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©2009 UNDER ARMOUR® Performance.

EZ-JAN-FEB-09:Layout 1

UA RUNNING FOOTWEAR INNOVATION


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UA ILLUSION //STABILITY

Some athletes run to train. Some athletes train to run. But make no mistake – ALL ATHLETES RUN. Athletes endure every mile To Be Better. On the road or on the field, it’s about outlasting everyone else. The mission begins on the ground with Under Armour’s latest innovation: UA RUNNING FOOTWEAR.

I N T R O D U C I N G UA R U N N I N G F O O T W E A R UA REVENANT // STABILITY

UA APPARITION // NEUTRAL

UA SPECTRE // NEUTRAL

WWW.UNDERARMOUR.COM


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Introducing miSOUL Tech interchangeable sole system for customized performance. TM

Run One - miSOUL Tech

Select the miSOUL Tech Cushion 1.0 insert with superior EVA chassis for arch support and Si-18 gel in the forefoot and heel for cushioning and shock absorption to get you through another long run.

Or slip in the miSOUL Tech Light 1.0 insert with Superfoamâ&#x201E;˘ cushioning in the forefoot and heel for innovative high-energy return and a spring propulsion plate for extra push off on race day.


EZ-JAN-FEB-09:Layout 1

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3X Ironman Champion CHRIS LIETO

See miSOUL Tech in action at KSWISS.COM


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Shoe Review 2009 SPRING

SHOE REVIEWS: Neutral

iii

Motion Stabilizing

iv

Performance

vi

Two trends are in the forefront this season: gender and money. A few seasons back, some brands attempted to market to men and women separately—even with different names for the same shoes—with lessthan-successful results. This season, the shoes carry the same names and attempt to provide the same kind of running experience for runners of each gender. More than one-third of the shoes in our Review have been modified to account for differences between male and female runners. Men generally weigh more than women and have more muscle mass, which means they can more easily flex running shoes. They also land a little harder than women do. Designers adjusted their shoes to accommodate these very real differences. For men, the landing area is a bit larger and firmer, while the women’s models are, in comparison, softer and more flexible. The second trend has been a noticeable jump in prices. This may have been some time in coming, as the world economy is shifting. Workers everywhere expect higher wages, the costs of resources and transportation have increased, and the bottom line is the bottom line—running shoes are not what they used to be. While they’re not rocket science, running shoes are technical, and technology, research, and delivery have very real costs associated with them. Both trends coincide with the continued push to make running shoes better able to handle the idiosyncrasies of the human foot and, by extension, make your daily run more beneficial.


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Welcome to the Running Network’s 2009 Spring Shoe Review! If you’ve been a longtime reader of our Reviews, you may notice that the review is now part of each Running Network magazine partner’s regular pages. We have done that, quite frankly, in response to the challenging economic times. Our focus is the weartesting and review of running footwear and providing that information to you, the running consumer, in a timely fashion. We publish two large reviews a year (in the spring and fall), and additional shoe features in the May, July, September, and November issues. In addition, we are excited to provide you with an expanded version of this Review—with reviews on an additional 10 shoes— online at www.runningnetwork.com in April 2009. Please remember that our reviews are only the starting point on your personal journey to find the best running shoe for you. We urge you to visit your local running store for more help. If you don’t know where to find one, visit our website and we’ll help you locate your local running store. Happy (and Healthy) Running and Walking!

Running Network LLC Partners

W ELCOME American Track & Field www.american-trackandfield.com Athletes Only www.atf-athlete.com Athletics (Canada) www.otfa.ca Austin Runner www.austinrunner.com California Track & Running News www.caltrack.com Club Running www.rrca.org/clubrunning Coaching Athletics Quarterly www.coachingathleticsq.com Colorado Runner www.coloradorunnermag.com Get Active! www.getactivemagazine.com Greater Long Island Running Club’s Footnotes www.glirc.org Latinos Corriendo www.latinoscorriendo.com Michigan Runner www.michiganrunner.net

Larry Eder President, Running Network LLC

Missouri Runner & Triathlete www.morunandtri.com

Award Winners BEST SHOE Neutral

SP

RIN G 200

9

BEST SHOE Performance SP

RIN G 200

9

BEST SHOE Motion Stabilizing

SP

RIN G 200

9

BEST VALUE SPRING 2009

BEST NEW SHOE SPRING 2009

BEST RENOVATION SPRING 2009

Saucony Triumph 6 Best Shoe—Neutral Zoot Ultra TT 2.0 Best Shoe—Performance adidas adiStar Salvation Best Shoe—Motion Stabilizing ASICS GEL–1140 Best Value

Reviewer: Cregg Weinmann Project Coordinator/Editor: Christine Johnson Designer: Kristen Cerer Proofreader: Marg Sumner, Red Ink Editorial Services Shoe Photography: Daniel Saldaña, Cregg Weinmann Advertising Sales: Running Network LLC, Larry Eder, President, 920.563.5551, ext. 112, larry.eder@gmail.com Publisher: Larry Eder, 608.239.3785 Website: www.runningnetwork.com For a Media Kit, please visit our website. This 2009 Spring Shoe Review is produced independently by Running Network LLC for its partner publications. All shoes reviewed were tested by experienced, competitive runners who were matched to the biomechanical purpose of each shoe model. Copyright © 2009 by Running Network LLC. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be stored, copied, or reprinted without prior written permission of Running Network LLC.

K-Swiss Run One miSOUL Tech Best New Shoe Diadora Mythos 280 GB Best Renovation

Running Network LLC and its partner publications suggest that, as with all fitness activities, you meet with a healthcare professional before beginning or changing your fitness regimen.

New York Runner www.nyrrc.org Running Journal & Racing South www.running.net RunMinnesota www.runmdra.org RunOhio www.runohio.com Track & Field News www.trackandfieldnews.com USATF’s Fast Forward www.usatf.org USATF/New England’s Exchange Zone www.usatfne.org The Winged Foot www.nyac.org The Winged M www.themac.com Youth Runner www.youthrunner.com

ii | Running Network 2009 Spring Shoe Review

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N EUTRAL adidas Supernova Glide—$100 The Supernova Glide is as good as the best neutral shoes in the adidas line. The name is new (it was previously the Supernova Cushion), but the other changes seem cosmetic until closer inspection. The changes, though slight, do improve the shoe. The upper features better breathability and reduced weight, thanks to a change in the mesh that doesn’t sacrifice comfort. The GeoFit memory foam ankle collar still provides a cozy fit around the ankle. The midsole sports slight changes to the molding and retains the ForMotion cassette, so the ride is still the same. Subtle changes in the outersole’s appearance improve its flexibility, and adidas has kept the carbon heel-and-blown rubber combination that has worked well for the Supernova series. If the adidas fit and the neutral Supernova shoes have been your cup of tea, drink up. “Fits great, very comfortable, and wraps around the foot nicely. They felt light weight and felt great while running. The cushioning was very noticeable—almost bouncy, but protective. The shoes are very comfortable, but I think a little overpriced.” Sizes: Men 6.5–13 (whole & half sizes), 14–20 (whole sizes only); Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 12.6 oz. (size 11); Women 10.2 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, adiPRENE+ Strobel board (heel) • For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation

Diadora Mythos 280 GB—$100 The Mythos series displays the best Diadora Running offers, and the 280 GB is a nod to Olympic Marathon champion Gelindo Bordin, longtime brand icon and one of its key developers. The Mythos 280 improves the ride by adjusting its Axeler technology. The threadlike titanium wire is unchanged, but Axeler WI5 adds angled thermoplastic elements to absorb shock by flexing and then springing back to shape, providing an energetic toe-off. The upper is open airmesh with synthetic leather overlays to support the foot, and accommodate a range of foot shapes. Reliable Elaston foam means that the midsole is well cushioned and durable. The shank is vented, providing support and breathability.The outersole is Duratech 5000 and Flexoft (carbon rubber heel, blown rubber forefoot) because it works. New cushioning technology, fine-tuned fit, cushioned ride, and flexibility have earned the the Mythos 280 GB our Best Renovation award. “The fit allows good heel fit and support with a good amount of toe room. I was impressed with the cushioning and forefoot flexibility, though they were heavier than other Diadora shoes I have tried.”

BEST RENOVATION SPRING 2009

Sizes: Men 6–13.5; Women 5.5–10 • Weight: Men 13.8 oz. (size 11); Women 11.1 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics

New Balance 1063—$125 The 1063 stays true to the mission of its predecessors: providing great cushioning for low-arched, neutral feet. The upper has been upgraded for a bit more support, with a full rand, redesigned and repositioned overlays in the saddle and the toe, and a little softer mesh to go with the same smooth interior. The midsole sports a new configuration of DTS (Dynamic Transition System): a crash pad that improves the lateral release on touchdown and better smooths the foot’s transition through the footstrike. The forefoot cushioning has been enhanced with a little more Abzorb SBS, but, almost magically, the weight has been reduced (by almost 3% in the men’s shoe), which means less work for runners, and a little faster time on the watch. “The shoes felt supportive and fit quite well. Excellent cushion, especially for long training runs. The support and cushion were better than expected, and this is a good step forward for NB.” Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15 (B,D,2E,4E); Women 7–11,12 (B,D) • Weight: Men 13.2 oz. (size 11); Women 11.0 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, Abzorb Strobel board • For: low- to medium-arched feet with neutral biomechanics

Reebok Premier Ultra KFS VI—$120 If there were an award for best aesthetic improvement, the Premier Ultra KFS VI would certainly be in the running. Reebok has raised the bar to a new height, gaining ground in both fit and performance. The upper has received improvements to fit, support, and comfort. The KFS inserts have been repositioned nearer the instep, which opens the stretch mesh across the metatarsals, and the overlays have been enhanced from the midfoot to the heel to better secure the shoe to the foot. The midsole is still responsive, but a little better cushioned than version 5, thanks to minor tweaks to the DMX Shear and the shank. The outersole features new flex grooves for better flexibility, and a noticeably more energetic toe-off. Runners looking for high mileage performance will do well to slip their neutral mid-arched feet into the Premier Ultra KFS VI. “Good fit, snug on the heel, and comfy toe box. Bit of a lift (roll up) at the tip of the toe box, which fosters a natural toe push-off. Definitely durable. After 100+ miles, no noticeable wear and tear—shoes still feel like new.” Sizes: Men 6.5–13,14; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 14.0 oz. (size 11); Women 11.2 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, DMX Foam Strobel board • For: medium to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics

Saucony Triumph 6—$125 The Triumph epitomizes the Saucony commitment to producing quality running shoes. The sixth edition, like other updated shoes in this review, requires close inspection to see the changes. The upper is much the same, but the tongue is better padded (though a good deal thinner), and the overlays have been trimmed back or repositioned to provide more open space across the metatarsal area, making the shoe bunion-friendly. The midsole appears largely untouched, though the shank reveals a bit more of the thermoplastic than the Triumph 5 did. The ride is responsive, with cushioning befitting the Triumph legacy. As with many of the shoes in this review, the Triumph 6 will cost a little more, but it’s worth it. The overall feel, craftsmanship, and ride were responsible for the Triumph 6 earning our Best Neutral Shoe award. “The shoe felt light as I ran, probably from the comfortable fit through the arch. I liked the supportive stable feeling, and the good measure of cushioning. There are tiny differences [but] the shoe is very close to the last few versions I have used.” Sizes: Men 7–13,14; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 12.7 oz. (size 11); Women 10.4 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, HRC Strobel board • For: low- to medium–high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics iii | Running Network 2009 Spring Shoe Review

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BEST SHOE Neutral

SP

RIN G 200

9


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N EUTRAL /M OTION S TABILIZING Under Armour UA Apparition—$110 Under Armour is new to running footwear, but its development team is not. The UA Apparition, flying a bit under the radar, is actually the best shoe in its new line. The upper utilizes FootSleeve technology, which is similar to the gusseted tongue construction or monosock used in other running shoes. Like all such construction, whether it fits you is largely dependent on the shape and volume of your foot, so it really requires a try-on to tell if it works. The midsole is a combination of EVA and rubbery inserts—ArmourBound, ArmourLastic, and Cartilage—which make for quite a comfortable ride. The flat sole, which keeps the foot in contact with the ground during transition, and good flexibility permit the foot to move naturally. The carbon rubber outersole is unremarkable, except in its durability and good traction. “This shoe fit very well. The more that I wore the shoe, the better it fit, but it had a lengthy break-in period. The cushion felt about right; it felt stiff at first, but broke in with running. Fairly comfortable shoe, I was pleased with its overall feeling.” Sizes: Men 8–13,14,15; Women 6–11,12 • Weight: Men 13.9 oz. (size 11); Women 11.6 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics

adidas adiStar Salvation—$140

BEST SHOE Motion Stabilizing

SP

RIN G 200

9

A new name for the old adiStar Control isn’t all that’s new about this shoe. The last (new about a year ago) has been dialed in to maximize the fit for as many runners as possible—a little to either side of a medium arch. The strength of the Salvation is that it fits well and has outstanding cushioning and stability. The upper switches to EVA in the tongue for better protection, a different open mesh, and repositioned overlays that reduce the weight. The midsole features a minor extension of the ProModerator support and a full-length adiPrene Strobel board for seamless cushioning. Small reductions here and there add up to almost half an ounce shaved off the weight of the shoe. The cushy ride and reliable stability earned the adiStar Salvation our Best Motion Stabilizing Shoe award. “It fits very well. I feel that it gives very good arch support and toes have enough room. Very good cushion—almost like slippers underfoot. Foot felt stable and secure with no rolling. Pleased with the overall capabilities of the shoe.” Sizes: Men 6.5–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 13.3 oz. (size 11); Women 10.8 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, adiPRENE+ Strobel board (heel) • For: medium- to high-arched feet with moderate overpronation

ASICS GEL–1140—$85

BEST VALUE SPRING 2009

The GEL-1140 has a lengthy heritage in the ASICS line. Runners looking for effective stability on a budget have always responded to this model. The 1100 series has been the beneficiary of a generous trickle-down of ASICS’ experience and technology. The upper is little changed from the 1130, even using what appears to be the same mesh, with the expected minor tweaks to the overlays. The tailoring has been adjusted for a better heel fit and more room in the toebox. The midsole is time-proven SpEVA (ASICS’ preferred foam prior to its introduction of Solyte), and this configuration gives the 1140 a stable, well-cushioned ride. The outersole is classic ASICS fare: AHAR (carbon rubber) heel with a blown rubber forefoot. The combination of the fit, stability, ride, and—most of all—price earned the GEL-1140 our Best Value award. “From the first time I tried the shoes on they fit my foot perfectly. I felt like my foot was supported and cushioned. It's like running on a gel pack. It seems to help my pushoff. My foot feels well balanced and secure in the shoes while I’m running.” Sizes: Men 6–13,14,15,16,17 (D), 7–13,14,15,16,17 (2E,4E); Women 5–12 (B,D) • Weight: Men 12.8 oz. (size 11); Women 10.5 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: slip-lasted • For: low- to medium–high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 9—$105 Over time, the Adrenaline series has been very consistent; the overall visual impression is one of gradual change. But it also retains the familiar, and that’s a strength of the Adrenaline—it fits and works for its audience. The Adrenaline GTS 9 is “one of the boys,” but with a few tricks up its sleeve. The upper is the same Element mesh, with slightly larger holes to better handle moisture from the foot. The midsole, added this season, is BioMogo, which does a great job of cushioning and, when you’re done with the shoe, it doesn’t last forever in a landfill. The ride is very stable with enough cushioning to keep runners coming back. The HPR carbon heel and blown rubber forefoot are effective and familiar—a known commodity. Runners who swear by the shoe will be pleased, and those looking for stability, fit, and cushioning, have another option to try. “These shoes fit very well. I didn’t have any break-in period, right out of the box [they] fit. I like that. There were several pluses in these shoes: they were comfortable, durable, and stable. A good training shoe, not too heavy, not too light.” Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 5–12,13 • Weight: Men 12.5 oz. (size 11); Women 10.5 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: combination Strobel lasted, Texon board (heel), S257 Strobel board (forefoot) • For: medium- to high-arched feet with moderate overpronation

Etonic Jepara 3 SC—$110 The strength of the original Jepara was its combination of cushioning and effective stability. The Jepara 3 has outdistanced the earlier versions by tackling their weakness: weight. The upper is a uniform open mesh, with stretch mesh and HF-welds across the metatarsal region to provide a forgiving, yet supportive fit, and a much plusher feel. The midsole features redesigned flex grooves for better forefoot flexibility, an adjusted second density of foam for better stability, TPR inserts only in key impact areas, and a redesigned shank—all of which save weight while providing better stability and support. The effectiveness of the polyurethane innersole and EVA Strobel board combine to enhance the ride, just as they have in other Etonic shoes. The total weight saving is almost 1.4 ounces, testament to the role judicious use of materials plays in a quality running shoe. “On the first few runs, I thought [it] was relatively stiff, but after a little break-in [it] fits well and is comfortable. The foot feels slightly controlled, but it does produce a comfortable footstrike. Compares well with the major brands I have tried.” Sizes: Men 8–14; Women 6–12 • Weight: Men 13.4 oz. (size 11); Women 11.0 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • For: medium- to high-arched feet with moderate overpronation

iv | Running Network 2009 Spring Shoe Review

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M OTION S TABILIZING Karhu Strong Fulcrum Ride—$140 Karhu’s shoes over the past few seasons were appreciated for their low profile and responsive feeling. The Strong Fulcrum Ride features Karhu’s Fulcrum technology (think “mini teeter-totter”) to improve responsiveness by pivoting the foot forward after touchdown. Shortening the time on the heel also reduces overpronation. The upper is a well-supported airmesh, but with few overlays and a bunion-friendly open forefoot. The interior is plush and accommodating. The multi-part midsole features an effective heel crash pad and a stable configuration of the Fulcrum element with a flexible forefoot. The polyurethane memory foam innersole adds an extra measure of comfort. The durable, full-length carbon rubber outersole provided excellent traction. “Great, low-profile fit, one of the most comfortable pair of shoes I’ve ever put on. The cushion is very comfortable, but still bouncy. Strong lateral control, great on the ankles. Have really enjoyed these shoes on runs of 10 miles or shorter.” Sizes: Men 8–13,14; Women 6–11 • Weight: Men 12.6 oz. (size 11); Women 10.5 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted • For: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation

K-Swiss Run One miSOUL Tech—$125 K-Swiss demonstrates its commitment to running with its new miSOUL (Modular Interchangeable Sole Technology), a midsole structure designed to accommodate different snap-in innersoles. The Run One comes with two options: a Cushion innersole with resilient rubbery inserts and a Light configuration. By changing them depending on your workout, they don’t get compressed as quickly as the traditional innersole. (You can also purchase replacements.) The combination-lasted design adds stability, along with the dual density midsole and shank supports of the miSOUL components. The upper is open airmesh with cooling perforations through the toecap and the perimeter of the heel, and rubbery thermoplastic overlays give a snug but forgiving midfoot fit. The outersole is traditional carbon rubber in the heel, blown rubber in the forefoot. The combination of the familiar and the innovative earned the K-Swiss Run One our Best New Shoe award. “Quite comfortable, nestles my foot nicely, no signs of blistering or hot spots. I preferred the feel of the Light insole, it enveloped my heel much more snugly. I liked this shoe and the idea of two insoles.” Sizes: Men 7–13,14 (D); Women 6–11,12 (D) • Weight: Men 13.2 oz./14.0 oz. (size 11, with each insole); Women 11.1 oz./11.9 oz. (size 8, with each insole) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel combination lasted, Superfoam (forefoot) and thermoplastic (heel) Strobel board • For: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation

Nike Zoom Structure Triax+ 12—$100 Gender specificity, championed by the Structure Triax+ in the Nike line, is evident in this version, which is precisely tuned for men and women. This version features the unchanged midsole chassis that worked well for the Structure Triax 11: Phylon, an articulated second density with TPU, and a decoupled crash pad that curbs overpronation while allowing the foot to effectively transition. As a shoe that’s largely on target, the upper features only minor changes. The mesh has a better feel to it (smaller holes feel less coarse) and the overlays have been replaced with HF-welds wherever possible to reduce seams. The outersole is almost the same, with a slightly thicker Duralon layer in the forefoot providing extra protection. Devotees will find the Structure Triax+ 12 to their liking, and runners looking for a stable, supportive shoe with a roomy forefoot would be advised to give it consideration. “The first few miles had a soft footfall and I wondered how many miles the cushion will hold up—it hasn’t quit yet. The shoes performed well, and overall I think they are as solid as the other shoes I’ve tried in the category.” Sizes: Men 6–13,14,15 (D,wide,narrow,4E); Women 5–12 (B,wide,narrow,4E widths) • Weight: Men 13.3 oz. (size 11); Women 11.4 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • For: medium- to high-arched feet with moderate overpronation

Pearl Izumi SyncroPace III—$115 The evolution of Pearl Izumi’s SyncroFrame shoes has taken a stable technology and adapted the ride to increase the comfort, finally dialing in the combination of stability and cushion. The ride has been softened with a combination of Skydex and foam. The major change is in the outersole, which has been segmented into pods to improve transition and flexibility. The cushioned feel up front is achieved by a new Skydex bag in the forefoot (effectively used in last season’s award-winning Streak), combined with a better midsole foam. The strength of the SyncroPace continues to be the stability of the SyncroFrame. A dual density innersole feels soft on top, but has a supportive, dense layer underfoot. The seamless upper offers a snug fit with a plush interior, a fan favorite. Several testers have a newfound respect for the shoes, which is testament to sound design. “I love the fit of these shoes! They are comfortable the moment you put them on. The cushioning is the first thing you notice. They ride a little firmer than they feel, but I didn’t develop any problems/injuries elsewhere in my leg, hips, etc. I was impressed with it as an excellent, light shoe with a surprisingly long-term cushioning feel.” Sizes: Men 7–13,14; Women 5–11,12 • Weight: Men 14.2 oz. (size 11); Women 11.9 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • For: medium- to high-arched feet with moderate overpronation

Under Armour UA Revenant—$120 After several years of development, Under Armour rolls out its running shoe line. The experienced development team guaranteed that every detail of the technology and function of the shoes was attended to. The upper is open airmesh with a close-fitting, gusseted tongue that Under Armour calls “FootSleeve,” tying its shoes to its compression apparel. The midsole employs ArmourGuide, a cradle that offers stability and support. A rubbery material called Cartilage is designed to improve the cushioning between the cradle and the EVA. The EVA formulations in heel and forefoot—Armourlastic and ArmourBound—contribute to the responsive ride. The articulated heel curbs overpronation by lateral release, stabilizing and smoothing the transition. Relying only on the strength of its own technologies, Under Armour has done a very good job right out of the gate. “Good fit, no blisters, lots of toe room. The tongue could be a bit longer; it just kind of hits into the top of my ankle. I like the bouncy feel, not too squishy. Great stability, my foot was nice and straight, staying right on top of the shoe.” Sizes: Men 8–13,14,15; Women 6–11,12 • Weight: Men 13.8 oz. (size 11); Women 11.2 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • For: medium- to high-arched feet with moderate overpronation v | Running Network 2009 Spring Shoe Review

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P ERFORMANCE STABILITY

ASICS GEL-DS Trainer 14—$110 ASICS has refined the three key areas of the GEL-DS Trainer: upper, midsole, and outersole. The upper is still open mesh with Biomorphic Fit inserts, but by adjusting the asymmetrical lacing to restore the familiar sizing and support, the upper fits better. The overlays sport new tailoring that gives a better fit through the heel and midfoot. The midsole features a shorter medial second density, which may be partly responsible for the slightly softer feel. ASICS reports that the midsole is a millimeter thinner and the outersole is 2 millimeters thicker, making the forefoot a little more responsive. That extra millimeter has been added to the blown rubber in the forefoot, improving the ride and helping to cradle an insert of high-traction rubber called Wet-Grip that has been added to the forefoot. Fans of the shoe will like the adjustments—it’s still stable, responsive, and light. “I really like the snugness of these shoes; they fit around my feet very well. Great feel, lighter than average, good cushioning. The flexy region [Biomorphic Fit inserts] of the uppers is fabulous.” Sizes: Men 6–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 11.4 oz. (size 11); Women 9.1 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: slip-lasted • For: low- to medium–high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation, for faster-paced runs

NEUTRAL

Mizuno Waverider 12—$100 The Waverider alternates between being a performance shoe and a midweight training shoe. Version 12 has slimmed down to a Performance weight (under 340 grams). A quick glance at the upper reveals a more open mesh, with overlays that are a bit more substantial and supportive. Trying them on reveals a snugger fit and a softer step-in feel, thanks to the addition of the Ortholite innersole. The midsole is noticeably thinner. The ride is more responsive, which is good for lighter runners and shorter runs, but on longer runs, testers noted that it seemed a bit less cushioned than earlier Waveriders. In a development new to Mizuno, the shoes have been designed for gender differences, with the women’s version featuring more flex grooves to accommodate less body mass to flex the shoe, while the men’s version has a broader flare in the sole for a better landing area. “I like the lower cut on the back, many shoes are too high on the Achilles tendon. Need more support and cushioning, though they did fine for mid-length runs. Light compared to what I normally run in—hardly know I’m wearing them.” Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15,16 (D,2E); Women 6–12 (AA,B) • Weight: Men 11.9 oz. (size 11); Women 9.4 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted • For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics, for mid-mileage runs

NEUTRAL

Nike Zoom Start+—$88 The Start was conceived as a shoe for those who want to begin running. No matter what level you are, all runners need good shoes and the Start is a good shoe. The aim was to begin with the Vomaro and create a little sibling. The upper is airmesh in front and closed mesh from the midfoot to the heel. Then Nike minimized the overlays and threw on some Flywire for “tech” appeal. The midsole is Cushlon (thinned a bit to reduce price and weight, and improve flexibility), with a Zoom bag in the heel, and gender-specific design reflected in varied flex grooves and crash pads. The outersole is the Waffle design of the Bowerman shoes, Nike’s best multi-surface traction. The ride is well cushioned and responsive, which is the hallmark of the Cushlon foam. The price tag is perhaps the best surprise—the value here is outstanding. “I liked the way these shoes feel from the first time they went on my feet. The cushioning and flexibility in the forefoot make them very comfortable to run in. Overall, I am very impressed with this shoe. Comfortable, light, and stable.” Sizes: Men 6–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 11.8 oz. (size 11); Women 10.0 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board • For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics

STABILITY

Puma Complete Concinnity III—$95 With its unique look, the original Concinnity charted a new design direction for Puma. The Concinnity III makes a few wellconsidered changes. The upper is an open airmesh with a well-finished interior. A traditional lacing system replaces the asymmetrical lacing of the I and II, giving this version a secure, but roomy fit. A deeper throat and a reshaped toe also help. The midsole is reconfigured with a smaller second density, a slightly more flexible forefoot, and a lower profile feel. While the cushioning is good for a lightweight runner, some of our testers found that it was not substantial enough for longer runs or heavier runners. The outersole features EverTrack carbon rubber throughout, with blown rubber in the lateral forefoot for durable cushioning. Overall, the improvements succeed in providing a solid stability alternative in the Performance category. “I really liked the snug fit. The comfort and bounce were great for short fast runs, but would not recommend them for anything long.” Sizes: Men 6–13,14,15,16; Women 5.5–11.5 • Weight: Men 11.9 oz. (size 11); Women 9.5 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, full-length EVA Strobel board • For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation, for faster-paced runs

NEUTRAL

BEST SHOE Performance SP

RIN G 200

9

Zoot Ultra TT 2.0—$135 Zoot’s Ultra footwear line is geared to triathletes. The 2.0 offers better cushioning while shaving weight from a very light shoe. The upper has more open mesh, an exposed neoprene insert for a snug-but-forgiving fit, and a DryLex moisture-wicking lining combined with antimicrobial silver nanotechnology. The midsole offers a more generous layer of Z-BOUND, and an extended shank for better stability. Thermoplastic overlays and large holes in the tongue and heel improve the grip and help you get the shoe on fast. The outersole has been upgraded to a tougher carbon rubber in the high-wear areas and combined with blown rubber and TPU to lighten it and improve the ride. All these features meet the needs of triathletes, while providing all runners with low profile, efficient performance. The upgraded materials, design, and performance earned the Ultra TT 2.0 our Best Performance Shoe award. “Fit like a second skin, very minimal. Great light weight. I like it when shoe companies understand that a shoe doesn’t have to be beefy to be good at what it does.” Sizes: Men 8–12,13,14; Women 6–10,11 • Weight: Men 9.9 oz. (size 11); Women 7.7 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted • For: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics, for faster-paced runs vi | Running Network 2009 Spring Shoe Review

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*-2&0 

For an Under Armour dealer near you, go to:

WWW.UNDERARMOUR.COM

UA REVENANT // STABILITY

UA APPARITION // NEUTRAL

WWW.UNDERARMOUR.COM

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APPARITION // NEUTRAL

Some athletes run to train. Some athletes train to run.

©2009 UNDER ARMOUR® Performance.

But make no mistake – ALL ATHLETES RUN.

UA REVENANT // STABILITY

UA APPARITION // NEUTRAL

WWW.UNDERARMOUR.COM


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asics.com

GEL-Kayano速 15


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