Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Running Shoes Review: Kinvara 2 and Brooks Ravenna 2

Finally, I have had the time to go out and test my latest two new running shoes. I broke down and bought some new shoes after having a good run with my Asics Kayano 16.

My Asics brought me great joys over the last 300 plus miles running plus about 100 plus miles in walking use. I tried to keep them to just running, but that did not happen. These bad boys have been through it all. From my great accomplishment of finishing the Urbanathlon last year, through the stress fractures and injuries, to finally getting back in stride.

It is time to finally move these to just general use shoes. No more running in these bad boys. I have had to add some generic insoles for my poor fat, flat feet that needed some extra support. It has been a good time together, but time has ended. I really wanted to buy a pair of the Kayano 17, but looking at a $160 price tag stopped those thoughts

What was I to do?

I bought two pairs of running shoes for under $200. One for races and one for training. I figured I owed it to myself after all the running I have done and all the running I have coming up this summer and fall.

The first pair I bought that arrive are the Brooks Ravenna 2.

I ran 8 miles last Sunday. I ran two 4 mile intervals testing out my two new shoes. I ran four miles, felt really good. Stopped for about 2 minutes to change shoes, drink some water and GU and took off for another 4.

The first thing I noticed about these shoes were how light they were compared to my Asics. I don't know if this is like a placebo effect where because they were so new everything felt great, but I really did not think I was wearing shoes. My Asics have been abused and used with insoles added so the weight difference was well noted. These only weigh 11 oz compared to the 12.7 oz weight of my Asics.

I loved these shoes! I plan on running with them again this morning for further testing, but these really felt great. In the June issue of runner's World these were marked as the Editor's Choice and I can see why. I had zero discomfort except in my one shoe that I did not lace up properly. The magazine said the shoe had cushioning for heel to mid foot strikers which I am one of those runners. Especially when I get tired my feet(heels) drill the pavement. I felt the cushion and just felt much lighter on my feet. I hope this feeling lasts and if so Brooks has just won a new shoe buyer.

The other shoe I purchased is one that has been talked about in a few magazines, but I have also talked about them with some runners I know. These are the Saucony Progrid Kinvara 2

Now, talk about not feeling like you have shoes on....these only weight 8.2 oz. I really enjoyed these shoes, but it took me some time to get used to them. I think part of this was due to switching shoes in about 2 minutes and really liking the Brooks Ravenna 2. At first I thought the shoes I bought were too big as it felt like the toe was folding up on me. As I continued to run and my feet continued to swell in the heat this sensation was eliminated. Also, being such a light shoe I wonder if I felt the shoes more being that there is so much less of a shoe. I liked these shoes. I look forward to racing in these shoes in some upcoming runs. I don't think I will run in these shoes more than once a week due to the support. I don't think these shoes are the most ideal for a 6'4'' 220 lb flat footed bald guy. However, with that being said, I am in good shape and look forward to these shoes helping me feel lighter on my feet come race day. These shoes are the next step to the barefoot/minimal shoe level of running. It literally felt like I was running in socks. These shoes were also marked as the Best Runner's Buy in the June 2011 Runner's World magazine.

I am very happy with both shoes. I think I have made two wise purchases. I will you posted on how things continue to unfold with them. If you have other shoes that you like please let me know because I am constantly looking for shoes to help my flat feet as many of the shoes that come out are not designed for feet like mine.

1 comment:

Heczo8 said...

Hi I am just a poor runner from the Philippines. How I wish I could have those shoes you wear. But I'm trying to save a little now, to buy a new one. I have five old shoes now, but all of them needs replacement. The newest of them are two years old and already excessive in standard mileage.