Coming out December 2010, the Nike Structure Triax 14+ continues along the path of its predecessors. Using the same tooling as the Structure Triax+ 13, which means the midsole has not changed (still uses Zoom Air for added cushioning), the latest version makes minor tweaks to the upper. Since the ride quality of the 13 is well liked, maintaining the midsole/outsole configuration on the new version is a good thing. This continuity allows past users a greater chance for success with the update.
Another great update from Saucony this summer is the new Grid Type A4. Man, this is a nice update. Saucony’s 6.4 oz neutral racing flat with a great mesh upper that has a fast look with a cool flame treatment in the heel while maintaining the Saucony DNA. Add a SSL EVA midsole and a XT-Lite Outsole (very similar to the Asics Duosole) for grip and durability and you have yourself a flat that should speak directly to those who would likely be seen sporting a “O2DEBT” personalized plate on their ride. This should be a great flat for those looking at a minimal neutral racer suitable for 5k – 10k distances.
One of the most anticipated new models due in this summer is the Saucony ProGrid Kinvara: a lightweight, minimal neutral trainer that features a one piece midsole/outsole with carbon triangle lugs for added durability that look like they were taken directly from the outsole of the original Jazz. A three-piece upper provides a good amount of support, is breathable and sports a cool graphic treatment. A small, lightweight ProGrid Lite cookie is placed in the heel for a touch of extra cushioning.
Nike is universally praised throughout the industry for their racing flats and spikes. Across the board, Nike enters each new season with an exciting blend of updated features, stunning graphics and a few cool twists that cause people who use these type of products to salivate. 2011 will be no exception. In the past the top end spikes were the focus and caused the greatest stir. This year, it’s quite the opposite with the entry level product leaving the greatest impression.
In October, for the last several years, Nike has been producing winterized versions of two of their best selling running shoes: the Nike Air Pegasus and Nike Zoom Structure Triax. What Nike does is they take the normal road versions, add a GoreTex membrane (waterproof/breathable) with minor tweaks to the upper and poof, you get shoes ready to take on the wet and cold of winter. The only drawback in the past has been a slight change in fit, which was the result of a stiffer upper that changed the toe-box shape compared to the supple mesh used in the regular versions. For October 2010 that all changes. Thanks to a new toe-lasting process and material improvements, the Nike Air Pegasus+ 27 GTX and Nike Zoom Structure Triax+ 13 GTX are intended to provide the same fit of the mesh versions. We will have to wait and see if this holds true once the production versions arrive, but the samples looked good.