Interesting...very interesting

In my eternal quest for the perfect shoe (I mean, to replace my perfect shoe that was discontinued over a year ago--NB 902) I have been met with ample frustration. The issue I have run into most is that wide shoes that are also flexible and stable are pretty much non-existent. So I can choose between blisters or knee issues or peroneal tendon pain. All things that are not real conducive to running.

My current primary shoe is the Mizuno Wave Elixir 4. I like it...but I don't love it. It's a bit firmer than I like and a hair too snug in the forefoot. I have yet to wear it for anything longer than 11 miles and experienced some blistering between toes that were too squished together. I found that a pair of Superfeet blue insoles take up less space and allow my toes more room to spread...but they are also not at all cushioned, so the bottoms of my feet start feeling pretty beat-up after only 8 miles or so. No big deal for races of 10 miles or less, but could potentially be a very big "pain" for a half-marathon or longer.

So I happened to catch some commentary on the Runner's World Online board regarding the upcoming Nike Lunarglide+. Now, in the past I have not been a fan of Nike. I find their shoes to just fit sorta...weird. Their wide Air Structure Triax+ 11 (or was it 12?) actually felt almost too wide. But the Lunarglide sounds like it might be a really good "fit" for my feet and needs--at least on paper. This bit from a Nike press-release, in particular, is intriguing:
The Women’s Nike LunarGlide+
• Includes more soft foam under the heel than the men’s model and is more flexible under the forefoot because, on average, a woman weighs 10 to 15 percent less than a man of the same stature, and therefore has less mass with which to compress and flex a shoe’s midsole.
• The women’s Nike LunarGlide+ has a two-part, gender-specific external heel counter engineered to accommodate a woman’s distinct needs for comfort, fit and support around the heel.
• Nike has applied its Dynamic Fit Technology, a stretchy material, adjacent to the big toe, which expands to accommodate varying widths. Women tend to have broader forefeet which can lead to fit issues and abrasions.
The stability system of the shoe sounds interesting, too. Apparently the design lends itself to runners in a gamut from mild supinators to moderate overpronators. I will likely still want my Superfeet insoles, but it would be excellent to find a shoe that would control my overpronation AND be flexible in the forefoot. If such a beast existed I could toss the Superfeet altogether.

A Nike employee on RWOL who was involved in the design of the shoe said that the last is fairly straight, so that should work well with my duck feet, too. Semi-curved shoes always end up beating up on my last 2 toes and contribute to blister issues.

And it's not a bad looking shoe, either. Apparently these are 2 of the colorways that will be available to women:
Release date for the shoe appears to be up-in-the-air. Looks like Europe and Asia may be getting it in early July, but the US market won't see it until Aug. (what is up with US companies releasing shoes to the US AFTER the rest of the world gets their hands on them?). This will give me plenty of time to give the shoe a try and determine whether it's a viable long-distance trainer for me before the Grand Rapids Marathon in mid-Oct.

In actual running news, I had a completely craptacular run yesterday. 13 miles of meh. The first 7 or so were actually not so bad, but then I started overheating and remembered that I didn't like the shoes I was wearing (NB 904), not just overall fit (which was better with that thin pair of Superfeet blue insoles thrown in--no blisters or tight spots), but they make my feet sore...starting with my outer arches, then spreading. The blue Superfeet insoles decrease the cushion and after a while I felt like I was running in flats. I could feel every little pebble under my foot and my forefoot and heel areas felt as if someone were taking a mallet to them with every step. It's hard to comprehend what a very different shoe the 904 is from it's prior 2 predecessors. I have run marathons in those shoes with minimal discomfort on the bottoms of my feet. So the 904s are officially relegated to runs of no more than 5-6 miles. They are fine for those distances.

This week will be an easier running week. Part of yesterday's misery was almost certainly due to 38 miles in 6 days without a rest day--this after beating my body up in last weekend's trail relay. This week I only plan to run ~30 miles, including the Muskegon Chronicle Seaway Run 15k on Sat. This is one of my favorite races. I just hope it's less hot and humid this year. Last year was ROUGH!

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