Confidence, say Blur, is a preference to the habitual voyeur of what is known as parklife. But for for those who run on the city’s crowded streets instead of a park avoiding all manner or push-chair toting obstacles confidence of movement is a preference to dawdling.
ASICS GT-2160 running shoes certainly provide confidence. My feet have never felt quite so sturdy or well-placed – despite a good proportion of the 100 miles I ran in them seeing temperatures below freezing and the pavements crying out for a good gritting.
It’s easy to ignore the improvement to one’s speed confidence in your feet can make. But thanks to the dual density sole, the memory foam around the heel and the tongue boxing in the ankle I felt comfortable going at full pelt. Daring manoeuvres around terminally daydreaming bystanders, quick skips around pavement-mounting cars or deft dodges out of the path of madcap cyclists didn’t need a second thought during the time I was running.
This extra speed didn’t come at the expense of my health. Irregular pain in my glutes after running vanished after trading in my old trainers for these – and my knees and shins haven’t had a twinge.
While it’s the support that really made me like these trainers I’ve got to give a nod to their “guidance line” (a groove on the underside of the sole) which, according to the manufacturers, encourages your foot to follow the most efficient line of progression. I naturally run flat-footed, which is inefficient, so was keen to see if there was any change to my speed. While I can’t pretend to have been able to watch my feet as I ran or to have tested this claim scientifically I don’t think it’s a coincidence that while wearing these trainers I took a minute off my best mile, and my average pace for the mile dropped by more than 30 seconds.
Often it’s the small things that really round off a good product. And in this case it’s the laces. The shoes boast conventional rather than “asymmetrical lacing” and while I have trouble telling my right from my left what I do know is that they rarely came undone while out for a jog – something that gave me more happiness than is probably healthy.
I suppose I should mention the way they look. I’m not fashionista when it comes to running shoes – I’ve never jogged down a catwalk in Paris or Milan and don’t expect to. So I’ll simply note they seem to come in a range of colours and look, well, “trainer-y”
Price-wise while they seem to have originally retailed at around £90. We were supplied the test pair by online retailer Sportsshoes.com who have them at under £60.
All in all these shoes made running more like a walk in the park.
Summary: A light-weight but study trainer with plenty of cushioning – perfect for runners who take to busy pavements. Their design can help improve technique – with the possibility of impressive gains in speed with protection from injury.
Price: £91.99 rrp, £58.99 online