Okay, look. I didn't plan on new running shoes until at least July or even August I swear (!) but...last week I was getting ready for a run and I noticed that my New Balance 1010s had started to have an issue. The fabric on one side of my left shoe started to pull away from the plastic side of the shoe.
It got to the point where I had to tie my laces a bit tighter to compensate for the growing gap on the side of my shoe. My new tight laces were now too tight and I was finding myself fighting a constant battle between a numb foot and a shoe that was too loose. So I went on Facebook, straight to the New Balance Canada's page and saw that another consumer had posted about a defect in a different model but had success with their customer service line. Duh! So I called and explained what had happened and to my surprise they said they would replace the shoes if I sent the defective pair in to them. Sweet! Then reality hit and I realized I didn't have a back up pair to wear. Not that I wanted to continue to wear my increasingly annoying 1010s either though.
So that's how I came to be face to face with a wall of running shoes on a Sunday, my 6 year old daughter preoccupying herself with the kids section a few feet away. Shoe after shoe I looked for the tell-tale signs of a trail shoe (big lugs) but found only road shoes that look like they would be a one-way ticket to the hospital on the slick rocks I'll be running. Finally I found the one pair of trail running shoes they had, luckily in my size to boot.
My initial impression of the Asic Gel-Kahana 6 is that it like slipping your foot into a pillow. The shoe hugs your foot without making it feel constricted, even the tongue is padded a little bit. The sole has sizable lugs, I think it'll handle mud and slick rocks pretty well. One thing was missing though, the feel of the ground beneath me. It feels really strange to go from feeling every rock to feeling just a big cushion underfoot. I realize I might damage any credibility I might have as a minimalist runner by wearing these but I can't say I don't appreciate the extra cushion.
Well, tomorrow is another Monday and another training run scheduled. I'll let you know how they handle the roads/trails.