For more than a decade the Adidas Supernova Classic has been one of the most cherished and popular running models for 3 stripes. Season after season this model has led sales for the brand. The interesting thing is that as much as people say they want their favorite shoes to remain unchanged, sales tend to fall off for popular models that don’t tweak things every season to keep things fresh. The only models that have been able to maintain a solid volume of sales every year while remaining largely unchanged are the adidas Supernova Classic and another Adidas model, the Brevard. For a shoe to remain largely unchanged and be a sales leader in a technical field such as running specialty for a major brand for over a decade is a testament to how good this shoe was and how strong the following has been.
In the realm of running products, it is common to hear a company’s sales representative describe a good, better, best story. The idea is that good suits the needs of the everyday runner, better adds a bit of a technological advantage for improved performance and best is hands down superior to anything else within a product line. With apparel, this is often easy to observe. The best top dries faster (stays drier longer) than the better top, which exceeds the good top. With shoes, it’s little harder to observe the difference. A technologically superior shoe does not necessarily translate to a better feeling shoe or a faster shoe, but the goal generally is for better technology to translate into an improved experience for the runner. So how do things shake out with the Asics Pulse 2 (“good”), Cumulus 12 (“better”) and Nimbus 12(“best”)?
What makes each shoe unique?
Taking advantage of trickle down technology, the Nimbus 12 incorporates the Guidance Line design that was first introduced in October 2009 with the Kinsei 3. Guidance Line is a groove that extends from heel to forefoot, which aids in the repeatability of each foot-strike along an efficient path throughout the gait cycle. At the time of this review, Guidance Line only exists in the Kinsei 3 and Kayano 16 and now the Nimbus 12.
For the past 10+ years, my wife and I have attended the Payton Jordan Invitational at Stanford University the first weekend in May. Over the years we have witnessed some outstanding performances. Race such as Meb and Denna setting American Records in the 10k and Shalane Flanagan setting the AR in the women’s 5,000. Additional highlights include Bob Kennedy’s 27:36 and Alan Webb’s 10k debut win, this on top of the great 1500’s, steeples and 5,000 that happen every year. Even though this meet has some excellent distance events, the highlight of the evening are usually the 10,000’s.
I was recently invited to attend the 101st running of the Drake Relays. Asics has been the title sponsor of the Relays for the past few years and each year they invite 1-2 Accounts to experience the event with them firsthand. This year it was myself and Bob Roncker from Ohio who were fortunate enough to attend.