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 shoe weight
Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

shoe weight Posted: Fri Mar 10, 2006 11:56 am 

I've often seen a bit of conventional widsom that claims that every ounce in shoe weight reduction translates to a 2 second/mile improvement in speed. Of course this assumes that you haven't shrunken your shoes to near zero weight, making your feet blow up due to lack of cushioning and causing you to end up hobbling home from mile 12. I also haven't seen the 2 second/mile figure attributed to anything scientific, so it may be bogus, but it appears pretty widely accepted.

Armed with this information, I decided to see what I could do about streamlining my shoe weight. First off, I weighed the foot pod of my Nike Triax Elite. 2 ounces. Gone. I won't be wearing that during races anymore. There's one more argument in favor of a GPS-based speed/distance monitor.

Then I weighed my shoes. For my men's size 12, my Asics GT2080's weigh about 14 ounces each. Ouch. My GT2100's are even heaver, at 14.7 ounces. My lightweight DS Trainers are 12.9 ounces. So I went shopping for some marathon-worthy race shoes. I didn't want to get anything too ridiculously flimsy, for fear of killing my feet, but it seemed like I could definitely save a bit more weight. I tried the Saucony Grid Fastwitch Endurance and Asics DS Racer's, but both felt weird and insubstantial. I liked the Brooks Racer ST 2's, though-- they felt pretty much like a regular shoe, despite weighing just 9.9 ounces!

So 3 ounces saved, times 2 seconds per mile, times 26.2 miles, means I should theoretically be able to shave more than 2.5 minutes off my marathon time. We'll see... I plan to try the Racer ST's in a couple of medium-long runs before the marathon, to make sure they provide adequate support and don't end up nuking my feet. Here's hoping!


OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: shoe weight Posted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 11:13 am 

I hope the Racer ST's bring you good luck! I've got an oldish pair of Asics DS Trainers that I used to think of as my "racing shoes". I've since bailed on them and tend to race in my training shoes because they simply feel more comfortable and predictable. But I think there's a certain element of getting yourself psyched up by strapping on your racing shoes right before a race, even before you consider the potential time savings from less weight. The act of taking off you training shoes after warming up, and putting on your racing shoes...making sure the laces are tied with just the right degree of tension, tying that final double knot. It gets you psyched for a good race! Recently though, I just throw on my luckly "racing socks" and hope for the best!

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: shoe weight Posted: Sat Mar 11, 2006 12:25 pm 

Thanks! I like the DS Trainers too, but they're actually not much lighter than my regular shoes, so their advantage is probably more mental. The Racer ST's have a significant weight advantage.

I did 5 miles in the Racer ST's today, and my feet were fine. I'll do 17 in them tomorrow, and if that goes well, they'll go back in the closet for safe-keeping until April 17.

The only downside to these shoes is that they're awfully bright and sparkly looking. There's nothing worse than really fast-looking shoes on the feet of someone who's going really, really slow. Hopefully I'll avoid that fate!


OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: shoe weight Posted: Sun Mar 12, 2006 9:26 am 

Rickshaw wrote:
There's nothing worse than really fast-looking shoes on the feet of someone who's going really, really slow.


Too funny, and too true!


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