Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Product Review - New Balance 1400 - Womens

With the minimalist movement in full stride, some runners are making the switch while many runners are asking questions and are on the fence.  As with everything in my life, I am moving more and more towards minimalism, even though I will never be one of those runners that can run more than 10K probably in a minimalist shoe.  I wouldn't be able to walk for a week afterwards!

If you’re one of those runners that want to make the switch, but aren’t ready to make the switch to a true barefoot running shoe, I suggest transitioning a lightweight trainer or adding a lightweight trainer to your running shoe collection.  These are my 2nd pair of not only minimalist shoes, but 2nd pair of New Balance.  I think they are definitely on to something.  (My first pair being the Minimus; not sure where the PR is for that one as I couldnt locate it on my blog).

Using a lightweight trainer or racing flat gives you a little cushion so you can ease your way into forefoot running instead of making a significant change in running your form in a short amount of time.  Now I’m not saying making a drastic change isn’t good for you, you just need to ease your way into it.

The New Balance RC 1400 is in the racing flat category, which typically has shoe characteristics of being lightweight and not having a lot of support or cushioning.  Sound familiar?  It should if you’ve been paying attention to any of the past minimalist running shoe claims for the past couple of years.

From New Balance: The RC 1400 weighs in at 7.1 oz. for the men’s shoe and 5.7 oz. for the women’s shoe.  Compared to the standard running shoe that weighs between 9-12 oz., this is a fairly significant amount of weight taken off a shoe.  The midsole is comprised of foam called REV lite which is lighter than traditional EVA foam and provides plenty of bounce, or response.  For most runners, you won’t notice a significant difference compared to other EVA foams used.  The upper of the New Balance RC 1400 is very minimal is design. Instead of having multiple layers of mesh, the upper in the RC 1400 has one single layer of mesh.  This helps cut down on weight and bulk.

One of the downsides to consider when using a lightweight trainer or racing flat as an everyday running shoe is the life of the shoe.  Since the original design of the shoe was to go fast and be lightweight, durability and longevity sometimes takes a back seat.

I personally found the New Balance RC 1400 running shoe to be a fun shoe to run in.  It’s light, comfortable, I can log a shorter run in them (definitely not anything over 10K for me in these things!), and they would definitely turn heads with the fluorescent color patterns being used.

The RC 1400s will be a great travel shoe because they are so flexible, light weight, and take up virtually no room in your bag.  I can bend them in two and smash down in a carry on, no problem.  The upper is seamless and has a nice snug, but not overly tight wrap for my average width foot. There is plenty of room in the toe box without feeling too clunky. My only beef is with the tongue (no joke intended), which has a habit of rolling up on itself while in use and creating some bunching when worn with socks.

I also got a pair of new Nikes this past weekend, which haven't even hit the shelves yet.  The name/style of them escapes me right now, but I have the box in the car and I have only worn them for a few hours while working at the store on Sunday, so no review yet. 

These are touted as a cross trainer, so I will be trying them out in the gym on non-running days (do those even exist?)  :) 

One of the perks of the job, even at part time, I still get cool things for free!!!

What is something new you've tried and liked?  Or disliked?  I am always looking for something new and exciting in the running arena!  Shoes.  Shorts.  Tops.  Nutrition.  Anything?

1 comment:

Jamoosh said...

One of the problems with the minimalist movement is the starting point for most runners. Runners have adapted over many years, for better or for worse, in a specific shoe. Hence, the move to a minimalist shoe is not for the person in a big hurry. Also form, strength and balance play a critical role. If someone has been running in a shoe that compensates for any of these, they are starting out in a precarious position if they choose a minimalist approach.
The shoe one uses should be based on things like the strength of the foot (stronger foot = more minimalist; weaker foot = more cushion) and where the foot lands (more midfoot = more minimalist; more rear heal = more cushioning).
I don't think it's a bad thing for people to look toward a more minimalist shoe, but they really need to know where they are starting out or else they are an injury waiting to happen and that doesn't do anybody any good.