New Shoe Review

Got some new wheels during the week. Nothing is more exciting to a runner than new sneakers.

That might be a little sad to some of you, but if you are reading this, I suspect you know what I am talking about. For you Nintendo kids out there, imagine getting a new model iPhone or something. It’s like that

Anyway, I wrote a post last time I doled out for some new kicks, at the height of my newfound love for the fore-foot strike. You may recall both my enthusiasm and trepidation in purchasing my first pair of Nike Free Runs.

This week’s purchase of exactly the same model gave me a chance to do a little detective work on my running action. I thought I might be able to learn something by comparing the tread of the old and new pairs.

Hopefully (I surmised), I would be able to see the payoff for the hard work I’ve done in changing my running technique.

Here are the results. My gift to you (you’re welcome).

What you see below, are my three most recent pairs of running shoes.

  • At left is a pair of Mizunos, that served me for about 800 km, every kilometre pounded out with my old technique.
  • On the far right, are the blue Nike Free Runs I’ve worn ever since work began on improving my technique. I have about 1000 km on these.
  • In the middle of course, are the brand-new Nikes, fresh out of the box.



Firstly, it is amazing to see how much of the tread has been worn away on the blue Free Runs. Before changing my technique, seeing this would have been a reason to change shoes more immediately, but to be honest, I hadn’t noticed any degradation in the shoes’ performance. In fact, I thought they felt better and better, the more I wore them.


I’m sure this is because I am no longer reliant on the structure of the shoe to soften the impact of my footfall these days. My action these days cushions each stride using the flexion of the foot, ankle and knee.

The main area of wear is on the fore/mid-foot on the outside of the shoe. I am pleased with this as it pretty much underpins what I’ve been trying to achieve. Even more telling though, is the lack of wear at the heel.

See how worn the Mizunos are at the heel. The red Stripe there has completely vanished in areas. This was the point of impact with my old stride.

The same area though, on the blue Nike show, shows absolutely nowhere at all. Even the very detailed zigzag pattern of the original sole moulding remains intact.

In my (admittedly self taught) POSE running work, I’ve concentrated hard on only allowing the heel to “kiss” the ground on each stride. Looks like I’ve got it going on!


Finally, here’s a picture of Rach, telling me how stupid it is for a sane and reasonable adult to be photographing and analyzing shoes. I love her, but she’s not a runner.


The best thing about this minimalist running caper is the price. The new white shoes cost me $80 (AU) including postage. The last chunky heeled shoe I bought was about $200. Of course, the price of minimalist shoes could sky rocket if dickheads like me keep trying to make it more popular.

Maybe it’s just a fad . . . .

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