Aside from the Bikilas, I've been rotating between the Adizero Adios (bought Oct 2010) and Newton Distance Racers (July 2010), both of which have the outsoles worn down excessively. The mileage on both the Adios and Newtons may have acquired about 400-500km each. I tried (really) to maximize these two shoes but the performance that I've been getting back from them during my runs have gone down, probably due to the eroded cushioning and unbalanced wear on the outsole (it seems that I've been supinating more than usual). My left ITB has been acting up lately which I'm fairly certain because of the outsole wear.
Thus, a well-prepared justification to the wifey for me to buy new shoes (again). ;-)
MERRELL OR BROOKS?
After countless reading of online shoe reviews, I was able to trim my choice to the following:
- Merrell True Glove
- Brooks Green Silence
- Brooks ST 5 Racer
I turned down the True Glove because of (1) I already had the Bikilas which promotes barefoot running just like Merrell's, and (2) the True Glove, supposedly for road use, was not accepted positively in a shoe review that I read online. I might consider buying the TRAIL Glove later on, should I finally try trail running in the future.
I then went to Toby's to try on shoes 2 and 3. I jogged a bit and noticed that the ST5's heel is raised more than the Green Silence. This made me heel-strike which I wasn't comfortable of (apart from the excess cushioning that I wasn't anymore used to).
In the end (and with a 10% discount coupon for registering at the May15 Goldilocks run), I purchased the Green Silence.
TEST RUN #1 - EASY 5km
As I was walking before the start of my run, I felt some tightness on the upper which I didn't really mind. The toebox, as many have reviewed, is quite wide that enabled my toes to splay comfortably.
The Adios, as you may recall, has a heel-to-toe lift of 11mm. The Green Silence has a reported lift of 10mm. The 1mm should be a negligible difference but I was amazed on how my feet were (finally) achieving the hard-to-find midfoot strike! The Bikilas and the Newtons were forcing me to almost forefoot strike, which is not really that economical to an average Joe like myself, especially in full marathons. Finally, I said to myself, so this is how midfoot strike really felt!
Average pace = 7:20/km
TEST RUN #2 - 18km LONG RUN
I have this love-hate relationship with long runs. I like it when it's on the planning stage, but I hate it when it's on the execution stage. It's probably the voices in my head urging me to stop (this nonsense), and I should still be sleeping instead. This has been obvious in my long runs exceeding 21km, with boredom, the heat, and lack of hydration coming into play. Often times, I just stop, and walk back home to call it a day. Target mileage failed.
However, about 30mins into this planned 18km run, I may sound cocky but during that time, for the first time I felt that I CAN finish this long run. The Green Silence's reduced heel-toe lift was still enabling me to midfoot strike effectively. This made me thought that I could finish this run confidently.
SPOKE TO SOON
The plan for that 18km was to run the first 13km easy (7:30/km), then go for target HM pace (6:30/km) for the last 5km. As I picked up the pace after km13, I felt something slowly acting up at the top of my left foot: pain. Then, as if in unison, I felt a hotspot under my left foot: blister. I'm not sure if this was because of not easing slowly into the shoe or something on the upper's design that my left foot didn't like, but it caused me to stop and sit by the sidewalk to unlace the shoe momentarily. I loosened the lacing a bit, stood up, and resumed my run.
I could still feel some pain at the top of my left foot as of this morning, a day after my long run.
Except for that experience, I was able to finish the run with a decent time of 2:11:54 which is still better than my 2:15 target (for 7:30/km average pace).
I would need a few more runs to make my final judgment, but so far the Green Silence has performed well (except for that issue on the upper that I encountered which I'll probably adjust to as I run more with it). It will complement the Bikilas in my shoe rotation as I'm now destined to retire my Adios and Newtons.
Scott Jurek (@scottjurek) and our very own Vertek Buenavista (left photo) use the Green Silence for races.
Of course, the fact that it's been made with recycled materials which helps reduce my carbon footprint makes it more rewarding.