Thursday, May 20, 2010

Review - Brooks Defyance 2 Running Shoes

After months of struggling, trying to find the proper footwear for my running adventures, especially the longer ones, I finally opted to go up another half size. I now wear men's US size 10 1/2 width D, which is a full size and a half larger than my regular shoe size. This is partially necessary due to my very high arches (my feet expand a full size from a sitting to a standing position) and partially due to the fact that my second and third toes are longer than my big toe. Yes, it's official, I'm a freak. Well, at least running won't mess them up any more than they already are;-) As a result, I had to replace most of my running shoes as I was no longer willing to keep getting numerous blisters. After having been very pleased with the Brooks Radius line of running shoes in the past, a sales person at a local specialty running store recommended the Brooks Defyance 2 as a comparable shoe. I needed a road running shoe for my upcoming 40 mile road run and proper shoe size, fit and comfort would be key to avoid blisters. To make it short, I made the right choice with this shoe. The Brooks Defyance 2 is a neutral-cushioned running shoe made for road running. While this shoe is recommended by "Runner's World" for runners with high arches, I still chose to use my green Superfoot insoles. I wore this shoe with a pair of Injinji socks in the Strolling Jim 40 Mile Road Race after breaking it in for a whole 4 miles two days prior to race day. Not very smart, I know. But I was smart enough to have a drop bag with my old smaller shoes (Brooks Ghost) and some socks at mile 13. Luckily, I had no problems after 13 miles and figured I'd keep on going. 20 miles into the run and I didn't even have a hot spot under my feet. I had only one small problem. Due to the larger size, I felt the need to tie the shoes tighter to avoid any heel slippage. That caused some minor discomfort after 30 miles, but loosening them up right away kept any serious problems at bay. The shoes did not feel heavy nor did they feel too wide or large. After 40 miles, I did not have a single blister on either foot. That was a first for me on any race of marathon distance or longer. By now, I've put about 150 miles on them and they still feel great. I am sure it is not just the shoes, but a combination of the shoes and the Injinji socks.

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