I have a smartphone. I have seen intelligent buildings. There are even smart homes which you can control its lighting, security alarms and even the bath water remotely via the hand phone. I’m all for technology when it’s used to improve our lives, one way or the other. For the first time the other day, I came across a “smart” running shoe in the shape of Brooks’s latest addition called “Transcend”.
In most cases when running shoe brands launch new shoe models, the new features tend to be as a result of tweaking or improvement of old ideas which are then marketed to the mass public as the fastest, lightest, or it even promises to make you a better runner. Sometimes, the only thing that has changed is the shoe’s aesthetic features such as external design and more trendy colours. Sometimes, clever marketing is all it takes to improve shoe sales. As a runner, I am not persuaded by marketing gimmicks to tell me what shoes will help my running game. I know my foot-type, and the stride which I strive for during my runs. Equally important, my shoe selection will be largely influenced by the type of terrain (road or trail) and the race distance (a short 10km or a full marathon) involved. Sometimes,I cringe when I see runners wear light weight & indoor training type of shoes during a full marathon: Would you drive a F3 racing car in a Formula One race? Like an inferior racing car, a poorly supported shoe can cause lasting damage to your feet and knee-joints over longer distances.
I also get annoyed when I see shoe manufacturers hastily try to jump on the band wagon & come-up with a new shoe because they spot a market trend which they want to exploit. A classic example is the recent past trends of MINIMALIST running shoes. Unfortunately, many shoe brands fail to deliver a good final product because with these zero-drop shoes, there was too much feel and not enough support. In my opinion, the only runners who have the right running technique to run in these minimalist shoes are bare-foot runners & runners who wear vibrams (webbed toe shoes or looks like gloves for the feet). The rest of the runners would forego feel for the more desirable comfort and support in their runs. So why did the zero-drop shoe fail to fly-off the shelves? I think it’s because the market researchers underestimated the importance placed on comfort by the recreational runners or weekend warriors in the long run. After all, not many runners are willing to feel their feet pounding constantly on the road for more than one hour. Moreover, with zero-drop, many amateur runners may not have the strength to run on the fore-foot for hours. The bottomline is that some runners were lured to try minimalist shoes as a novelty but when they realised how difficult and uncomfortable it proved to be, they all sooned went running back to their old tried and tested and well-padded shoes!
Now, going back to the new Transcend shoes by Brooks…I call this the smart shoe because it has so many technology features which make the runners life easier. Firstly, with Transcend, you don’t have to worry about support because there is adequate padding to make your road run super comfortable no matter the distance traveled. At the same time, the shoe is light enough, and you will hardly feel its weight as you glide along as though you are running on clouds! What is really outstanding about Transcend is the fact that no matter what is your running style or stride, the shoe is designed to fit your feet and natural movement. How? Brooks have invented a “guide rail” which is strategically placed below your ankle joint. These guide rails will ensure that your running alignment does steer off-course. This is particularly useful towards the latter part of your run when your muscles get tired and the guide rails will keep your running line straight and on your natural path of least resistance. Added to the guide rails, Brooks are also using a new and improved Super DNA material which gives 25% more cushioning than any other Brook shoe model.
Wait, there’s more…
Ideal Pressure Zones – distributes pressure evenly within the heel, mid-foot and forefoot. The shock of impact will not feel magnified in any one area, as it gets minimized and spread out evenly.
Ideal Heel – aligns every stride naturally. Focus is put on where your heel usually lands in its natural motion.
Plush Upper – conforms to every foot for a custom fit. With a soft, comfortable and luxurious feel, your running will reach an experience of a new level.
Are you ready to test drive your first smart shoes?
Ask me how!