DTR: Define the Relationship

by: Amish James 

Dearst Newton,

I must agree with Schrup. We had quite the time. I don’t even know where to begin. I mean you usually find the romance, the looks, OR the intellect. Rarely do you find all three.! You delivered. I mean, the St. Julien?

I know Schrup was afraid to sleep on the bed but I just jumped right in. I loved the evening runs watching the sun set, the wine in the lobby, the local food, the sun rise runs, flowers everywhere …

…….. to say the least, you got the romance down! What is the date for the next one, again?

You also have the looks! Most people can’t handle the bright, flashy colors but for one who likes to “peacock”, I find them spot on. In fact, I have trouble deciding if I like my bold red gravity or bright yellow distance the most. For now, I am rotating through both. Ill keep you posted there. But before we let things go any further, I feel the need to be honest … You are not the only one!!!

You see I don’t just kinda like shoes, I love shoes! Running Shoes! I am the kinda runner people tell stories about. If you walk into my apartment and look down and to the left, you will see at least six to eight pairs of shoes on any given day.  

And those are just the ones I run long in. You see those lunar glides and neo 33s? I pull them out for the long and medium long runs when my feet are feeling a little sore. But those yellow 890s, they don’t just have pop, they are completely practical. They are so simple, light, snug in the heel, roomy in the toe box, and I can feel the ground underfoot. And having started in stability shoes, they have just enough foam under the arch to help me cross over into the world of neutral. Hard to beat! But again, those are just medium and long run shoes. You only see me wearing those on Sundays and Fridays. If you see me on a Wednesday night, picking up the pace, then you might see me in these: 

And these five shoes are the actual, real contenders. I know you shouldn’t pick favorites but that mirage has had my attention for over a year. It has a 4 mil drop, its firm under foot, and has just enough posting to give me support but not so much I’m worried about jacking up my mechanics. The same can be said for that entire line up. The Noosa is the DS Trainer with my preferred color scheme. The 1190 has the feel of the 890 but the posting to go along and yet somehow feels like I am running with less shoe. I have raced two marathons in those 1190s – back to back PRs. The Tempo and Elixer both have the posting and the response that most other shoes lack and when I am in them I truly feel fast. I think that feeling even temporarily makes me fast, relatively speaking of course. So I am just giving you a heads up … there are others in my life. And I guess if I am going to open up a little, I really should spill all.

If you walk a little further into my place, look down and to the left again, you will find this line up:

You member how you told me, “It is okay to walk around in Newtowns.” Well that is what I have been using these for. I work at Rogue. I like to look the part. I like to look the part both on and off the clock. These ARE my dress shoes. If I am going to Vino Vino and it is a special occasion, then I will probably collar up, slap on cologne, slip on the designer jeans and finish it off with those baby blue Nike frees or those sexy ass neon laced Kinvaras. But once again, it isn’t just about looks. Sometimes I need to feel fast and really make others jealous. And that’s when reach for the closet door: 

If I’m going to an event and I want everyone to say, “I want a pair of those.” Then I grab those red gazelles from adias pure line. If I am racing Cap 10 for a PR or pacing an all out mile, then I’m slipping on those gold mushas … cuz again I like to feel fast AND look good. But I should stop. In some ways I feel like I am making you jealous. And that is not my intention. In fact, I intend to do the opposite. I like you. And if you are going to have a special place in my life, then I had to be up front. So if your still reading, then I am ready to talk about you. It wasn’t really the sunsets, the wine, or the color schemes. It is everything you actually had to say. You seem to have a reason for everything you do.

Take the offsets for example.  Your clunkiest of shoes has only a 4 mil offset, which is ahead of the curve for most other companies. Most of your shoes have a 3 mil – 0 mil offset and that is simply because you want to encourage mid to forefoot striking. This is something I can get on board with. I also like that you have the humility to say “The shoe can’t force you to run a certain way. You have to incorporate the form as well.” True! But your effort to design shoes in consideration of proper and natural running form is a worthy endeavor of itself.

Furthermore, I like that your shoes are firm so as not to interfere with proprioceptor feedback.  This firm feeling is something I used to hold against adidas but considering the negative affects of soft and overly cushioned shoes, I have actually come full circle. My greatest appreciation comes from the space in the toe box. Most people fear that their feet will slip around but having that room to allow the toes to splay and evenly distribute the force is actually my favorite part of your design.  I have even been re-lacing my other shoes just to allow for more room up there. The only piece that is still funky is the lugs. But at least you have a reason there too. Providing added cushion to the fore foot makes far more sense than added cushion to the heel. Otherwise everyone still feels like its okay to heel strike. And since you care so much about natural running form, I completely understand why you added them. I also get the idea of the lugs providing action/reaction technology. You want runners to get as much return on each strike as possible. So even though I am not crazy about the lugs, I now understand why they are there and why you designed them the way you did. That being said, you have my attention. I dare say we have chemistry.

I guess this is our first DTR. You now know where I stand. You know my past. You know a little more about how I tick. I’m not saying you are my one and only. There are others. But you are now in a rotation you have never been in before. I look forward to seeing how this plays out.



James is a marathon coach for Rogue Cedar Park. Come join him and train for the Austin Marathon.


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