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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Brooks PureConnect: An Unexpectedly Strong Handshake

I'm sure you know the sensation.

You're meeting someone for the first time, and they look, well, frail. Either they're very old or very young, or they just have that look about them that says, "I really hope the wind doesn't pick up because I'm quite sure it'll take me off my feet." Some people are just built that way. You extend your hand in greeting and they take it, but something strange happens.

As you close your hand, you apply as little pressure as you can, knowing that a strong squeeze might shatter this person's dreams of a sketching career, when suddenly, your hand is caught in a vice. Too late to change your strategy, you glance down as your wet fish of a handshake is strangled by this kraken of the deep. It only lasts for a moment, and the conversation continues uninterrupted, but you are forever left with the impression of unexpected strength within this person.

It's a considered move on behalf of your new friend. Developing a strong handshake tells the world, "Yes, I'm lightweight and wispy. Do not assume for a moment that this means I am not powerful."

This morning, my new shoes gave me a very strong handshake.

The concept hit me in my first few steps. The lacing on the shoes is very well placed, giving constant support through the length of the shoe without any weird binding. I did not feel my feet shift within the shoe once, which is an absolute must for me. After four miles, I had no chafing, blisters other comfort-related issues.

As far as performance, the shoes do exactly what they're supposed to do. My body just isn't quite ready for it yet. These are the lightest shoes I've ever owned that didn't have spikes, and they're much lighter than any of my other current pairs (Ride: 12 oz, Launch: 9.4 oz, PureConnect: 7.7 oz). I wanted a little less shoe this time around, as I've heard good things about what low weight shoes can do for muscle strength. This strength, of course, is developed because new muscles are used, and I used all of them this morning.

Despite running a very easy pace, my run this morning took a little more effort than normal, and my legs hurt in places that haven't hurt before. Upon finishing, however, all the pain went away, and I never had any issues with my feet, which means one thing: the shoes are working. They weren't making the run more difficult, they were ensuring that I ran correctly. I honestly felt my stride straighten out several times. I really like my new shoes.

Now, I don't feel that you can give shoes a grade based on one training run. It takes weeks and months to evaluate exactly how you feel about a shoe, specifically for me, since durability is a major concern. However, I'll give the PureConnect a first impression grade of A.

I won't soon forget this handshake.

Sunday's Run:
29 Degrees, Partly Cloudy
3.98 Miles

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