Established-Saucony-runner Product Leader Rebecca Grey on receiving her new shoes:
Opening the box, I immediately thought the Hurricane 14 was a good looking shoe, and I love the new flat laces with the reflective stripes. I did, however, feel a small rush of panic when I saw the white foam instep. Where was the section of gray foam that generally indicates a stability shoe? Did they send me a cushioning shoe?! Then I noticed the fine gray thread in the arch foam differentiating it from the rest of the cushioning. Phew, it WAS a supportive shoe. Isn’t it interesting how we get used to things having a certain look? How I’ve been conditioned to associate a gray foam instep with stability? That “missing” gray foam still throws me when I see these shoes drying in the hall.
Putting them on, the amount of forefoot cushioning was a MARKED improvement over the Hurricane 13s. Kevin had his doubts that I’ll go back and finishing wearing out my current 13s after running in this new shoe, and he’s probably right – for the forefoot cushioning alone (Hi honey – forget you read that please!).
I kept my first run in them short, just in case. But no, I didn’t notice a difference except that wonderful forefoot cushioning. March had been a terribly busy month for me, working full time while writing term papers and final exams and my mileage had suffered, so April was all about getting back into running and building the clicks back up. With my lack of miles in mind, I expected most of April’s runs to suck. But they didn’t (okay, one or two did, but that was probably had more to do with recently donating blood). Even the hills, which I usually despise, didn’t bother me as much. It couldn’t be the shoes could it?
So I did a little more research into what the 8mm difference was supposed to do. Saucony claims that the 8mm difference will make it easier for runners to run more efficiently as a midfoot strike is encouraged. I had been paying more attention to my foot strike over the last few months as one of my running buddies is a physiotherapist who, after reading “Born to Run” and attending a biomechanics of running workshop, had been intrigued by minimalist running and what it could do for the body. Since I tend towards shuffling, at least at the 37km mark, I didn’t think I was much of a heel-striker, but a quick glance through some race photos says otherwise. I’ll be watching to see if the 8mm offset really does allow me to improve my form, and if the offset is noticeable in longer distances. Oh, and this morning I discovered a pocket in the tongue of the shoe; my initial thought was that it was for a key, which seemed awkward, but a quick Google search says it’s for tucking your laces into – so I’ll be reporting back on that too!