Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Spike This!!! A quick review on a new pair of SHOES

As you may have read a few posts ago, I picked up a pair of Asics Gel-Arctic WR2’s a while back. I finally got to use them on last nights and tonight’s run:

(High Res pics so click to have a better look if you like!  Blue thing is for removing carbide tips.)
The official write up goes something like this:

This is a winter shoe, designed to beat the elements. Replaceable spikes grab the ice and snow, a water resistant upper helps keep your feet warm and dry, and the GEL® Cushioning System provides lightweight shock attenuation during impact and toe-off.
When  I read a review of this shoe on the web, the author got into the weight of the shoe (who gives a crap cares) and specifically about the difference 3 ounces makes...I mean really. If I weigh 195 lbs...that’s 3120 ounces (correct the math if I’m wrong)...hmmmmm 3/3120 = about 0.1% of my entire body weight. Considering I am floundering, flailing, running in the snow, I don’t think that makes much of a difference. My bigger concern was getting on dry pavement and skittering across it like Bambi on the Ice (remember Bambi?) which I think is what I was trying to avoid in the first place...does that make sense???

Well, happy to say no worries. Initially,  I found I was still running with the anticipation of wiping out but it never materialized. The carbide tips on the shoes just extend beyond the rubber soles...and in fact, when you step, the spikes just grip enough to assist you in not when you put your weight into the entire step, there is lotsa rubber on the if it is just kinda “click” along. Once I realized this, my pace did not improve much but my confidence did.

I found not much difference in the heavier snow other than the fact my feet were toasty warm instead of a bit cool from the mesh sneaks.  The big difference was when I hit some icy wind swept pavement or cement. Stuck like glue baby...awesome, just what I wanted out of this shoe! What made it sweeter was the fact that they are last years model so I got them for ½ price (about $70). Add to the fact that the spikes are removable and I also not have a wet weather runner for the summer if I want.

In the end,  I ended up really enjoying yesterday's run. I enjoyed tonight’s even more as I was a bit more prepared for the grip. Big bonus...after 20 kms, no blisters, rubs or anything on my feet. The only thing I did not enjoy was the wind-chill that made it feel like -15 ° C (5 ° F) but that is just a fact of life living where I live. Considering I grew up where most of the winter was - 40° C (- 40° C), it’s pretty balmy around here.

In other news, I can’t see any future roadblocks (knock on head) to making my 900 miles by Dec I will do my best to exceed my own “aspirations”. I have discovered that running all layered up is a pain in the ass but also a necessity. On my Monday night run, I actually did not have the right gear on (in a rush...duhhhh) and ran with a moisture wick long sleeve and a fleece which offers zero wind resistance. Well, not bad on the outbound run as I was going into the wind but where it was not howling. Unfortunately, the last 10 minutes of the run where directly into the wind (well below 0/32 in the temp dept). So cool that I actually had ice crystals forming on the inside of the fleece on the outside the shirt. For those of you who don’t know, that can be really dangerous as you can unknowingly drop your core temp and really run into So, lesson learned, wear the right gear. Tonight’s run was a wick free shirt, long sleeve cotton, short sleeve cotton and my Asics LIME GREEN mesh breathable windbreaker and lined running pants.

Either way, hope this impromptu review helps somebody. I am glad I bought the sneaks even if they are for a very narrow window of training.

PS...These would probably not work well on the treadmill EMZ.........stay warm all, later eh


Raegun said...

It must be Cold Weather Gear Review day or something! ;)

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

Glad to hear these held up and you didn't fall on your bum!!!

ThE MidLiFe CrUiSeR said...

Have you ever considered taking up ice skating? ;) Much more practical me thinks!

(36 year old fulltime RVer living la vida loca with a cute-butt husband and a stink-butt dog!)

Lee said...

Hey, your post helped me - I was doing the Bambi last night, and wondering if I should put some duct tape over the mesh part of my shoes as a wind block - but I usually save that for -30 weather. Might have to consider buying a pair of those shoes. For the most part the roads are clear, but when you have to go on the sidewalk, or some of the backroads.... Last night I wore two layers of tights, one long sleeved wicking shirt with a wicking t-shirt over top and my windbreaker. I was just right. Had my thin wicking balaclava but only needed it up over my face when I was head on into the wind - love me some winter running, take it over 3o+ with humidity. Nice to find your blog. I'm in Ottawa.

Kovas Palubinskas said...

So great getting a sale item that works great! Nice review.

Lee said...

Hey, I just linked to your post about the shoes in my blog, thanks - don't know if you get some automatic notification or not?

Shawn said...

Hi Lee....I don't get any notification....but hey...thanx for the plug...stay warm.

Chris K said...

You Canadians are Studs. I can't wrap my brain around the conditions you run in. I'm the guy who complained when it dropped down to 41 deg F.

Michelle said...

Nice review. I was very tempted by the Nike winter running shoes last year. They have the same fit as the Lunar Glides that I normally where. Seeing as how it is currently -33 here in the Peg, might be something I'll look into now! The only thing better than a kickass pair of winter runners is half-price kickass winter runners! Had to laugh at the original reviewer talking about the weight of the shoe. I've never understood that one either. If I even put on an extra layer of bottoms, I've doubled the weight of my pants and I don't whip out my food scale to see by how much!