I was rather surprised when I opened the box to these shoes for a couple reasons. First, they are marketed as lightweight and neutral. They are fairly neutral but they aren't very light and their appearance makes them look even heavier than they really are. The next reason I was surprised was that these shoes were flashy. Red and lime green combined with silver accents and a new sleeker looking N logo made me excited about trying these shoes on.
My initial thoughts on the feel of these shoes was mixed. I have slightly wide feet but never wide enough to request a wide shoe for any other brand. These shoes were tight, slightly uncomfortable near the ball of the foot. Everywhere else they felt great and even that tightness wore off as my feet stretched out the shoes both over the course of the run and over the course of the time I wore the shoes. The shoes aren't very flexible which is more of a preference thing for me as I wear Nike Free, Puma Faas 250, and racing flats to train in quite often. The overall 'ride' of the shoe was very nice. When going into the wear test, I was dealing with a little plantar fascitis. It wasn't super bad but it was there. I can't attribute the healing of that completely to these shoes but I can make note that my condition did improve while wearing these shoes.
For those familiar with wear testing, you might not get to keep the shoes as long as you would like. I only had these shoes for just over a month and when you're not running 100+ miles per week it is hard to test the durability of shoes in that short of a period. I can say that the shoes had some wear on the tread as should be expected but the mid-sole had minimal compression and the uppers were immaculate with the exception of a little dirt from running trails. These shoes would last, at minimun, the 400 or so miles that is usually recommended.
Overall, these shoes are decent. I think I would be scared away by the higher price tag (115 MSRP) if I ever had to pay for them. I really enjoyed them as wear test shoes but with so many quality options out there you can always find a comparable shoe at a lower price point. If money isn't an option and you are looking for a quality, cushioned, mid-weight, neutral trainer, then this shoe might be for you. I always recommend that you try on a shoe before you buy it so head out to your local running shop and try one on!
|This is the colorway I had, courtesy of Finish Line|