Usually what happens is I get contacted, agree to review the product (or not), wear the shoes for a day around the city to break them in, go for a run and then write up what I think.
It's a formula that works. By wearing them around and breaking them in, one run is pretty much all I need to form an opinion.
But, what I'd really like to do is wear the shit out of the kicks and see how long they last, how my knees and hips react when they have 250+ miles on them, what the treads look like and how beat up they look.
Well, I was given that opportunity.
Back in July Asics sent me a note and asked if I'd be interested in trying a pair of its kicks. I had never owned a pair before but I know a lot of folks that are dedicated Asics wearers and was very interested.
I was given a code and told to head over to the website and order any pair I wanted (and while they paid for the shoes, opinions here are my own).
If you're given the opportunity to wear a pair of Asics, what are you going to go for? The heritage brand, right? I ordered up a pair of Gel Kayano 20.
At first I was taken aback by the retail price ($139.00) but when I got them and finally slipped them on my feet, I understood why.
There's a reason Asics has been making this shoe for 20 years. They're pretty damn great. They're sturdy, good looking, well designed and (here's the kicker) lasted me well over 300 miles. It's been more than five years since I've had a pair of kicks go longer than 225 miles for me without experiencing some consequences (hip or knee pain, etc.).
When I put the Gel Kayano 20 on for the first time, they already felt broken in -- a friend mentioned that she doesn't break them in before she runs in them, I've made that mistake before to my detriment. So I wore them to work for a day before my first run. From there, I stayed smart, my first run was a 10K, then a five miler, back to 10K until I finally ran a 13.1
Once the 13.1 was under my belt, I was loving the way they felt and decided this was the pair in which I would run the NYC Marathon.
There's a lot of marketing speak on the Asics site about these kicks, the FluidFit uppers, the Heal Clutching System, something called the Guidance Trusstic System (which according to Asics, This Trusstic System® integrates Guidance Line® construction for enhanced gait efficiency while providing midfoot structural integrity.
|Courtesy of Asics|
Um, okay, but do they make me run faster? (That's a joke.)
While I commend Asics for adding a ton of R&D and technology to the 11.3 oz strapped to my feet, for me it all comes down to how they feel when I run.
The strongest endorsement I can give a pair is that I want to wear them for a marathon.
I wanted to.
And I did.
And I wasn't disappointed.
I've been rotating through a few different shoes since NYC but I will, without a doubt, be back to Asics soon enough.
As a side note, my Asics have 320 miles on them and they're still going strong. I'll Tweet when I finally retire them.