I’ve never been to a shoe launch before, and yet earlier this year I was lucky enough to wangle an invite to the launch of the new Asics Gel Noosa trainer. I was told in advance to come prepared for 3 things:
1. To run
2. Don’t act like an idiot when you see the legend that is Jan Frodeno
Now, the first two I am totally OK with, sort of. But that’s only because the legend that is Frodo is just simply a lot to take in. The third one however, I had no idea where to start. I was soon to find out!
The Noosa is a reincarnation of the triathlon shoe of old, and I was a big fan. Not to put it on a pedestal, but, I in fact still have a pair. Needless to say the new Noosa had a lot to live up to.
These shoes come in at 255g for the pair, and that was the first thing I noticed. Crazy light. BUT WAIT, I hear you shout. “It’s all good and well having light shoes, but if they offer zero cushioning I may as well run in a pair of flip flops”. I couldn’t agree more, and this is where the science comes in. The new Noosa shoes comes with a lightweight cushioning system, known as FLYTEFOAM. It’s an organic fibre in the midsole that is 55% lighter than the industry standard and essentially ‘bounces’ back to shape with each step that you take. So essentially, you get cushioning at a fraction of the weight. Now the #DONTRUNFLY was starting to make sense.
The shoe is intended for neutral pronators (10mm heel to toe drop) and for fast road running. Now this is where I slightly disagree, because I have pretty much used this shoe for everything. I put a pair of elastic laces in them (so very triathlete of me), and yes I do use them for my speed work, half marathons and triathlons. However I also use them for hard pack trail running, easy ‘spin the legs out’ runs round the park, longer training runs to 30k and gym work. Heck, I actually commute to work in these whilst wearing my suit (seriously!). I’m well past the 600km mark with these shoes and they are still going strong.
They also have some cool little features which you wouldn’t necessarily notice when trying them on- like the grippy tongue fabric (amazing for fast transitions off the bike or in wet weather), and the reflective features which are great for pounding the pavements at night. You can also check out all the other features of this shoe, right here.
So back to the product launch. Yes I ran (along a makeshift runway OVER Tower Bridge!). Yes I played it cool when I saw Frodo, so cool in fact, he didn’t even notice me. But most importantly, I came away thinking, why run when you can fly!!