Saturday, December 29, 2012

Shoes. Let's get some shoes.

Dear Nike,

The last time I owned a pair of your shoes was about, oh, ten years ago. (At the end of JC - what we call high school - I discovered Saucony and Mizuno and never looked back.)

But then a few months ago, strapped for cash and time and fed up with running shoes that were so feature-heavy they were actually heavy, I popped into some random shoe shop at Queensway and found...

this pair of Nike Lunarglide+4s and I am in love.
My shoes are grimy in about a week, and I've had these for 2 months. Who are all those people walking around with pristine sneakers? Where do they run??? 
Now, I'm a neutral runner/ underpronator. I'm like the Switzerland of runners. I once had a really bad experience with some running-store twerp who took one look at my flat feet and said "You're an overpronator". Whereupon I brandished the wear pattern on the soles of my shoes at him. You try telling me I'm an overpronator, sir...

The nice young fellow who helped me out at the shoe shop was not such a know-it-all. In fact I'm not sure he knew that much about the merchandise in terms of actual running, which is not a problem - I think chasing the latest 'evidence' can really do more harm than good. Does the shoe fit? No? Get a different pair. Do you have knee/ foot/ ankle problems from running in those shoes? It might be the shoes or it might be the running. Have you tried strength conditioning?

Anyway, now that I've been running in them for a couple of months,
including one marathon! this was at the end where my body just wanted to FINISH, i look so much happier here than the guy behind me, and i'm pretty sure he was doing the half-marathon. As you can see I also believe in the motivational power of neon.
the Lunarglide+4s are pretty neutral, very comfortable, springily cushioned, and very, very light. The fact that they come in all those candy colours is a nice bonus. (I can't believe I'm saying this. I've never been bothered what colour my running shoes are as long as they are shoes.)

But, dear Nike, would you PLEASE make the next version with a bit more traction?

The Lunarglide+4s work very well - until it is wet. Then they have no traction on wet surfaces whatsoever. I once tried to run hill repeats in a light drizzle*, and ended up slipping and sliding so much that I took off my shoes and ran in my socks. Even my socks had more traction. You'd think for a company based in Oregon, Nike would know what to do with wet surfaces...wet leaves? slick polished concrete? slightly algae-covered asphalt? dear god, granite tiles in building doorways? nope. I live in fear of landing on my ass or breaking something.

* Singapore definition of light drizzle - ie it has been raining all day and is now just coming to the tail end of the rain and also it is 25C -if you are lucky- and the humidity is 90% so nothing dries and there are unexpected puddles everywhere. This happens year-round, but especially in December. In Singapore there are two seasons: hot and wet, and hotter and wetter.



PS For trails, slippery surfaces and just walking around, I also love love love my New Balance Minimus (minimi? minimuses? mini-mes?) But that's a review for another day.

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