Shoe Reviews by Nathan - #1
I look upon the small (for a size 13) blue box with both trepidation and excitement. The crest of the white RunBird is perched and ready to spring to life. Opening the box is much like other shoes. The lid opens to reveal the shoes blanketed in white tissue paper. Brushing the crisp paper aside reveals a navy shoe with red and blue detailing that smells slightly chemical due to the PBAx midsole. Pulling the shoes out I give them a once over taking in the detailing of the fairly minimal shoe. The multi-layered logo design vibrating with potential energy.
‘Yes, yes this will do quite nicely’ I think to myself as I slide the shoe on as if savoring a rare Bordeaux. The step in is very firm but once one begins to move the shoe comes to life. It snaps to attention as soon as someone commands it. As someone who needs some stability in their life, I felt very at home in the shoe and it’s deceptively sung. On the outside it looks as though it can accommodate a wider foot well but in reality the toe box allows for a more natural fit. As soon as I stepped in I wanted to take off and push this shoe, this much hyped shoe, to its limits in terms of distance and speed (well as much speed as I could).
The next morning I decide to take this shoe for a spin with a track workout. The pitch pre-dawn morning was heavy with the impending rain and foggy from the sudden temperature drop. In other words the perfect morning to test both the shoes and myself out. As I walk from my car to the track it was as if all that potential energy vibrating in the logo was about to explode as soon as my feet hit the rubber of the track. The mist turns to rain the instant I finish my warm up and now the real test begins. My mind immediately turns to the one piece resin outsole. ‘Hmm, apparently for more traction. Probably good after the wiping out in the [REDACTED] last year’ I think to myself gearing myself up for the speed work ahead. And with that I go.
Light and snappy, the shoe offers a pleasant bounce under foot that isn’t dissimilar fro the majestic imperial stags of the Scottish Highlands as they bound over river and glen commanding the grey Autumn skies and light rumbles of thunder. As the rain subsided for the brief moment the steel blue and navy shoes offer a feeling that balances the structure of a traditional shoe with the spring and snap of a high end performance shoe. The forked fiber glass plate gives a more natural feeling under foot than a carbon plate. Calling it a wave plate encapsulates how the shoe acts as an extension of your body. It creates a synergy that pushes one into the natural rhythm and momentum of the roaring ocean and coursing river.
The speed work done, I decide to put the Rebellion through its paces on a long run. 16 miles seems to be a good distance, longer than a half but not so close to a full that I would be putting my poor pronating feet through too much. I set out on the cool Saturday morning at a comfortable yet brisk pace of 8:50. The next eight-ish miles proceeded fairly uneventfully. The shoe performed well and maintained that quick and unique feel that I had discovered during the speed work. By the time I find myself and my companion at the turn around and, feeling good, we decide to go the extra two miles to the twenty mile turnaround.
This choice and my own inability to read a map led to my downfall. What was supposed to be an easy 16 mile run turned into a grueling 22 miles. The shoes delivered on their promise, a natural fast and energetic feeling for more that a majority of the run but by the time I made it back to the car I was fairly worn. The shoes however, were only getting warmed up. I have since worn them on a few other occasions and have found them to be a shoe that I look forward to in my rotation. They’re light, firm, quick, and fairly stable. In other words, for some this could be a Cinderella shoe. A glass slipper that unlocks their future (PR’s that is).