See the thing about me is, I’m vain. Or rather some of the things I like to get, I like to keep nice and shiny. Yeah I know, sue me. But that’s why you’ll find that if you look long and hard at my shoe inventory (I’m a runner, what can I say), pretty much any shoe I ever lace up with the knowledge that I’ll be going through mud or even lakes and rivers, are all dark in color. Blacks, greys, dark blues. Why?
Because that way the dirt doesn’t show. I told you I was vain.
Then not long ago I became the owner of a rather flash pair of the Reebok One Cushion Trail shoe. They are bright yellow. The kind of shoe that isn’t shy to let you know it’s there. You know that one friend we all have that has no sense of shame that can do that piercing whistle across a 4 acre parking lot and wave at you for your attention? That’s what these shoes are. However they back up their flash with substance with some left in the tank for some to spare.
When I first tried them on a trail, the first thing I noticed was not just how light and flexible they are, but the teeth on the bottom that just won’t quit. Putting them on, they already have that “broken in” quality that your favorite slippers have, but still have the rigidity and support you’d expect. A neat trick if you can pull it off.
So the first trail run, albeit a reasonably flat one with only a few rolling hills, and immediately the first benefit came rushing to the surface. In order to fully test them, I changed my stride a few times. I land almost flat footed, but changed to a heel-to-toe, the impact each time was absorbed so it felt like I was running on balls of cotton. Sprinting on the balls of my feet proved no different. It’s as though the shoe was mocking me, “Oh yeah, think you can trick me? No problem, I’ve got that part of the foot covered too”.
But the real shocker and ultimately, the most pleasant surprise was one borne of my refusal to get my shiny shoes dirty. I tried them out on the sidewalks and roads and despite the teeth on the bottom, the shoes are so well balanced, they are perfect for road running. In fact, I placed so much confidence in them, I used them over my regular road running shoe and they saw me take off over 40 minutes off my PR when I finished the Long Beach Marathon. What’s more, I attribute this to just how good my feet and lower legs felt throughout the course. Impact was getting absorbed, the shoes were snug, yet not tight and gave me that extra little spring we all know we like.
So, whether it was deliberate or not, what you have here is a shoe that is equally at home helping you collect your Trifecta, or tearing up PR’s in road races. A very useful asset to have in your arsenal, wouldn’t you say?
Make sure to try a pair for the next Spartan race that you sign up for at Spartanrace.com