Sunday, July 6, 2008

It's Time For New Shoes.....New Balance?

With all the miles I've been logging onto my current shoes, i'd have to say I'm very much overdue to treat my dogs right. I've been reading some nice things about New Balance recently. Now I've always been a fan of the "Beast", and typically I'm the kind of person a little reluctant to change when something works.

However, I'm always looking to improve as well.

Before trying anything, I read as many reviews as I could. Before that, I tried to see what shoe would closely match my requirements. I'm not a clydesdale, but I have pretty low arches, and tend to overpronate somewhat badly, so good motion control is a must.

So....Let the battle begin!

Two shoes, the New Balance 1011 and the New Balance 1123 seemed to be the finalists on my cavalcade of toes.

I first tried on the New Balance 1011's. These shoes have been making a scene lately in Runner's World, and other sites. And all of it is good. They're stiff & supportive where they need to be, and surprisingly very flexible up in the front. Recently New Balance had released a new technology called N-Lock, where the laces would connect to the midsole with two nylon bands. This shoe uses four nylon bands which gave me a snug fit.

And then I tried on the New Balance 1123. Extremely comfortable. Nice cushioning and nice support. Note: The 1123's run about a size larger than normal. What I liked about these shoes most is that they were more comfortable than the 1011's and not as tight at the top either. I was able to easily remove the already very comfortable NB soles and slip in my Sorbothane Ultra Orthotic Arch Soles. Yet, these New Balance Soles felt so good, that I just might venture out of my safe zone, and give the sneakers a try as is, factory soles and all. I also liked the support that the shoe gave me without the compressed feeling that the 1011's gave my foot. Don't get me wrong, compression is actually a good thing, as it's an important feature of motion control as well, but my feet are claustophobic.

In the end, the winner were the New Balance 1223's. Maximum cushioning, stability, motion control. It's the new standard for New Balance motion control shoes, and perhaps the flagship of their entire line. Highly recommendable by all counts.

Good job, New Balance!

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