Wednesday, 17 April 2013

His and Her's @Saucony Virrata Review - HIS



Today my blog is being taking over by my adorable hubby. Over the past month we have been prepping for our first race of the season and testing out Saucony's new Virrata. So we have a His and Her's Review for you!

This is HIS Review...
It certainly is. Thanks Krysten and a big thank you to Saucony. For regular readers pardon for the interruption, bear with me; regular service will resume shortly. And now, to the business that brings us together...

I don’t know how you define a runner, but depending on your definition of said I may not be. However, I’ve always been active so am not unfamiliar with the running shoe.  I’ve also read enough running magazines to be aware of the minimalist trend in sneakers. 
 
It is however, one thing to be aware of something in principle and quite another to run in minimalist shoes. Or, in keeping with the start of that last sentence, let's consider quantum mechanics as an example.  Yes I know of the quantum - waves and particles etc., that things are both here and there and so on – but I'd never be sent out prospecting for bosons. It would just confound me.  Kind of like these shoes did at first.

Suffice it to say that armed with presuppositions regarding minimalist running, and a shortage of running nous, I set out swiftly tip-toeing down the street in the maiden voyage of my Virratas. In short: I’ve always run, but the idea of consciously trying to run was strange. However, once I stopped ti-ti-ing down the road and settled in to a reasonable stride I found these shoes to be cool, light, fast and very cushiony.




PROS:
I really like the upper on these.  It is barely there in the best possible way: on warmer days they helped keep my feet dry; but I also wore them out in the snow and they dried in less than an hour at home.
I also appreciated the way these shoes fit, I found them to be snug but flexible.

When I took these shoes out of the box I thought they just looked super-comfortable with the thick Tempur-pedic-like foam bottoms. (I don’t know what the normal bottom bit to top bit ratio is for a running shoes but it seems to be quite high in these beauties). In a very light shoe there is a lot of cushioning. Standing in that picture up there I feel good.
Lastly, because these shoes are so light they are very fast. I thought they were at their best when I was picking up the pace.

CONS:
First a disclaimer: I have flat feet and I pronate. As such, I've worn custom orthotics most of my life. After running in these shoes my arches and legs hurt. I said these shoes were at their best when I was moving; when I was jogging I found they made my feet hurt and messed with my head a little too much. I don’t really know if I run properly. Probably not. But I certainly spent a lot of time worrying about where my forefoot was, etc when I had these shoes on. 

Overall:
These are really well-made shoes with a great snug, secure fit. I’m very excited to try other shoes in the Saucony stable.
If you enjoy the idea of working on form, of thinking through your stride in practice, or if you're already running in a zero-drop model and are looking to try something new, than I bet you could do much, much worse than the Virrata, a solid, solid effort from Saucony.