Friday, April 20, 2012

Gear Review: Newton Distance

Newton's third law states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. That's a law of physics and occurs no matter what shoe you're using. But what if there was a way to maximize that equal and opposite reaction, such that less of the ground reaction force is wasted, and is instead maximized to propel you into your next stride? The first time I heard of this concept was in 2001, when one of my high school XC teammates announced that she had heard of Nike producing a shoe that was supposed to bounce you into your next stride (for perspective, this girl grew up to be a cyclist and and engineer, so she probably loves gear and technology, but in high school, none of us knew anything about shoes). Unfortunately, the Nike Shox turned out to just have some stupid spring shaped heel made out of EVA and not even be a real running shoe (nothing wrong with EVA, as most shoes use it, but this shoe didn't do what my friend had hoped it would). The next time I heard about it was the infamous Spira shoes, which put actual springs in the forefoot and ignited way more controversy on LetsRun than...well, actually everything ignites controversy on LetsRun, so nevermind. Then a few of my friends started wearing Newton. These were real runners who needed real running shoes; runners who weren't about to settle for gimmicky nonsense. Runners who wanted to do everything to maximize their performance, but weren't about to resort to banned technology (I still have no idea whether those Spiras were actually banned or not). Well, after hearing enough of them rave about these shoes and getting several emails from readers asking if I had tried Newtons, I figured it was time to try out the Newton Distance.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Gear Review: Brooks Mach 13 Spikeless

I miss spikes. So. Much. Don't get me wrong, I love racing flats too, but there is something unmistakably awesome about slipping on a pair of low-slung racers that hug your foot like a glove. Maybe it's nostalgia for NCAA cross-country and track. Or maybe it's the fact that every time I walk into the National Running Center, I'm greeted by a wall of spikes and a pair of Nike Zoom Victory track spikes that stare at me and beg me to bring them home. But seeing as I don't race track anymore, I really can't justify buying a pair of $110 spikes for track workouts...especially when you consider that would mean I'd be doing workouts in spikes that weigh half as much as my racing flats (3.2oz WTF?). Enter the Speed Dragon...aka the Brooks Mach 13 Spikeless!
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