Asics Gel-DS Racer 9 Men's Shoe (sample shown)
Regardless of what is happening in the minimalist running movement, some runners still need racing shoes with support for over-pronation. Although the number of support racing shoes has been limited, the Asics Gel-DS Racer, and in its absence, the Asics Bandito, have been reliable go-to shoes for the speedier over-pronators among us.
The Gel-DS Racer 9 (MSRP $100), available in February 2012, carries on the tradition of being light, supportive and purpose-built for speed. The newest DS Racer will be more flexible than the DS Racer 8. The enhanced flexibility comes from deep forefoot notches and a new outsole that takes design cues from the Hyper Speed 4 and the old Magic Racer. As a result of integrated support elements, the new upper promises a secure fit that is ideal for speed.
DuoMax is included for reliable pronation control and a Solyte midsole is combined with Rearfoot Gel for light and resilient cushioning. At a reported 7.7 oz (men’s sample size 9.0), the DS Racer 9 is the lightest support racing flat on the market (see the Brooks Racer ST 5 at 8.6 oz and the adidas adiZero Mana 6 at 9.1 oz for comparison). And for the first time, the DS Racer will be available in a women’s version.
K-Swiss gets serious and enters the racing category.
New for Spring 2010 is the K-Swiss K-Ruuz racing shoe. With it’s three color upper, a top down view of the K-Ruuz looks strikingly like a bowling shoe. After trying it on, I noticed it fits a bit like a bowling shoe. You know, like the one’s you rent. It’s very roomy in the forefoot and runs a little big (better size down). The K-Ruuz even feels a little like a bowling shoe in as much as it’s very light and close to the ground. But when it comes to performance the parallels end.
It better be light and flexible with a good road feel.
It is. At 7.1 ounces (size 9) the K-Ruuz is an average weight racing shoe. With a 19mm-9mm heel-to-toe ratio the shoe offers a good road feel and smooth ride. A multi-piece outsole is quite flexible and delivers great traction. The roomy upper is super breathable, light and provides a great option for runners with wider feet. Rounding out the shoe construction are drainage ports in the sole, which allow excess fluid to drain out and keeps the weight down.
How does the K-Ruuz compare to the competition?
As a support racer, the K-Ruuz is most comparable to the adidas adiZero Mana and Mizuno Musha 2. It’s lighter than both the adiZero Mana and Musha 2 and sits closer to the ground than the adiZero Mana. However, the low weight comes as a result of less pronation control. Granted, the Mana doesn’t offer all that much more control, but the Musha 2 does a respectable job for bio-mechanically challenged runners. Thus, the K-Ruuz is best suited for mild over-pronators or neutral runners competing in 5k and 10K distances and has the range to carry faster runners over longer distances.
K-Swiss enters the racing shoe market with a very mild support shoe, that has a roomy fit and weighs a touch less than it’s competitors.
Click here for the Women’s K-Swiss K-Ruuz
adidas Marathon 10
adidas introduces several new models scheduled to arrive in early 2010. One of the more interesting introductions is the Modern Classics line. adidas has taken the styling cues and silhouettes of their well known trainers and racers from the 70′s, 80′s and early 90′s and added modern tooling in the form of midsoles and outsoles from their adizero line as well as modern upper materials and construction technique such that the Modern Classic retain the same cool look of the shoes from the Day and made them competitive with shoes from today. Think the new Mini versus the old Mini Cooper and you get an idea of what’s going on here. The adidas Marathon 10 uses the old adidas Marathon Trainer as the original model and adds modern features like the adiZero platform, adiprene for increased cushioning, a padded collar and welded overlays. Having trained in the original Marathon Trainer back in the early 80′s and having a stress fracture and numerous achilles problem as a result of the extreme stiffness of the shoe (in addition to a number of nutrition and overtraining factors), I can tell you that these added comforts should make this a much nicer shoe to train in than the original. Other examples in the Modern Classics line I’ve seen are the adidas Marathon MMX, based on the old Marathon 80 that Craig Virgin and Grete Waitz made famous and the adidas Equipment Cushion 2010 which is based on the adidas Equipment Cushion that was popular back in 1993. These are some really neat shoes in some fun color combinations so even if you don’t decide to actually run in them, they are going to be great to knock around in.