It's that time again. There are no new Zoot shoes to test so I am out testing the competition again. Lots of news on Hoka One One and always on Newton. I reserve the weekends to test so this weekend I ran in the Hoka Stinson for 10 miles and the Newton Energy for4 miles.
Stinson -the take on Hoka is that the shoes are working for tired worn out runners. I can see why this is the case. That much soft cushioning feels good on an old body. The shoe is built with your foot some 40 mm off the ground. It has a slight rocker so it rolls more than it flexes. This doesn't work for my left foot. In needs to flex. If it can't it goes numb. The other downside for this runner is my narrow feet. Really I couldn't get the upper tight enough. On one occasion my right foot landed awkward causing the shoe to roll. Because of the loose fit the shoe rolled but my foot did not. I guess that is a good thing. Other than those two things the shoes were fine. I kept thinking and still believe you have to be a large runner or one loaded with muscle. A skinny runner like myself can't transition through the shoe very well. I found my feet were tired at the end.
Energy - now I don't think 4 miles is enough but I do believe in first impressions. This shoe is built as a transition shoe from your normal running shoe to Newton. In other words not supposed to put heavy strain on your lower leg. I sure did not feel that strain coming like I do in normal Newton. I like my shoes tight on my feet and I can do that with these shoes. However when they were tight I could feel the forefoot technology digging into the bottom of my feet. Only when I losenened upper did this go away. The shoe felt responsive to run in but to me it runs loud. I need more running to give a full verdict but I don't see anyone jumping out of their Brooks to give these a go.