Shoes! Runners love them and I am guilty as charged. I have probably 2-3 pairs too many, but I use them all and each have their own purpose.
I have a pair for long runs.
I have a pair at work for lunch runs. #RUNch
I have a pair for speed work.
I have a pair designated for trails.
But what I was missing was a pair that helped me to focus on a more “natural” foot motion.
Enter Saucony Virrataa.
Here is the quick 411 from Saucony:
Stripped down to strong. The Virrata is our lightest and most flexible training shoe and allows your foot to move naturally. We removed everything that isn’t helping your run improve. What remains is a feather-light, ultra flexible shoe with advanced cushioning that promotes a powerful stride and allows your foot to move the way it was meant to. Built on a 0mm offset, this shoe lets your feet do the work while providing plenty of protection from the road. The breathable mesh upper makes the shoe incredible lightweight and quick-drying to run in wet weather conditions. Weight: 6.5oz.
I use a high-stability shoe for long runs. My over-pronation is something I’m aware of and have had my foot plant tested on several occasions to see if anything has changed. No luck. It will take a conscious effort to correct the problem.
The challenge is that I’m always training for something and time is usually limited. I decided that incorporating a shoe that required (and encouraged) a more natural foot motion would help me become more aware and hopefully lead me down the road to a more natural foot plant.
The first step would be to introduce the shoe slowly and re-train myself to be more focused on a mid-foot landing. I was offered the chance to give the new Saucony Virrata a try. The Virrata is the latest shoe from Saucony in their “Natural” line (next to the Mirage and the Kinvara). The Virrata was a zero drop shoe, meaning the heel and the toes are level. The difference was that in the Virrata, there was some additional cushioning in the sole of the shoe giving the foot some “protection,” but still encouraging the natural foot motion.
My first run was a 5 mile run at a comfortable pace. I immediately felt the lightness of the shoe. It was ridiculous (6.5 oz compared to my Guide 6’s 10.0 oz). I had the sudden sensation to want to go fast. I reeled it in and stayed on point.
Secondly, I noticed that there was some cushion between me and the ground. It wasn’t a lot like my other shoes, but it was enough to reassure me that I wasn’t going to trash my foot if I missed a mid-foot plant and slipped in a heel strike.
My second run was a bit longer, just over 7 miles. I wanted to introduce them slowly and see how my body responded. I couldn’t go straight from a high-stability shoe to running 20 miles in a natural shoe. That could introduce potential injuries since I’m not at that level yet. See, having multiple shoes helped me to be smart about the transition. The run felt good and I was more aware of how my foot was contacting the ground. I did notice that my stride shortened and I had a quicker turnover. It didn’t equate to a faster mile, but kept me on my normal pace.
It’s a work in progress towards correcting my stride and I’m happy to be taking the first steps. I’ve been doing short runs and lots of walking in them. It is going to be a transition and some trial and error, but I’ll be working them into more of my 5-8 mile runs to strengthen my legs and work on my form.
Extremely light weight.
Enough cushion in the sole to forgive a heel strike.
Zero-drop to encourage a more natural foot motion.
Bright colors, because looking good matters.
As an over-pronater, can’t jump straight into longer miles.
Hesitant to “let go” and run fast. (Must allow transition period).
I’ll keep you up-to-date on twitter and instagram on how my progress is going. Feel free to follow along. I’ve been posting a ton of photos on my feed and contstant updates with which shoes I’m rocking.
We also announced the winner on the Pro Compression giveaway — See here.
I was given a pair of Virrata from Saucony to review and keep through FitFluential. All opinions are my own and you can’t have them. But I welcome you try through Inception.
Have you ever run in a “natural” shoe?
What do you think of the Virrata?