7 Racer retails for $85 and is available on the Brooks website, as well as at many running stores that carry Brooks products, like the National Running Center. Sizing is unisex, so women should size down, and they also run about a half size small, so size up (I wear a 6.5 in the T7, 8 in the Ghost, and a 7.5 in the Defyance and Launch...no socks in T7, medium weight in Ghost and Defyance, thin in Launch). Normally I'd caution women to check for width when buying unisex shoes, but the T7 are narrow and fit me like women's shoes so it probably won't be an issue...narrowest "men's D" width I've ever come across! However, men with wide feet may want to check for width before buying.
Full disclosure: The T7 was graciously provided to me by Brooks in exchange for a review. The opinions expressed in this review are mine and based on my experience, and do not reflect the opinions of Brooks or the National Running Center.