Review of the Reebok ONE Cushion (2/3) – First Run Impressions


The title of this post is a bit misleading, by the time I have sat down to write part 2 of my review on the Reebok ONE Cushion I have already done not one but actually three runs in it with a total distance of 38km. But in this post I will restrict myself to the first run impressions.

For those who have been running regularly the last few weeks, Friday the 13th of September lived up to its reputation! The weather looked like turning invitingly cooler during the day with clouds turning the sky dark by afternoon and even some rain our side of town (East of the Yamuna). All a big deception by the weather gods !

So why am I talking about the weather in a shoe review? Well the simple reason is that in a test you want to keep the variables as low as possible so as to be able to differentiate what is an outcome of the object being tested versus the general environment in which the test is conducted. The hot and humid weather has made that task difficult, especially since I decided to start my first run around 5.30pm on Friday the 13th! Read on…

5.30pm: I am lacing up the Reebok ONE Cushion shoes:

  • I am struggling a bit with this. The shoes inner volume seems a tad larger than my regular running shoes (Free 4.0 & Kinvara 3)
  • Two eyelets are still unused so I decide to run the lace through the 2nd last one. Still feels a little loose so I tighten up the entire lace pulling as hard as I can. Now there is a bit of pressure building on the upper foot but I think this will settle once I start warming-up.
  • Bigger problem, the lace seems to be humongously long – so double knot it, still hanging a little too low for me but hopefully it won’t snag on anything.
  • Walk out of the house – 5.40pm’ish shaking my foot and leg around to get the shoe to sit more comfortably. Still feeling the tightness at the top.

5.43pm: Ready to warm-up

I start my runs with a warm-up routine (courtesy Coach Jay Johnson) which includes 5 Lunges (google it for now, I do intend to do a piece on my training routine at some point) plus some hip girdle strengthening and loosening through a partial Myrtl routine (again please query “doc google” on this).

  • Walking up to my warm-up spot feels good, the feet are feeling more comfortable and I can feel the deep cushioning along the entire length of my foot unlike any of my other shoes.
  • Switch on the Phone GPS (with Endomondo) and start the GPS search on my Timex Run Trainer watch so that I have stable locks on satellites by the time I start my run (why I use both is another story !)
  • As I go through the warm-up the shoe feels very stable. When I am warming up in my Free’s I usually feel unstable and am constantly trying to balance myself. With these shoes, my feet feel very planted.

5.55pm ish: I am ready to go

Have the phone and Timex Run Trainer GPS locked and ready to go. I usually start my run with a fast walk & jog of about 300m. As I start walking the shoe is still feeling a little tight on top but the feet feel very comfortable with lots of room inside for them to splay out.

  • As I transition into a jog from the walk – Whoa ! I actually feel the kick from the shoe (as described in the marketing stuff that I have read & the videos I have watched). Looks like it’s going to be a really comfortable run 🙂
  • Ok, I am into my run now which is going to be 13k at around 6:15 min/km pace. After about 12k I will do 8 x 100m fast striders (essentially run at about 95% of peak speed with exaggerated hip extensions, arm swings, with shoulders loose & head aligned, helps in fixing postural problems and gets the body used to running correctly when tired).
  • The lace is still feeling a little tight on top but I don’t have the patience to stop and try to fix it (will come back to bite me in the rear-end later !).

6.35pm ish: I have covered around half the planned distance

Man, it’s really hot and humid, I was expecting cooler weather after the clouds and some rain around noon ! I have also worn slightly thicker, New Balance, socks today (no specific reason, just usual rotation).

  • The shoe is running pretty hot compared to my other shoes. Although the shoe upper fabric looked like it was pretty well ventilated I think the problem is the thick padding around the heel cup & shoe tongue and the thicker sole overall.
  • After the initial “kick” at the start I am not feeling the “push-off” from the shoe any more.
  • I am also thinking too much about my footwear, over thinking foot landing, gait, etc. Part of this is because I am in research mode but also this is natural when you start using a new shoe which feels different.
  • Reached around the 6.5k mark and now turn around for the run back. The run back on this route is always tougher since there is a very slight uphill (about 10-15 degrees) which lasts for about 3 kms but it tests my resilience so I love-hate doing it (as a fellow runner you understand the love-hate concept of doing a run, right ?).

6:50pm ish: About 3 more kms to go

The last few kilometres have been tougher than usual, part of it is weather related. But there is definitely some other stuff going on around my foot.

  • I should have really fixed the shoelace, the pressure on the top of the feet is not pleasant (Note to self: Need to fix this next time)
  • Feet are still too warm inside, not sure if it’s the weather or the shoe or the sock. Have run in worse weather but don’t remember getting the foot so hot (Note to self – need to wear lighter socks and check this again during the next run).
  • Remember, I have just been through the slight uphill section and even though the shoe is only about 70-100gm heavier than my other shoes (Reebok has officially said it is 270gm but they didn’t say for what size. I still think my UK10 is more around 300gm), my feet have been feeling heavier – psychological !?
  • I usually run landing around mid-foot, then heel coming down and then push-off. I am still trying to run like that but the higher heel-to-toe drop (Reebok by now has confirmed it is 10mm – 23mm heel and 13mm toe) means my heel is not reaching where it is normally used to getting to (in my 4mm drop shoes), this seems to be causing more feet drag and maybe that’s what’s making the shoe feel heavier?
  • Tried changing the foot strike a couple of times to heel first but just can’t make that work for me.

7:10pm ish: Finished around 11.5k now ready for the 8 x 100m striders

Really wondering if I have energy left for the striders – but I always like to “Finish What I Start” so park the water bottle on a fence post and am ready to belt out those back and forth 100m sprints with about 100m walk intervals in-between.

  • Whoa ! and another Whoa ! The “kick” has kicked in again and the striders which are normally brutal on the legs after a 12k feel very very comfortable (now the engineering brain is starting to purr, trying to figure this out. Do read about my “shoe physics” and some theorizing when I conclude my review, but meanwhile try to come up with some explanations/comments of your own on this so we can compare notes).
  • So even though the middle part of the run felt a little uncomfortable I finish on a high, which is always a great feeling and motivator for the next run !

7:30pm ish: Run over now cooling down with a full Myrtl routine and some Active Isolated Stretches

Well folks, that concludes my first run impressions in the Reebok ONE Cushion.

Since then I have done two more runs in these shoes – an 18k medium long run and a 7k recovery run. I will cover these briefly in the last & concluding part of my review. Also don’t miss my theorizing on “shoe physics” and my recommendations on the Reebok ONE Cushion.

Till then …. RunIndiaRun !
Sandeep

P.S. I have tried to do this part of the review in a narrative, story style. Let me know if you liked this or you would prefer to just get everything straight up next time. As always would love to hear from you.

Advertisements

About Sandeep

Consultant, Mentor, Headhunter & Leadership Evangelist.

Posted on October 1, 2013, in Running General, Shoe Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. The engineer has taken a back seat for a change and the story teller is in the driver’s seat! I like the new writing style you are following in your new incarnation as a Running Shoe Tester. We readers appreciate the thought: while you enjoy the new free shoe, at least we will enjoy your writing. Now, I am kind of curious as to where all this suspense is going to lead to.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: