that's worked well ... until i took up running and blogging. and now my shoe collection is starting to bulge once again.
anyway, as i contemplate which pair of shoes is next in line for retirement, let me share my thoughts on the inov-8 bare-x 180s.
these shoes would never have hit my radar if not for my friend/advisor/inspiration stan. he was wearing them the first time that we met on the roads of the mississauga marathon, and between his review of these shoes and recurring recommendations of them i definitely knew that i wanted to give them a shot. as of right now, i'm definitely thankful that i finally followed through.
what's great about these shoes?
- zero-drop - if you didn't already know by now, my preference is to try to run as naturally and minimally as possible while still retaining some protection on the bottom (and top) of my feet. the bare-x 180s have no differential in height from heel to toe.
- lightweight - listed at about 6.4 oz for the standard men's size 9, mine are not much more than that at 9.5 (US). feels even lighter than that because of how comfy a fit they provide.
- toebox - plenty of width for footsplay when mid-to-forefoot striking, and lengthwise these fit perfectly - even better than my reigning-and-defending champ of running shoes, the merrell road glove (first iteration).
- groovy colours - chili/mint ... can you dig it, suckaaaaaaaa?!
- hand - technically this is the term for how a fabric feels between your fingers and thumb, but i think it's applicable here. these shoes just feel incredibly nice when you don them. stan chose to use the term "luxurious", and i don't disagree.
- low stack-height - this is looking like a rundown of all of my favourite qualities that you can find in a shoe. these shoes measure in at 6mm sole height + 3mm insole for a grand total of 9mm. running on crushed limestone trails, there was no problem with discomfort from the terrain while still maintaining suitable ground feel. the odd large pebble here and there i did notice, but not enough to cause any bruising or lasting effects.
- outsole - with a grand total of 42km (not all in one marathon or anything) put on these, durability is not something that i can yet comment on. however, i'm happy to say something about traction - initially i was worried that since the outsole does not look particularly rugged that it might prove a bit slippy under certain conditions. this past sunday i went out for a 29km run in the pouring rain and these shoes were tacky like you wouldn't believe. never once did i have any concerns about grip, and there was pooling water all over the road pavement. plus i just have to mention how awesome the wet sole print is:
i may have to wear these under my hallowe'en costume ...
'nuff said about the good stuff. as for the drawbacks/downsides to this shoe? listen in and find out:
all told, i'm glad that stan's comparison of the bare-x 180s to the merrell road gloves has stood up. as i've said, the RGs have been my favourite running shoes to date, and there are certain qualities to the road gloves that i still love beyond other shoes. i will have to see after i wear the bare-x 180s for the hamilton marathon whether they are ultimately as comfortable for that distance as the RGs. all indications are that these shoes are worthy of five (skeletal) footprints out of five.