The weather finally turned, which means that here in the ATX, people go immediately from complaining about the hot hot heatness of the summer, when it is possible to dehydrate just by waking up each day and which is technically nine months, to wearing scarves and Uggs and Patagonia jackets because it’s, you know, a frigid 61 degrees in the morning. And beanies. Oy, with the beanies.
For those of us runner types, we get to actually enjoy the daily run, rather than endure it, because we are no longer in danger of spontaneously combusting like vampire zombies or whatever as soon as the sun arcs up into the sky above the highrise condos thatnooneislivinginyetbubble. What that also means is that we’re getting near shoe season. You know when shoe season arrives because people start posting pics on Facebook of their new shoes. Right next to the pics of their craft beers and their grass fed peanut butter and kimchi breakfast tacos and shit.
Shoe season begins when the big Fall marathons arrive and lasts until Spring, which falls on a Thursday this year in Texas.
There are three or four or five shoes that I’m kinda antsy to try. I mean, there are a ton of new models that I want to check out, but there are really only a few that are worthy of, I don’t know, public nudity or something.
But first, let me remind you of what it is we’re looking for. We want a shoe that is the least amount of shoe you’re comfortable running in. One that disappears on the foot. For some of you, that might be an Ariel. It might be a Hookah, I don’t know. Ultimately, you need to make your body strong enough that the shoe matters almost nil, but for the meantime, if you’re thinking about your shoe beyond the time it takes you to post of Facebook, then probably they’re the wrong shoes. We want light, we want responsive, we want sexy, if only to distract from the fact that now you’re wearing the medium split shorts and you had to hot glue gun the split part so it wasn’t so, you know, vulgar.
So in no particular order, this is what you want in the next few months:
Mizuno Wave Hitogami
Technically, the Hitogami replace two shoes—the Musha ohmygodIlovethatshoe! and the Ronin—both of which had small but rabidly cultlike followings. I ran in an earlier version the Ronin a few times and liked them, though they lacked the smoothiness of the Musha. Love the Musha. Lovethemlovethemlovethem. One time, when I was hard up for some money and needed a new pair, I enrolled the two year old in one of those medical test thingies you see advertised on billboards. I figured that he’d be entertained for the weekend, we’d be helping people with chronic anxiety disorders and I’d get some new kicks, so it was a win win win, nome sane?
So, anyway, the Hitogami are the new Musha. I’ll use them as a daily trainer, rotating them with other similar models, but most would think of these bad girls as a marathon racer. These are the most, I don’t know, trainery of the new models and they really should make the men’s version in pink too. They’ve got the Kabuki thing going on, so that’s cool. Mizuno are making a big push toward some crazy designs on the uppers, which is totally cool, though I think some of the designs are a little intense for some and might cause some minor seizures when you look at them. Like that time when you went to that one club with some of the younger runners in your group and there were all these super obnoxious strobe lights that made you feel kinda dizzy and then some stupid, you know, girl was laughing and asked you if you smelled Ben-Gay and you just laughed and then went home and rolled out your IT bands and watched some Netflix.
The Hitogami are going to retail for $100, so you’ll be able to afford both colors. Trust me, you’ll want both, because the white ones look so ****ing hott with some red tights for when you go to the Trader Joe’s for the chocolate covered potato chips.
Also, you should keep your eyes open for the Rider 17, which are going to make all the other shoe companies take their balls and go home. They’ll weigh under 9 oz. for the men and under 7.5 oz. for the women. Daily trainers with the weight of marathon racers. Shit just got real!
Saucony Grid Type A6
Saucony just took over the number two spot in the country from ASICS. They probably knew that was going to happen so they went ahead and named the shoe the A6 just to rub it in real good.
I’ve been a big fan of the Type A series but always felt that the forefoot got too thin too quickly and that the midfoot truss was entirely unnecessary. But that didn’t stop me from having, like, 10 pair over the last few years, in all the different colors even. I just liked the way they disappeared on my feet. I’d just slip them on and go and there was never a worry. Except when I’d go longer than about 90 minutes and then my forefoot would be a bit tender and I’d have to yell at the woman at the mani/pedi place when she got distracted with that scraper thingy and didn’t mind the met heads.
This new version does away with the plastic midfoot piece—you know that there is nothing more important in the world than full ground contact—and the forefoot looks to be a bit more protective, and durable. They’ve moved some of the drainage holes and put blown rubber in the forefoot in place of the little nubby rubber things They still have that welded overlay thing on the upper, which has worked well—better on the A5 than on the Kinvara, anyway.
Saucony make some cool shit. I’ve heard that one of my longtime faves, the Kinvara, are getting an overhaul next year and it’ll be more trainery—like a lightweight Cortana I guess. That’s cool because of the, you know, durableness and shit. I hope the weight remains about the same, because the Kinvara are almost the perfect blend of racer/trainer. And I just blew out my last pair, which is kinda depressing. It’s cool though. It’s not real bad, but I could totally eat a whole sleeve of those chocolate chip cookies, the ones with that little elf on them.
So, anyway, when the new A6 arrives, getcherself some and then you won’t have to whine to the mani/pedi lady, you’re such a Princess and the Pea, gah!
ASICS Gel Hyperspeed 6
Earlier versions of these hotties were some of my favorite shoes ever. They felt very much like the Type A series, except with a little roomier fit in the forefoot, and maybe a bit softer underneath. The Hyperspeed were one of the very first models that made me think, You know, wearing running tights to the Trader Joe’s—we were in the ABQ at the time—is not cool. That, and that a running shoe—whatever kind of shoe you’re wearing—should feel almost like you’re barefoot, except different. Hode up! Don’t go all barefoot-is-dead on me, because that’s not what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is that your foot shouldn’t feel in any way restricted or corrected—even if you’re wear a motion control shoe. If you really need that kind of shoe, then it will feel natural to you.
Anyway, what? Hyperspeed. They went away for a while, because ASICS have difficulty with that kind of thing. You know, the Tarther thing. So, whatever, the Hyperspeed went away and were replaced by the NOOSA Fast, which are the Hyperspeed, except triathletes. It had those elastic laces and had fancy painted kangaroos and shit on ‘em. Now that the Hyperspeed are back, you can still get the NOOSA Fast, because triathletes will buy anything because they have more money than the Koch brothers practically.
The new Hyperspeed, the 6, have the welded overlays that are so popular now, but we’ll hold judgment until we get to wear them. The cool thing about the new uppers that you’re seeing around is that they make the shoe a bazillion times lighter. The not so cool thing is that they don’t always hold the foot properly. Sometimes the upper can be a little baggy and crinkly, mostly I think depending on the kind of mesh that is used. I’ve only seen the 6 in pictures, and they look a little Kinvara-ish, the upper material anyway. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but there are definitely cleaner applications of that idea in other models.
But dig this. The Hyperspeed are only $85! Whatsup, 1997? Well, sort of. Back then, flats were $60, and go-to trainers were $85, but you know what I’m saying. At those prices, you can buy like nine pair and then throw the boxes in Town Lake because you can afford the fines.