Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Brooks Green Silence – Feedback from my marathon testing

As many of you know, I field tested the Brooks Green Silence racing flats this past weekend at the Tobacco Road Marathon.

Well, I am back, resting, and ready to report on my experience.

Let me start by breaking it down for you.

  • Modifications to the Shoe
    • My only modification to the shoe was to replace the out of the box laces with Yankz.
  • Shoe Break-in
    • Normally, racing flats don't require much of a break-in period so I limited my break-in to 2 hours of wearing the flats around my house, 2 Tabata workouts, and a 2 mile interval last Tuesday.
  • Race Sock
    • Thorlo Experia Race Sock

With the above information now on the table, here's how my race went.

I put on the shoes about 15 minutes before the race and headed over to the starting line for some very easy strides. I double checked that the laces were secure and shoe tongue was not doubled or wrinkled.

Through the first 3 miles, I did not have any issues. Heading off for the first trail section was good. The shoes were snug enough around the ankle that no rocks slipped inside the shoes.

Around about 15 miles, I began to notice in the mid foot some tenderness. As most of you know some tenderness is expected when running a marathon. My first thought went to the sock. Maybe I hadn't smoothed out the Experia Socks when I put them on my feet or the sock got wrinkled when I put on the shoes. I spent a little time trying to alter my stride in hopes that it was something that I could work out. But after a few miles and nothing seem to be working, I finally gave up and just continued on with the race. Doing my best, I tried to not think about it.

By 20 miles, it was hurting pretty bad and by 24 miles, it felt like a nail was being inserted into the bottom of my foot.

Once I was finished and had reached our car, I pulled off my shoes and socks to see what was happening.

Right in the middle of the mid foot on both feet, I had this ugly blister. Definitely, the same place on both feet. I then examined the socks and then the Brooks Green Silence shoes.

Running my fingers inside the shoes and feeling the contour of the insole, I realized what the problem was. Most of my racing flats require little to no break-in period. When I bought the Brooks Green Silence, I follow the same break-in process. However, the foam mid sole unlike other racing flats is thicker and definitely takes longer to contour to my feet. That combined with the calluses on my feet created just enough friction to cause a hot spot on both feet.

From a racing flat perspective, the Brooks Green Silence worked exactly as expected and other than the two hot spots, I didn't have anything else close to a blister.

I will almost certainly use the Brooks Green Silence for my next marathon, but I will definitely add some additional time for break-in.



Thoughts from the Brook Green Silence field test by the Cool Down Runner


Megan said...

Im glad the shoes worked for you. Ben got the same ones and I called him "McBenjamin" because they are McDonald's colors :)

Cool Down Runner said...

You are right. The shoes do have the McDonald's look to them.