Last week I was lucky enough to be asked to review some running shoes from the Sports Direct website and, of course, I was more than happy to - I got to pick a pair with a value of up to £50 and then give them a go.
I've got to say that I would never have considered buying running shoes for £50 before, or just going online and buying a new make/model without having tried them on, but I was really impressed with the whole experience. There were a fair number of shoes to choose from, some good discount prices, and and enough information about the shoe to make a decision about the level of support it offered.
I had to choose from the "Running Shoes" section of the website so I knew all the shoes would have been designed for pounding the streets, and as there was a price limit (and I'd only recently bought some new Asics) I decided to do what I never do, and just chose some trainers that I thought looked good! After much consideration I got a pair of these gorgeous Nikes:
|Ladies Nike LunarSwift +3|
I wear a size 7 (UK) in normal shoes, but always have to size up in trainers so I decided to order to size 8 (UK).
I get very excited about new trainers, and when they arrived on Friday morning I couldn't help myself but put them on straight away and wear them to work - I'm lucky enough to work in an office where jeans and trainers are ok! I would never do that with normal running shoes...but I just thought they looked so cool! :)
Having bought my new shoes online without trying them on, I was really surprised that they actually fit me really well - sizing up was definitely necessary though. They've got a wide toe-box, which might be a bit much for some people, but it meant my square clod-hoppers had all the room I needed to be comfortable which is often a problem for me. They also have an unusual upper, where the tongue isn't separate and you can't really open the shoe up too much, so you just have to squeeze your foot in. Although this means that potentially (I imagine) over time the upper around the ankle might get stretched or damaged, it also means that straight out of the box, these trainers fit my ankle and the top of my foot perfectly. They're snug, don't slip at all, but not too tight either. The other noticeable difference in the Nikes to my normal trainers, is the very pronounced arch support - in fairness though, the website does specifically call them high arch trainers...I've found this in other Nikes though and it does feel a bit weird, but isn't uncomfortable, and just something that I imagine I'll get used to.
After wearing my new shoes for the day at work, and being relatively confident I wasn't going to get any rubbing, on Friday night I took them out for a run - I planned to do at least 4 miles (so a turn around at 2 if they were hurting) but ending up doing 10 miles in them. They're very light, and although it was immediately obvious that they don't have the underfoot impact cushioning of my Asics (an absolute world away from the Kayanos) I found myself naturally mid-foot striking in them, and so didn't have any problems, and after a mile or so didn't feel the arch support, and was quite comfortable running in them for an hour and a half. I was really surprised that a pair of £50 trainers I hadn't tried on before buying them could turn out to be so successful!
As a heavier runner though, who gets lazy and heel strikes when I tired, I do think I need decent impact cushioning for my long runs and for the 20 miler I ran yesterday, I reverted to my Asics (which, if I'd bought them online, I know realise would have been a damn sight cheaper!) I'm very happy with the new Nikes though, and think I'll probably continue to use them for shorter runs, if only to encourage my mid-foot strike..and also because I really enjoyed running in trainers that I think look great!