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Road racing flats
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Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Road racing flats on 03/29/2010 21:34:15 MDT Print View

Howdy all,
I'm stuck.
I've been running trail (and a good deal of road to and from the trails) in New Balance MT100s and absolutely love them. I already have a new second pair waiting in the closet. I'm backpacking in these as well.

Now I'm looking for something similar for dedicated road running. The problem I'm having is, wearing a size 13, the few running shops around here that even carry racing flats never carry my size. If they have to order them, I might as well do it myself.

So I'm flying blind and will likely have to order online. Anyone know of anything in a road shoe similar to an MT100?

I'm currently looking at Asics Pirhanas, Brooks T6 Racers, possibly Asics Gel Hyperspeeds, and Adidas Adizero Pros (though I'm having trouble finding my size in Adidas). I've been a fan of Asics throughout my running so I'm leaning towards them. Pirhanas are something crazy like 4.6 oz...likely the lightest out there.

I might just stick with the MT100 all around- they're OK on road so far, but they're a bit stiffer than a road flat because of the rock protection in the forefoot. I want to try something even more flexible, possibly lighter.

Any tips on what you like in road flats would be appreciated.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Road racing flats" on 03/29/2010 21:58:50 MDT Print View

Hey Craig,

I feel your pain! I was in the exact same boat as you. I was using my MT100's for trail and road, even logging my long runs on the road and running to the trailhead. As much as I love the MT100's and swear by the minimalist approach to trail footwear, a tad bit of dampening does wonders for the legs when you're running 5 days a week and much of that mileage is on road. The only compromise I could find was the Adidas Adizero Pro! They are killer shoes and have the perfect amount of "cushion". I can't recall the weight but I know they feel quite a bit lighter than the MT100's. You mentioned they didn't have the Adidas Adizero Pro's in your size but alas they do my friend, in white and not the sweet neon green/black like the ones I own but Adizero Pro's nonetheless....

http://www.footlocker.com/product/model:78372/sku:353479/adidas%20adiZero%20Pro%20-%20Men%27s?supercat=home&cm=GLOBAL%20SEARCH%3A%20KEYWORD%20SEARCH#sku=301778&size=13.0

Edited by Eugeneius on 03/29/2010 22:05:12 MDT.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: "Road racing flats" on 03/29/2010 22:10:20 MDT Print View

So maybe that settles it.

Good to hear another MT100 fan's opinion- it sounds like you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Yeah...the black and yellow (green?) Adizeros are way cooler than the red and white...oh well. And what's up with the uglier white/red ones being twice the price!

I bet this will tick you off too!
On Anton Krupicka's blog he's got a photo of him wearing red and black MT100s with microspikes. I've never seen red MT100s but fell in love (I've always had a thing for red running shoes because I've NEVER found any I liked)...I called NB, only to find out they're a custom job, probably for pros. Punks! Just 'cuz I can't run a sub-17 hour 100 mile I can't have red MT100s?

1

Thanks Eugene.
Just curious, what size do you wear? I've had Adidas run slightly narrow on me in the past, but that was before I had the MT100s which are fairly narrow too...How do you think they compare? And one more question...Have you run in them sockless? Are they OK?

Edited by xnomanx on 03/29/2010 22:27:44 MDT.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Road racing flats" on 03/29/2010 22:26:53 MDT Print View

No problem Craig. I'm not sure why the red and white are twice the price over the neon yellow/black. I only paid $69 plus free shipping if that makes you feel any better, I didn't even see the $119 price tag, dang! I'd just order them directly from Adidas.com and get the new Adidas Adizero Pro 4.0 for the same price:

http://www.shopadidas.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3734116&shopGroup=R&cp=2019627.2039609.2012801.2006443&colorId=

*Edited, sorry, I thought one of my running partners owned the red and orange model, he doesn't, my mistake. He owns the black and yellow version. Although those red and orange shoes are sweet. By the way, the MT100's are getting an unfortunate facelift for 2010, they're a little flashier but the guts of the shoe remained unchanged for the most part. The Rockplate is being toned down a bit to subdue the slight stiffness prevalent in the current model, I say that's a welcomed alteration to a very well designed shoe.

Edited by Eugeneius on 03/29/2010 22:31:26 MDT.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Road racing flats" on 03/29/2010 22:36:16 MDT Print View

Here is a photo of the remodeled MT100's. I'm not a fan at all as they're a bit techy for my tastes, a little too much metallic sparkle and jazz I guess. Oh well, as long as they feel the same on the trail.


Tweaked MT100\'s

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: "Road racing flats" on 03/29/2010 22:46:55 MDT Print View

Uh oh, those are getting a little flashy for my taste...

Maybe sparkle makes them faster.

____________


I did just find red Adidas in my size for $99...

http://www.shoebacca.com/adidas/adizero-pro-012257.html

Thanks again. You probably missed my edit above- do the Adidas wear as well as the MT100s without socks?

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Road racing flats" on 03/29/2010 22:48:49 MDT Print View

Sorry Craig, forgot to answer your questions at the bottom of your last post. I wear a size 12 almost always, sometimes with casual shoes I'll pick up an 11 1/2. I found the Adidas Adizero Pro to run true to size and fit my foot very much like the MT100. I have a moderately narrow foot and don't need a wide toebox. I also haven't run sockless in the Adidas Adizero Pro as I'm still babying them, but if I didn't care so much about keeping them from smelling like meconium turds then I wouldn't hesitate to, my feet are tough bastards and a few stitches in the body wouldn't aggravate me much, but to each his own. Hope that helps.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: "Road racing flats" on 03/29/2010 22:50:12 MDT Print View

Thanks Eugene.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Road racing flats on 03/29/2010 23:37:45 MDT Print View

Craig,

My son's college cross country team wears Asics. He told me that no one on the team could get a season's racing in one pair of Pirhanas, they wore out. They didn't practice in them, just raced. So that is about 8 races of 8K - 10K each. He warned me not to buy them. I loved these shoes. Did a 60 mile hike in them with no break-in, and no foot problems. But the Jo Pond Trail shreded the soles, and that was the end of them.

I bought a pair of Hyperspeeds (I think they are the IIs), and great fit like the Pirhanas. They are a lot heavier (8.8 oz each in size 12), with a more substanial sole and cushioning, which should help in road racing.

Lately I have been hiking in Saucony Shay XC, at 6.8 oz in size 12. But they be a little thin for road racing.

To be honest, the shoes you are looking at are more for cross country, which is mostly run on dirt and grass.

You might get some feedback on LetsRun.com, but beware 50% of the posters are immature idiots!! I would spend some time reading through the few lucid posts. This site has a lot of good information available, and you can probably find out what the best marathoners in the world are wearing.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Road racing flats" on 03/29/2010 23:55:17 MDT Print View

Not sure about that Nick, the Adidas Adizero Pros aren't intended for cross country use whatsoever, rather up to 5K-10K road usage, traditional road racing and PR stuff. There are probably a few upper echelon athletes who can consistently manage long training miles (120+ miles a week total avg.)and marathon events in shoes like the Adizero Pro, most competitors are running in shoes more in line and comparable to the Adidas Adizero Mana or Adizero Adios worn by Haile Gebrselassie which offer a little more cushioning and stability for the longer distance. The Brooks T6 flats Craig mentioned in his first post are also road specific racers, not intended for cross country use. The Asics Piranhas and the Hyperspeeds as well are both elite road racing shoes suitable for someone like Craig transitioning neutral footwear from trail to road, granted, like you mentioned, the wear life on the uber lightweight racing flats is quite short considering most these shoes we're talking here weigh anywhere from 4.6-7oz. per shoe.

Edited by Eugeneius on 03/30/2010 00:17:53 MDT.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
"Road racing flats" on 03/30/2010 00:08:42 MDT Print View

Craig,

What is your typical weekly mileage? What's the breakdown in mileage between trail and road in the week? Also, what would you consider a long run? 20+? Curious, because the Adidas Adizero Pro we were discussing was intended by Adidas to be used up to the 10K distance, of course if you've already been logging long runs in the MT100's on the road without injury and with some relative comfort then the Adizero Pros will be perfectly adequate for marathon distance and beyond if you're planning on logging big miles on the road. There are probably more "suitable" shoes if you're intentions are to acquire a dedicated road specific shoe for long runs. But if you're simply looking for a shoe to get in some quick runs on the road when you're not able to get to the trail then the Adidas Adizero Pros are still a great option for your MT100 conditioned feet.

Edited by Eugeneius on 03/30/2010 00:13:04 MDT.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: "Road racing flats" on 03/30/2010 07:18:59 MDT Print View

My weekly mileage fluctuates with my work schedule right now, I'm not on a solid training program at the moment. My weekly mileage is fairly low right now, ~25 MPW, but I'm good about getting the long runs in. I'm typically doing two shorter runs plus my long run. The short run are mixed terrain...5 to 10K. I make sure I run a few miles of these barefoot as well. Long runs are currently in the ~20 mile range. I try to do these exclusively in the mountains, typically with pretty big elevation. The longest road run I've done in MT100s was about half marathon and I felt fine.

There are a handful of shorter ultras (50K) I'm running this coming summer/fall, and I want to run my first 50 Mile. I've just started a more regimented distance running program again, and will soon be incorporating speedwork and intervals, likely done on the track. I'm planning on staying in the 40-60 MPW range. I've never run in minimal shoes at weekly mileage this high so I'm building slow. I want a shoe that's a little more forgiving for the track and hard surfaces, but still with no heal and a low profile as I'm a mid/forefoot runner.

I agree Nick: with more thought, I honestly think the Piranhas are too minimal and won't last. I'm currently leaning between the Hyperspeed 4s and Adizero Pros. They appear to be almost identical in weight. The Hyperspeeds are billed as being slightly wider, which is good for me. I know someone nearly my size that qualified for Boston with them, so I know they're fairly proven for road distances. I've heard the same of the Adizeros.

It's all really a crapshoot in the end, isn't it? Not until you've logged some miles do you realize whether or not your shoes stink...I just wish I had the cash to buy three pairs to try right now.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: "Road racing flats" on 03/30/2010 09:21:05 MDT Print View

Craig, if you are buying a brand that you are familiar with how the sizing is, you might try Kelly's Running Warehouse on the Web. They have some great prices and are located in San Diego. Shoes usually get here in a couple of days.

Intervals on a track can be boring, but it is easy to measure the distance and timing. I am the rare guy who likes interval training on a track, but my personality gravitates to accounting and computer programing, I like precise organization in my life.

You might want to try Fartlek training. You pick out a landmark and gradually pick up speed till you are almost at racing pace (not quite) and hold that pace for about 30 seconds. Then walk or jog about 1/2 the distance you just covered. Keep repeating it. Most distance runners use this technique. You see more track interval training for middle distance runners (1,500 - 5,000 meters). But if you like the track, and one is convenient to you, there is nothing wrong with that kind of training. With your first 50 miler, I wouldn't worry about much speed work.

After track season my son takes a week off in June and then runs all summer averaging around 100 mpw. He won't do any speedwork until he has run a couple of races. Then he will back off the mileage a little bit, and increase the speedwork so he peaks at conference and the NCAA's. He is really a middle distance runner (up to 5K), but made it to the NCAA Div I finals in cross country the last 4 years. College cross is 8K races until the regional qualifying meets and finals, where they run 10K. It has been run watching him the past 9 years, and we talk training a lot. Methods haven't changed much since I was seriously racing 40 years ago.

A little bragging here... in high school was 2nd in the state in cross and the mile (1600m) his senior year. Best times were
800 1:53
1600 4:11
3200 9:11

In college he has done
1500 3:46 (many times, he is stuck here ~ 4:04 mile)
3000 8:10
5000 14:000

He hasn't done many 5000m races, and is going to concentrate on it this year.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: "Road racing flats" on 03/30/2010 09:58:41 MDT Print View

I'm anxious to talk more running with you on our trip Nick.

I've always been a slow runner, focusing exclusively distance. I rarely even run with a watch unless it's something big I want to measure. The only reason I think I need to do speedwork - and fartleks are probably a good idea for this too - is that I'd like to get my miles a bit faster to insure making all the cutoffs on many of the longer races I want to try. I'm not talking huge gains, but if I can bring my miles down even slightly, this translates to a lot of time on 26.2+ mile runs.

I'm really not sure if I'm better off just maintaining a good base and just running a lot; losing weight, getting more and more conditioned, and thus times will naturally drop...
or if I should be making a more concerted effort to include intervals/speedwork. While I know that running track doesn't translate real well to long distance mountain running, in my experience it does help with form, turnover speed, and increasing threshold.
Of course, doing both seems most logical to me, so off to the track...The school I teach at has a nice one- very convenient for me to do an hour workout there before teaching.

Your son's fast!
A 4:04 mile is so crazy to me. I always imagine just being lapped repeatedly by people like him...
I have a good friend that's running for Nike, she just made nationals in the 1500 with times slightly slower than his...I guess it's the difference between men's vs. women's.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: "Road racing flats" on 03/30/2010 10:30:35 MDT Print View

Craig, IMO base rules. When you look at the elite runners, most have huge base training. Especially in the longer distances.

A lot of this is getting to know your body. I would encourage you to start running shorter races and work your way up. 5Ks, 10Ks, 15Ks, etc. When you look at the best U.S. marathoners today like Hall, Ritz, etc. they raced 5Ks and 10Ks all through college. Then they moved to 1/2 and full marathons after graduating. A marathon or 50 miler can really do a number on your body. What you don't want to do is bite off too much at first and get discouraged. Interestingly, Andy Sukura did a 50 miler and did extremely well, with mostly just long distance hiking as his "training."

Running and working on base is fun running. Speed work, is more like work. If you spend the next three months concentrating on base, I think you will be happier, will get into great shape, and really be ready for the longer distances. Justing finishing your first 50 miler will be an accomplishment in itself!!

Yes we can chat on our trip. I am no expert, just a fan of the sport.