Two weeks ago I came to the sudden realization that my Saucony’s will not get me to Cape Town Marathon, as I actually had to cut my run short due to the excessive burning they were causing the bottom of my feet.
I wanted to get assessed before I just bought a new pair of kicks anyways since I am not the same runner I was two years ago so off to Run in Bree Street I huddled.
Apart from that the Saucony’s and I just didn’t get along very well from the word go, my heels felt like it was always slipping out of the shoe and in order to combat that I would tie it too fast and my feet will fall asleep, this relationship was doomed! To make matters worse they also have this flexible sole which means that my feet move a little too freely in them ie causing the burning and the blistering. (Ns. I have nothing against the brand personally they just didn’t work for me.)
When stepping into Run on Bree street I was lucky enough to get Juno (I will have a write up about my visit soon) to assist me, and after a quick trot on the tread, he presented me with three shoes, New Balance; which toe box was just too big. Asics which fit pretty well; but the 361° just felt right from the first time I put them on.
I ended up with the 361 Meraki’s, I was not concerned about the make or the prize of the shoe as long as I could run in it with the least amount of discomfort. Turned out I was probably the first person in South Africa to buy a pair of these babies off a shelf, and they were the cheapest pair of running shoes in the shop! Bargain!
My daughter dubbed them; the Zebras.
I am still not sure about the sanity of having white running shoes, but hey, they are comfortable.
They fit like a snug glove and the upper mesh just moulds around your foot, apart from that my heels do not feel like they are trying to escape. Plus the bottom is very stiff to help me not swivel so much in my shoe (I roll my ankles like a drunk ballerina).
The landing is soft enough so that my knees do not take any strain. Oh, yes did I mention they have loooong shoelaces, for some people that is a negative but this is one area for me where too long is better than too short.
They work well on the treadmill but seems to shine when you take them outside and just let go (don’t know how long that is going to last with the white finish ;)), the grip is phenomenal whether you are going up a very steep hill with some loose sand or down that same hill where you have to put on the breaks or eat some dust.
My first warm-up walk in them did, however, irritate my plantar but I didn’t know if it was because of the new shoes or leftover residue from my old ones, the run itself did not proof painful, however, the next day became a forced rest day. Needless to say, I was actually scared to run in them again as I really did not want to return them, but luckily the second run was as smooth as butter on a warm piece of toast.
So far I have done about 50Km in them and will see this weekend how they fare on a long run….
They are as comfortable as the Brooks (my first fitted shoe) with maybe a bit more grip and they are definitely lighter than the Brooks, they did take me a couple of runs to get used to, but as I have mentioned before I am not a very strong runner, yet, and yes it seem like I have found my marathon partners.