Runners Need has recently opened in Leicester, my closest city about 20 minutes drive away. Seeing that they’d set up a running club, I was interested in seeing what they get up to. For me, 20 minutes is a long-way to drive for a 5k run but finding out they were holding an event with OnRunning, to try on a pair of their shoes on a run, I was keen to attend.
I had tried on a pair of On’s last October when I had my GAIT analysis done last. They were pretty new (at least to the shop). My first impression was that I’d be worried about dirt/mud getting in the sole and them being a nightmare to clean! I tested them for 30 seconds or so on the treadmill, felt and saw my right foot flicking out to the side and decided that they weren’t for me.
We all know that running on a treadmill is different to running on tarmac so I turned up to give a pair a go.
With plenty to choose from, the rep told us about the various different running shoes for different styles. As a neutral runner I opted to try the Cloudflyer in a size 8. Usually I’m a 6.5/7 in normal shoes and wear a 7.5 running shoe so hearing size 8 I was a little dubious but once I put them on soon realised that they were the best size for me, leaving some room to wiggle my toes but not enough that I’d be falling out of them. Loved the colour of them!
Group in shoes, we headed outside of the shopping centre and on the road. We headed out of the city centre and out towards Abbey Park, for a loop around the park and back to the store, 5k in total so just enough to get a feel for the shoe without causing any long-term problems.
The run was going well, a quicker pace than my usual steady pace but not uncomfortable. I felt good for the first mile or so and after that had made up my mind on the shoes. I enjoyed the run and the route (bearing in mind my last jaunt around Abbey Park in Leicester was for the not-so-good Race For Life Half Marathon in July) and it was great to meet and chat to other people.
What’s more, there was water doughnuts and Lindt chocolate when we arrived back as well as an On Running backpack with has proved super useful for runs to the swimming pool!
Verdict: when I put on my usual Nike Pegasus I was in a much happier place.
I didn’t find that the Cloudflyer had enough cushioning for me and by the end of the run the bottom of my foot (apparently the metatarsal bones) were hurting. In addition, as with the treadmill experience, I felt like my alignment wasn’t as it usually is and my legs were kicking out at all angles. Putting my trainers back on my knees felt a little out of place and it took me a few minutes to start walking normally!
I’m glad to have tried them and know for sure that they are not the trainer for me.
It’s great to have events such as these in the area. Being Midlands based it’s hard to get down to London regularly and take part in all of the fantastic groups down there so to have these events here is fab!