I HAVE MOVED

After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

If you are looking for my new posts, please go to www.haroldlshaw.com .

Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.

Harold

Friday, April 25, 2014

Brooks Launch v1 - 50 Mile Review

After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: April 25, 2014



Yep - it is that time again, I have put over 50 miles on another pair of running shoes and am going to write about my experience with the Brooks Launch.

Let’s be up front about my relationship with Brooks Running.

I do not have any.

I purchased the Brooks Launch's with my money from Dick's Sporting Goods in Augusta, Maine.
The comments in this post were a result of actually wearing and running in the Brooks Launch’s and are my own experiences.

Brooks Launch

For a pair of running shoes, that I described a while back as “I could wear this shoe, but it just didn’t excite me.", I am sure enjoying running in them, no they still do not excite me all that much, but they just work, which is much more important.

When I look at what shoes I am going to wear, I choose the Launch for longer or recovery runs. However, I don't like them for faster-paced runs, they don't feel like a fast shoe for me, they are a bit too cushioned.

According to what I have read the Launch have basically remained the same shoe they were when they were released back in 2010, supposedly the only changes have been to the colorways. This is one of the reasons that I decided to give them a chance in my rotation. It also helps when a lot of runners think so highly of a shoe that they forced Brooks to take them off the chopping block.

The Launch do not have a lot of fancy marketing hype, jargon or high-tech features - they have been and are a solid light-weight cushioned trainer that becomes a workhorse for those who finally "discover" them.

Brooks Launch

I have done most of the types of runs that I typically do in road running shoes, except for speed work, although I did a 5K race in them, so I have a pretty good idea of how they work for me at faster speeds. I run comfortably in them, which is the most important thing in my opinion. It has gotten to the point where I put them on, tie them up, stop thinking about how the shoes feel and just run.

These shoes have become my high mileage shoes of choice, they just feel - well comfortable.

Fit

I bought a pair of size 9 and I have just over a thumb's width in the toe box, which is just about perfect. The width in the toe box if fine and even with my narrow heels there hasn't been any slippage.

Brooks Launch

For me the uppers are a big part of the fit and they do not have any overlays or stability straps that aggravate my feet
Pros

Blisters – None, nada, zero blisters.

Cushioned Feel – After running in Pearl Izumi EM line shoes most of the winter, the Brooks Launch are a much more cushioned shoe, which is what I wanted in my daily running shoe rotation.

Lightweight – They are under 10 oz (the Brooks Running website lists a size 9 at 9.5 oz), and are more of a traditional light-weight trainer than I have run in lately. They are not racing flat light, but light enough to run long distances without feeling heavy at the end of the run.

Sole – I like the outsole and how it performs while running in a variety of conditions i.e. tar, side of the roads, medium trails, or wet roads. The sole has enough cushioning to not be bothered by running over rocks or roots, but I do not believe that they would do well in running in muddy or sharp rock trails.

Brooks Launch

Wear - There is not any noticeable wear on the sole of the shoes after 50 miles.

Rock collectors - The Launch do not have too many issues with picking up rocks, which is a consideration for where I run.

Quiet – They are not as quiet as the GoRunRide2's (which I measure all of my shoes by), but the Launch do not slap the ground when I am running efficiently, although due to the tread design there is a bit more noise from the shoe. When I notice/hear myself slapping on landing, it is a reminder to ease back on the heel striking and run more efficiently.

Color ways – I like the hi-vis yellow-blue color way that I got at Dick's, however, when I look at the Brooks' site, the colorways there do not excite me. I know that I shouldn't care that much about colors if a shoe works for me, but I prefer to have running shoe that a bright and just a little, even a lot "Loud" in appearance.



Replacement Cost – I got these on sale at Dick's and their regular price is around $100.00 which is towards the lower end price for many running shoes seem to be. Yeah, that's right $100.00 is the low-end price for quality running shoe - scary isn't it.

Modifications

I left them completely stock for the first 50 miles.

Cons

Not anything major.

I would not use the Launch to chase a 5K or 10K personal record, in my experience while they are a comfortable shoe, they are not a "fast" shoe for me.

While the heel-to-toe transition is very good and I don't have any issues with flexibility, I still tend to scuff/drag my heels when walking or running slower.

Shoe Laces - They are a bit long and I can feel them rubbing against my other foot while I am running. Yes, I can tuck them into the laces or change them out to LockLaces, so this is a really minor thing.
The reality is that

The Brooks Launch are a more traditional lightweight cushioned trainer with about a 10mm drop, it took me a bit to get used to again - after running primarily in zero or 4mm drop running shoes over the past couple of years.

Yes I did run a 5K race in the Brooks Launch

Notice that I put in bold the word cushioned. The Launch are a cushioned traditional light-weight trainer and that is what I was looking for as my higher mileage shoes in my rotation.

So the first 20 miles in these shoes I had to do some adapting to the higher drop, but now that I have gotten re-acclimated to that style of shoe, they are disappearing on my feet and I am just running in them.

I can't give a pair of running shoes any higher praise than that after 50 miles.

No I am not going to go all gaga about the Launch with only 50 miles on them and it will be interesting to see how I feel about them at the 200 mile and 400 mile marks. Yes I am thinking they might make it that far.

I have also heard rumors that Brooks is preparing to update the Launch to the Launch 2, so it will be interesting to see what they do to "improve" this shoe. I hope that they don't try to fix, something that ain't broke. Many runners who run in the Launch, have run in them because the Launch meets their needs just the way it is.

No, the Brooks Launch are not a sexy new running shoe with all kinds of bells and whistles that will supposedly help you run better, instead they are a solid shoe that runners, just run in.

Now to see how the next 150 to 350 miles go.

What do you think of the Brooks Launch? What changes would you like to see Brooks do to make it a better running shoe?

Newton Energy - 50 Mile Review

After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: April 25, 2014

Yep - it is that time again, I have put over 50 miles on a pair of running shoes and am going o write about my experience with the Newton Energy's.
Newton Energy's
Newton Energy's
Let’s be up front about my relationship with Newton Running.
  • I do not have any.
  • I purchased the Newton Energy's with my own money. They were on sale in the consignment section of the Rail Trail Run Shop in Augusta, Maine.
  • The comments in this post were a result of actually wearing and running in the Newton Energy’s and are my own experiences.
Below are the types of runs that I have done in these shoes over those miles.
RA-Energy Runs 4-4-14
RA-Energy Runs 4-4-14
RA-Energy Mileage 4-4-14
RA-Energy Mileage 4-4-14
So I have done all of the different types of runs that I typically do in a road running shoe in the Energy's. Right up until the long run on 4/4/14, they performed quite well on all of the runs. On that run, I seemed to never find any degree of comfort and they bothered me from the first mile.
Spoiler Alert - That was my last run in the Energy's. If a shoe makes my feet feel that bad on a run, I do not run in them again.
Which is too bad, because most of my runs in them they were fine and this review's first couple of drafts had been very positive about the Energy's and how well they were working for me. If I had finished the review on time, it would have been a very different review and the tone would have been very positive.

Fit

The model that I bought is the woman's model of the Energy in a woman's size 10, that's right a guy running in woman's shoes. I have worn woman's models successfully in the past - most of the time a woman's model heel is narrower, which is a good thing for me, but it also means that all too often the toe box is too narrow. So if I can find a model that fits the toe box and if the colorway is something that I would wear, they usually work quite well.
Newton Energy 3-27-14
Newton Energy 3-27-14
It will be interesting to see how the men's 8.5 or 9.0 in the Energy's fit me compared to the woman's 10, if I can ever find someone who carries it locally, without having to special order it and them then be stuck with it, if it doesn't fit me.
Either way, the woman's size 10 length-wize is perfect and I didn't experience the heel slip that many runners/bloggers commented about in the men's model. So maybe the woman's model has a narrower heel cup??? I couldn't find any information on the Newton website if the woman's model is built on a special woman's last or is simply a re-sized men's model with a "B" width instead of the typical men's "D"???? Something that I was going to do more research on later, but now am not going to worry about it.
The toe box is right on the edge of being wide-enough/not wide-enough to accommodate my Tailor's Bunionette. I can feel a snugness that makes me notice my right foot on a run, but at the same time it hasn't moved to uncomfortable levels, which is good, but not quite what I want. I am still paying too much attention to how my foot feels, instead of just running in the damn things.
I experimented with different insoles, something that that other runners have done successfully. however, after trying 4 other insoles, I went back to the stock Energy insoles, because I liked the feeling that it provided better than the others.
Newton Energy 3-27-14
Newton Energy 3-27-14
Some of the problems I had with the Energy's on that long run were related to the width of the shoe, but it was strange how after 60 miles of having a very positive experience running in them, the Energy's just suddenly stopped working for me - very strange.
Whatever.
All I know is that the shoes did bother my Tailor's Bunionette over the last 5.0 miles of that long run, which means they are not wide enough for me.

Pros

Cushioned Feel – After running in Pearl Izumi EM line shoes most of the winter, the Newton Energy's are a much more cushioned feeling shoe, which is what I was looking for to add to my daily running shoe rotation. They do not have the cushioned feel of the Schechers GoRun Ride 2's, it is somewhere between the two brands/styles.
Lightweight – Coming in around 7 oz. (according to the Newton Running website), they are at the lighter end of my lightweight trainer scale and lighter than many of my racing flats have been. I have used them for half marathon race pace or faster workouts and they performed well enough for me, although they do not have the "snap" that a true racing flat has and many would say they are too soft for faster-paced racing or training runs. However, of the shoes I have in the house right now, if I had to chose a pair to run a race (mile to half marathon) tomorrow, I would run in the Energy's.  not anymore.
Sole – I like the outsole and how it performs while running in a variety of conditions i.e. tar, side of the roads, light trails, or wet roads
Rock collectors - They don’t gain weight during a run, in other words they do not collect rocks, which can be anything from an inconvenience to something you have to stop and remove during a run.
Quiet – They do not slap the ground and with the lugs I expected a little more noise, but I was impressed with how quiet they have been, especially when I am going up hill.
Color ways – I like the yellow-blue-green color way of the woman's shoe, the men's colors do not excite me all that much and when I replace them I would have to think about the colors available. I know function before looks, but if sometimes you can get both - why not.

Modifications

Laces – Something I do with all of my running shoes is add LockLaces, I like the way they fit and how the LockLaces make taking them on and off so easy. However, I am thinking about going to a flat lace with these shoes, as an experiment.

Cons

Blisters – None, nada, zero blisters. One good sized blister under the forefoot callous on my left foot and hot spots under the forefoot pads on my right foot, no blisters on my heels, toes, arches or ankles.
Lugs - I did like the feel of the 5 lugs and their lower profile compared to the 4 lugs of the older Gravity's. They still provide a little extra "pop" when you run in them "correctly", but do not have the feeling that they penalize me when I get tired during run, when I am not as efficient, which the Gravity's lug design did for/to me. The lug design in the Energy's remind me to run a little more efficiently, instead of forcing me to run a certain way - which is a big difference to me. Unfortunately, I believe the lug system also were the primary cause for the blisters and hotspots under my forefoot callous pads.
Wear - I am concerned about the amount of wear on the shoes after 73 miles (I know that the mileage on them when I got them was minimal, because the diamonds on the bottom of the lugs were all there. I have worn them quite a bit in a short time and I had hoped that the wear levels off and that sole wears well after that point.
Trails - I wouldn't wear them on technical, muddy or rocky trails. Although I wouldn't hesitate to run in them at Quarry Road (when the mud dries up), but I wouldn't want to wear them at Bond Brook - what I would run in on those two different trail systems says a lot about what I think of it as a trail shoe and these are definitely a road shoe, not a hybrid shoe.
Replacement Cost – I got these at a bargain price from the consignment rack and honestly is not the price that I will not find them at again. The Engery's list price of about $120.00, they are at the top of my price range and that cost will be factored into whether I decide to get another pair or not - just the way it is.

The reality is that

The Newton Engery’s are a lightweight trainer that I wore exclusively to get to this 73  mile point and I really thought they were a shoe that I was going to put into my daily rotation. They are a light, quick shoe, that was forgiving when my form broke down later in a run until yesterday.
Unfortunately, they bothered my feet so much on that long run, that I will not be wearing them again.
Newton Energy
Newton Energy
Next week they will be put in the give-away box at the AYC.
Which is really too bad, because I had high hopes for these shoes.
Will I buy another pair? No.
Although the Newton Energy's did not work for me, based on how they performed until that long run, I have a feeling that they would work quite well for most runners and there have been several glowing reviews by other bloggers who have had a much better experience than I did with the Energy's. I am glad that I tried them and although I won't be running in them, I am still looking forward to seeing what Newton does with their shoes in the future.
Well it will be time to start my search again to a pair of running shoes to my daily rotation. I have a feeling that I will be heading down to the Rail Trail Run Shop to check on their new shipment of Skechers GoRun Ride 3's they got in yesterday afternoon to see if I they fit any better than they did last October. 
What have your experiences been with the Energy's? Did you like them or not? Why?

Have you ever used the other genders shoes - why? What were the drawbacks/advantages?

Monday, April 21, 2014

85th Patriot's Day 5.0 Mile - Race Recap - 2014


After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: April 21, 2014



Congratulations to all the runners that ran at Boston today and all the runners who ran in Portland too.

Okay, there are a bunch of conflicting thoughts running around through my noggin now about today's - Patriot's Day 5.0 Miler race.

Patriots Day 5 Miler Finish - 4-21-14, photo by Phil Dionne

Great Race - Loved the race organization, lots support from the city of Portland, fantastic volunteers and the course, which was fast but fair. These things along with gorgeous weather (just a little breezy), made it so it was going to be a good day for a race.

I enjoyed was the company of my brother-in-law Phil, who came along for the ride and even took a few photos during the race.

While I am happy that I finished, I still have this huge sense of disappointment about how I did.

It seems over this winter and spring, I have lost a LOT of speed!

Strava Course Map and Splits 4-21-14

I know that I pushed myself hard during the race, but I just kept slowing down each mile, until the last one. Which was not part of the game plan.

The other day I wrote down my goals for the race:
  • primary goal – finish comfortably – no pain in the knee.
    • I accomplished that goal, the knee felt fine
  • it sure would be nice goal – keep up a 7:30 pace
    • Just barely accomplished this one, but I managed to make it. There might be a bit of self-fulfilling prophecy here and I know that I need to change this up and expect more from myself.
  • stretch goal – go sub 7:15 pace
    • Nope, I only had 1 mile out of the 5 that were sub 7:15

So while I accomplished two out of three of my pre-race goals, I am still am not happy with my effort or time.

Back to the start

Start Patriots Day 5 Miler -- Photo by David Colby-Young

I was in the 4th row back of the start and had placed myself in the right start position, for the first half mile I had to keep reigning myself in and try not to run too fast. I still ran a 6:40 first mile, which is about where I really want to be. Even so there were a lot of runners passing me and then while running down Forrest Ave, I was feeling pretty good, even though I could feel myself slowing down.

However, once we turned towards Back Cove, it seemed like I was being passed by so many people, a couple of people passed me that I know from other races, who usually, I keep up with or finish slightly ahead or slightly behind, in most races I have run with them.

Today, I didn't have anything and just let them go, which is not like me - no mental toughness or ability to keep up a faster pace.

It was such a weird and frustrating feeling watching all the other runners go by me and not being able to respond to the challenge.

Actually - it sucked!

I continued to slow down on Back Cove and each mile, more and more runners continued to pass me.

Going across Tuckey's bridge wasn't fun for me with the slight hill and breeze in my face and even though I knew that Washington St was part of the last mile (the 4 mile marker was a huge hint), there still wasn't anything there and I just kept plugging along.

When I got back on Cumberland Ave, I finally found my next gear an started to pick up my pace again, it was almost like a dam broke and I was able to get my breath and my legs didn't feel like lead weights, like they had going around Back Cove.

When I passed one of the runners who had passed me on Washington, he said "Come-on you got more left and you can beat me to the finish" At that point there were some other runners around us and I finally got my ass in gear. I took up his challenge/motivation and started to push myself and finished ahead of the small group that I had been a part of. I thanked him for pushing me at the end.

Finish - Patriots Day 5 Miler.2 -- Photo by David Colby-Young

The last quarter-mile was the only part of the race, that I was totally happy with, but there is no reason that I wasn't able to do this for the miles between 1.0 and 4.75.

I really do not know what is going on, whether it is something going on with my mental toughness, worrying too much about if I push too hard that I will re-injure myself or have I focused too much on quantity and not enough on faster paced training. It is probably some combination of the three, along with needing to get my eating back under control and lose the 10 pounds that I have gained since last May.

Shoes

How did the Pearl Izumi N2 8.5 do?

I didn't think about them at all, which is a good thing and what I want from my shoes. They were smooth feeling, but at the same time something was missing, not sure what? I can run far comfortably in my Pearl Izumi's, but I really haven't run that fast in them, despite of all the miles I have run in my 2 pair of N2 Road's. 

It is making me re-think my race-day shoes and I can't wait no until I get my Green Silence in, to see how they do or figure out if I need to look at other flats again.
The reality is that

This was a post-55 Personal Record and while I am not happy or satisfied with it, it is still a PR.

Time to look back at my logs, to figure out what I have done versus what I thought I had been doing and see if there are any patterns emerging (besides my getting to be an old fart, which is not the reason for this kind of dramatic drop in performance, in such a short time).

I am not going to make any excuses about my performance today, it what it is, but I do know that I am not satisfied with the outcome and will be looking at what I need to do to improve for my next race and I definitely know it is a LOT more than just what shoes I am wearing.

It is all about me not running well.

I thought that it would be appropriate to show my ugly race photo that David Colby-Young was nice enough to take.

Finish - Patriots Day 5 Miler.1 -- Photo by David Colby-Young

I hope you had a good chuckle on this one :-), it pretty much summed up my day.

Other Links

Maine Running Photos

Cool Running | 85th Patriot's Day 5 Miler Race Results.

http://www.wcsh6.com/story/news/local/2014/04/21/patriots-day-5-miler-portland/7981871/

Sunday, April 13, 2014

One in Five 5K Recap - 4-13-14

After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: April 13, 2014


One in Five 5K 4-13-14

Hey, I actually raced again!

The first time since the January Thaw 4.5 miler back - well yeah in January.

This was the first race that I can remember, that once I registered, I didn't get all freaked out about or have several sleepless night about doing. I thought about it once in a while, but I didn't just focus on it like I usually do. Hell, I even got some good sleep Friday night and only tossed and turned for after Bennie woke us up at around 1:00 AM to say loudly for about 3 minutes that there were deer in the yard - at least until I turned on the light and slammed the door. They left in a hurry.

After that I tossed and turned and turned and tossed the rest of the night - yeah I got to thinking about the race and couldn't shut it off. Finally, I went back to sleep around 4:00 AM and woke up around 5:00 AM and just laid there for a while, kind of drifting. I wasn't really tense or worked-up about the race after I woke up - good news!

Had a bagel w/peanut butter for breakfast (it didn't sit right).

I only thought about turning around once on the way there, but it was more of a passing thought, than an over-riding need to not go to the race, that I usually experience.

Progress is being made on my old enemy race day anxiety. I don't know if I have beaten it completely yet, but at least it doesn't control me like it did for such a long time and I got to enjoy my race today.

When I got my number and swag bag - bummer no t-shirt (I really liked the shirts this year too), I registered too late to get one. Memo to self register earlier next year and yes, I plan to run it again next year.

It was a raw morning, between 35-38F, with an 8-10 mph wind out of the north and a couple of minutes after I finished it started to rain. So it wasn't a great day, but not a bad day for a run - never a bad day for a run - well almost never.

Did my usual mile warm-up, but there was no, none, zero snap in my legs. They just felt blah, not sore or anything, just nothing there. Not a good sign of things to come for this race.

RA Course 4-13-14 One in Five 5K

I lined up in the second row and off we went. The first part is straight out of the Thomas College parking lot, not a steep grade, but a deceptive one for the start of a race. Actually it is a pretty flat course for around here and my time should have been faster. 

My first mile was about where I wanted it to be, but for some reason or other, I just ran like crap the second mile 7:30 pace and never really picked it up on the last mile (although I was passing a few people) at about a 7:20 pace.

I finished 29 of 414 official finishers.
RA Stats 4-13-14

You can see the results on Cool Running and more photos on Maine Running Photos (I will add the link when they are posted)

I just didn't have any spring in my legs, maybe that 15.0 miler on Thursday was still affecting me more than I thought - but no excuses, I ran as good as I could today and will use this as a nice "where I am now" time trial to know where I need to improve. Hint Hint: race pace mile and 2 mile repeats.

Surprisingly, I finished 1st in my age group, so that was pretty cool, but I have a feeling that was more a result of who didn't show up for local runners who are faster than I am, than me having a great race. 

But like they say you have to show up and I will take what I can, when it comes to AG awards.

One in Five 5K AG Award

What did I learn this time:
  • No super long runs in new shoes the week of a race.
  • The Launch are not a 5K race day shoe, they felt great on my feet comfort-wise, but I didn't feel fast running in them. No snap.
  • That my Achilles didn't bark at me too much, it liked the slower pace.
  • Bagels are not my friend before a race - need to just stay with my normal oatmeal.
  • Going out to supper and having 12th Anniversary dinner, is probably not a good pre-race meal, but wouldn't change it, we had a lot of fun last night.
  • I was over 30 seconds slower in this year's first 5K 22:39 versus 22:06 last year.
  • I need to work more on speed work/race pace work at longer intervals.
  • That my race anxiety was the lowest it has been in a long time and gives me hope that I can run a few more races this year.

The reality is that


I was not real happy with my time or effort and I think that my gun time of 22:39 was a lot more accurate than the official time of 21:46 (which would have made me feel a lot better about the race). However, this was only the first 5K of the year and I will have several opportunities to do more before 2014 is over.

The Brooks Launch are probably the most comfortable shoes I have run in a long time, but they are not 5K to flat 10K race shoes, but for a hilly 10K or other higher distances, they would be my choice. Very happy with them so far.

It was also great to see, so many people that I have known from around the area, Troy, Tracy, Sue, Mark and others:







Hopefully, this will be a good harbinger of things to come, especially my battles with race anxiety.

After all I can't be too disappointed with an AG group win and a decent time, but it doesn't mean that I can't do better - because I know that I can, but I also need to enjoy the moment too. I did.

One in 

Five 5K Award and Number

Official Results One in Five 5K

Thank you to the race director and race volunteers, you all did a GREAT job and I had a lot of fun while participating in the event.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Newton Energy - 50 Mile Review

After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: April 5, 2014


Yep - it is that time again, I have put over 50 miles on a pair of running shoes and am going o write about my experience with the Newton Energy's.
Newton Energy's

Let’s be up front about my relationship with Newton Running.

I do not have any. I purchased the Newton Energy's with my own money. They were on sale in the consignment section of the Rail Trail Run Shop in Augusta, Maine.

The comments in this post were a result of actually wearing and running in the Newton Energy’s and are my own experiences.

Below are the types of runs that I have done in these shoes over those miles.

RA-Energy Runs 4-4-14

RA-Energy Mileage 4-4-14

So I have done all of the different types of runs that I typically do in a road running shoe in the Energy's. Right up until the long run on 4/4/14, they performed quite well on all of the runs. On that run (see post), I seemed to never find any degree of comfort and they bothered me from the first mile.

Spoiler Alert - That was my last run in the Energy's. If a shoe makes my feet feel that bad on a run, I do not run in them again.

Which is too bad, because most of my runs in them they were fine and this review's first couple of drafts had been very positive about the Energy's and how well they were working for me. If I had finished the review on time, it would have been a very different review and the tone would have been very positive.

Fit
The model that I bought is the woman's model of the Energy in a woman's size 10, that's right a guy running in woman's shoes. I have worn woman's models successfully in the past - most of the time a woman's model heel is narrower, which is a good thing for me, but it also means that all too often the toe box is too narrow. So if I can find a model that fits the toe box and if the colorway is something that I would wear, they usually work quite well.

Newton Energy 3-27-14

It will be interesting to see how the men's 8.5 or 9.0 in the Energy's fit me compared to the woman's 10, if I can ever find someone who carries it locally, without having to special order it and them then be stuck with it, if it doesn't fit me.

Either way, the woman's size 10 length-wize is perfect and I didn't experience the heel slip that many runners/bloggers commented about in the men's model. So maybe the woman's model has a narrower heel cup??? I couldn't find any information on the Newton website if the woman's model is built on a special woman's last or is simply a re-sized men's model with a "B" width instead of the typical men's "D"???? Something that I was going to do more research on later, but now am not going to worry about it.

The toe box is right on the edge of being wide-enough/not wide-enough to accommodate my Tailor's Bunionette. I can feel a snugness that makes me notice my right foot on a run, but at the same time it hasn't moved to uncomfortable levels, which is good, but not quite what I want. I am still paying too much attention to how my foot feels, instead of just running in the damn things. I experimented with different insoles, something that that other runners have done successfully. however, after trying 4 other insoles, I went back to the stock Energy insoles, because I liked the feeling that it provided better than the others.

Newton Energy 3-27-14

Some of the problems I had with the Energy's on that long run were related to the width of the shoe, but it was strange how after 60 miles of having a very positive experience running in them, the Energy's just suddenly stopped working for me - very strange.

Whatever.

All I know is that the shoes did bother my Tailor's Bunionette over the last 5.0 miles of that long run, which means they are not wide enough for me.

Pros

Cushioned Feel – After running in Pearl Izumi EM line shoes most of the winter, the Newton Energy's are a much more cushioned feeling shoe, which is what I was looking for to add to my daily running shoe rotation. They do not have the cushioned feel of the Schechers GoRun Ride 2's, it is somewhere between the two brands/styles.

Lightweight – Coming in around 7 oz. (according to the Newton Running website), they are at the lighter end of my lightweight trainer scale and lighter than many of my racing flats have been. I have used them for half marathon race pace or faster workouts and they performed well enough for me, although they do not have the "snap" that a true racing flat has and many would say they are too soft for faster-paced racing or training runs. However, of the shoes I have in the house right now, if I had to chose a pair to run a race (mile to half marathon) tomorrow, I would run in the Energy's. I wrote that paragraph before I did the last and do not feel that way anymore.

Sole – I like the outsole and how it performs while running in a variety of conditions i.e. tar, side of the roads, light trails, or wet roads

Rock collectors - They don’t gain weight during a run, in other words they do not collect rocks, which can be anything from an inconvenience to something you have to stop and remove during a run.

Quiet – They do not slap the ground and with the lugs I expected a little more noise, but I was impressed with how quiet they have been, especially when I am going up hill.

Color ways – I like the yellow-blue-green color way of the woman's shoe, the men's colors do not excite me all that much and when I replace them I would have to think about the colors available. I know function before looks, but if sometimes you can get both - why not.
Modifications

Laces – Something I do with all of my running shoes is add LockLaces, I like the way they fit and how the LockLaces make taking them on and off so easy. However, I am thinking about going to a flat lace with these shoes, as an experiment.
Cons

Blisters – None, nada, zero blisters. One good sized blister under the forefoot callous on my left foot and hot spots under the forefoot pads on my right foot, no blisters on my heels, toes, arches or ankles.

Lugs - I did like the feel of the 5 lugs and their lower profile compared to the 4 lugs of the older Gravity's. They still provide a little extra "pop" when you run in them "correctly", but do not have the feeling that they penalize me when I get tired during run, when I am not as efficient, which the Gravity's lug design did for/to me. The lug design in the Energy's remind me to run a little more efficiently, instead of forcing me to run a certain way - which is a big difference to me. Unfortunately, I believe the lug system also were the primary cause for the blisters and hotspots under my forefoot callous pads.

Wear - I am concerned about the amount of wear on the shoes after 73 miles (I know that the mileage on them when I got them was minimal, because the diamonds on the bottom of the lugs were all there. I have worn them quite a bit in a short time and I had hoped that the wear levels off and that sole wears well after that point.

Trails - I wouldn't wear them on technical, muddy or rocky trails. Although I wouldn't hesitate to run in them at Quarry Road (when the mud dries up), but I wouldn't want to wear them at Bond Brook - what I would run in on those two different trail systems says a lot about what I think of it as a trail shoe and these are definitely a road shoe, not a hybrid shoe.

Replacement Cost – I got these at a bargain price from the consignment rack and honestly is not the price that I will not find them at again. The Engery's list price of about $120.00, they are at the top of my price range and that cost will be factored into whether I decide to get another pair or not - just the way it is.

The reality is that

The Newton Engery’s are a lightweight trainer that I wore exclusively to get to this 73 mile point and I really thought they were a shoe that I was going to put into my daily rotation. They are a light, quick shoe, that was forgiving when my form broke down later in a run until yesterday.

Unfortunately, they bothered my feet so much on that long run, that I will not be wearing them again.

Newton Energy

Next week they will be put in the give-away box at the AYC.

Which is really too bad, because I had high hopes for these shoes.

Will I buy another pair? No.

Although the Newton Energy's did not work for me, based on how they performed until that long run, I have a feeling that they would work quite well for most runners and there have been several glowing reviews by other bloggers who have had a much better experience than I did with the Energy's. I am glad that I tried them and although I won't be running in them, I am still looking forward to seeing what Newton does with their shoes in the future.

Well it will be time to start my search again to a pair of running shoes to my daily rotation. I have a feeling that I will be heading down to the Rail Trail Run Shop to check on their new shipment of Skechers GoRun Ride 3's they got in yesterday afternoon to see if I they fit any better than they did last October. Otherwise it will be back to the drawing board and probably a pair of Asics GelLyte 33's or the Reebok's, I talked about in my shoe search post.

What have your experiences been with the Energy's? Did you like them or not? Why?

Have you ever used the other genders shoes - why? What were the drawbacks/advantages?