This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.
I opened one of my birthday presents early this morning. Yeah, I just couldn't wait any longer to run in my new Under Armour Bandit 2's. That first run is in the books and I came away pretty impressed with the fit, feel and comfort that they had.
Let's back up a little and let me talk about why the U/A Bandit 2's.
My current shoes were working great, but the the durability sucks and I didn't want to pay the "discount" price for last year's model for something that only lasts me 200-250 as a daily trainer. So I had done a bunch of research online to figure out which running shoes I should look at as my next daily trainers. I got it down to 3-4 and was looking locally to see which one felt the best on my feet.
It came down to when I tried on the Bandit's that they immediately felt comfortable. No pinching, the toes didn't feel scrunched and even though I did try on several other brands/models, I kept coming back to the Bandit's as my comparison shoe, finally I decided that I didn't need to try anymore on. It also helped that I had a 20% off coupon at Olympia.
Yes, I have run in Under Armour before - the Gemini and while I liked the shoe, it was a little too narrow in the forefoot and after a hundred miles they felt - well dead and I traded them to another runner and he had the same impressions that I did.
However, the experience was good enough that I was willing to try the second edition of the Bandit's. I really think that Under Armour is making their shoes better and better as they get more experience in what runners are looking for in our shoes.
Okay enough background let's get to the photos and my thoughts on the run this morning.
It is a nice looking running shoe, although I am not crazy about the houndstooth look, I would prefer a more traditional look/brighter colorway (you will see what I mean when I do my first impression of the next pair of new shoes). The houndstooth look reminds me of shoes that I would be more likely to wear to work than what I want to run in.
Although I do definitely plan to run in them.
One thing I noticed when wearing them around the house this morning was the heel felt a little loose and when I got ready to run I needed to use the extra eye lace to get the heel locked in. That is something I typically don't have to do.
The big problem with my previous shoe was its durability, how much it picked up pebbles and allowed a rock to puncture the sole. The sole on the Bandits look a lot more durable and there is less exposed midsole, so I am hopeful that some of those problems will be eliminated.
The run this morning.
I ran my usual 3.3 mile course, which has tar, dirt road, down-hill, bumps - in other words a nice mixture of what I typically run on.
The first thing that I noticed was that I ran slightly differently in them, the first quarter-mile just felt, well odd, nothing bad, but there was a definite difference in how the shoes "worked" and had me landing compared to the LG7's. I expect a certain amount of difference, when I change shoes, but this was a definite difference. Not a bad thing, just different.
Since I have been nursing that damn Achilles Tendonitis thing, I didn't want to push it too hard, but even so, without pushing I was down in the 8:30's for the first mile, before the heat and humidity slowed Bennie down.
One thing that I liked once I got used to the shoes, they felt more secure on the dirt than I have been used to lately and there is more cushioning up front, so that when I land, the rocks and stuff don't bother quite as much as they did before. When I got home there were not any pebbles lodged in the grooves, which was nice.
Although when I did need to do a sharp turn, my foot felt like it was going over the sole a little bit, which was a little disconcerting, but nothing serious. As long as I know that cornering is not a strong suit for the shoes, I can adjust my running to accommodate for that. It is something that I will keep an eye on.
These are not racing shoes, they are going to be my daily trainers and long run (when I get back to doing them) shoes, so I am not as concerned about cornering and more worried about the comfort and how the toe box feels on my tailor's bunionette.
Overall, the first run in the Under Armour Bandit 2's was a very nice run and the first impression was positive.