A bunch of the Rockhopper group met in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere, a neighborhood still waiting to be built. The area had some great steep hills and plenty of scenic views from the tops of the hills. We ran hill repeats, uphill for a half mile, downhill for half a mile. Totaled about five miles. As this was all on pavement, I got to break-in my new shoes.
And I really like ’em.
They feel super light, weighing 7.2 ounces. Now I’m not a big enough shoe nerd to know about stats like shoe weights (I looked that up on the Brooks site), but I’d bet 7.2 is toward the low end.
The fit is absolutely fantastic. I’ve never had a shoe fit that well. As an added bonus, the sock liner(!) offers a surprising amount of arch support. My flat feet really enjoyed the lift. I don’t know if the arch support is intentional or not, but I hope the shoe maintains the same level of support through the miles.
The lacing system is very unusual. Normally, the tongue sits under both sides of the shoe, and the laces pull the sides closer together. Here, the tongue is eliminated. The outside of the shoe is pulled into the inner side of the shoe. This should theoretically eliminate any chance of the tongue slipping down.
The shoelaces have a nice little feature. Rather than just a flat ribbon, the shoelaces are wavy, fat, thin, fat, thin. This, I believe, is supposed to help the laces stay tied. It also provides more tactile feedback when you are tying your shoes.
The soles feel way more cushiony than my Free’s, which are starting to feel flat and lifeless to me. Though I do have a concern about the “nobules” on the sole. I could feel them as I ran. It’s a new / unusual sensation that may go away with time, so I’m not sure what to make of that.
I have been trying to practice landing on the forefoot when I’m running, but it takes effort and I have to consciously think about what I’m doing. These shoes seem to encourage that running style, they almost have a rocking sort of motion. But I still have to work at it.
While it wasn’t hot on the run, I did feel that they provided good ventilation. I was wearing thin socks, and could feel the wind through the shoes. That will be good for really hot days.
If I had to find something wrong with the shoe, I would be hard pressed. Perhaps the color scheme of the blue and green are not so hot? (That was my initial reaction, but the look is growing on me.) Yeah, I’d really have to stretch to find something I’m not happy with about these shoes. Let’s hope I feel that way 300 miles from now!