I currently have an embarrassing running related affliction. No, I haven’t got a gammy toenail (yet) or anything worryingly sweaty, instead, I have squeaky trainers. And I don’t mean just a little ‘peep’ every now and again, I mean something that sounds like ‘ehe -schwelch, ehe – schwelch, ehe – schwelch’ with every single step I take. Honestly, I was doing my Parkrun yesterday (beat 30 minutes for the first time in about ten years BTW) and it was just ludicrous.
The problem is that I have to wear orthotics and, even with my wide fitting New Balance, they squish up and down as you move. I was therefore very excited when a few months ago the invitation to try a new pair of Karrimor trainers hit my inbox. They were selling them as their sturdiest design so far. Here was the blurb…
Karrimor’s new running shoes feature D30 shock absorption technology to lower the impact when running against the road, teamed with gel technology to the rear and forefoot to help lessen impact and a clutch counter to the heel for more ride control and stability. Basically really comfortable and lessen impact thus preventing injury!
Hmm, I thought. A nice sturdy shoe, maybe I can try them without orthotics and no longer squeak my way round the neighbourhood. Sadly, that wasn’t to be as I’ll explain, but they are still a nice basic shoe to run in – especially, in my opinion, if you’re just starting out. Here’s what I found….
1) The ones they sent me were white – very, very white – for normal people this probably isn’t an issue but they do scream NEW TRAINERS I’M WEARING NEW, SHINY, TRAINERS. I’d prefer a darker colourway.
2) They are grippy – you have to fight a bit to get your foot in them but when you do it’s held fast. My feet definitely felt secure. the only downside of this is that after a few wears and attempts to force my feet in the heel is bending in a little which could create a problem with rubbing in the future.
3) They’re a really comfy shoe on the inside. I am plagued with blisters on the underside of my big toe but I didn’t get any problems wearing these. I also have issues with shoe backs rubbing on my heel – but again, no problems
4) All that support means they do feel heavy on your feet – that’s why I say they’d be a good beginners shoe. I was conscious of their weight while I was running and it was a bit like they were weighing me down (though I did PB on the day I wore them for a Parkrun so they obviously aren’t) but if you’re just getting started, the added stability is probably more important while you start to build up your muscles (which then reinforce your own natural stability) than something that is going to speed you up.
5) Full recommended retail price is £159.99 – which is frankly silly. Though I’m told they are regularly to £79.99 for new shades, or, the Karrimor website are currently selling an older colourway for £48. Personally, I’d say buy last year’s colours at a discount cost. I didn’t experience this for myself, but other online reviews have suggested they might wear out a bit earlier than other shoes – but there again, if you’re just starting out that might not be such a problem for you, as, once you know you’re committed to running you might want to upgrade to a higher tech shoe anyway.
5) They don’t sort out your pronation. I didn’t notice this while I was running, but when I was walking to the bus stop afterwards I really noticed how much my foot was turning in. Normally I can tell if this is happening as I feel it in my ankle, obviously the fact that my foot was held firm stopped that, but still, I wouldn’t risk wearing them without my orthotics. So, looks like I’m still going to squeak for a while yet.