The Hard Runner’s Happy Return to Asics

The Hard Runner’s Happy Return to Asics

For three years I have skipped around looking for a great distance shoe.  Although I was always an Asics person, their many redesigns left me searching for something I could depend on.  I’ve been to Nike Zoom Elite, Mizuno Wave, Adidas (Arrggh!), just all over the place.  I was once really happy with the Asics 2100 series, but can’t do those anymore.  Finally, after an exhaustive hard target search, the hard runner is feeling pretty good about a new pair of kicks.     

Today is the third day I have worn my new Asics Landreth 7.  I must say they were pretty pleasant.  There’s one sure way to know as a runner whether the shoe you’re wearing is “the right one baby.”  Ask yourself this question.  How much do you remember of it after the run?  That is the important part.  If you can remember any sharp or even remote foot discomfort, then the shoe may be to blame.  But if after your run, your shoes are pretty unremarkable, then they’ve done their job. 


That is what is most valuable to me.  I want a shoe I can barely remember wearing.  This means the shoe wasn’t too thin on the bottom where you felt every pebble in the road.  It wasn’t too bouncy either, where you felt you might lift off into space.  A general overall safe and predictable ride.


Over the last few months I have realized that I am in need of a good distance shoe for this year’s training schedule.  Oh sure, I have a great mid distance shoe in the Brooks Pure Flow.  I mean it is very comfortable over about 6 miles.  I have a little consternation with limiting them to six miles.  Maybe even 7 miles on my Flows would be possible, but that would be the precipice of the comfort zone.  However, the Asics were a different story today and the last couple mornings.  After my run I felt nothing.  Let me qualify nothing.  I am suffering from some funky knee/IT band issue right now, but besides that my feet feel great.  The ride on the Landreth 7 is a little smooth and even cushy.  Not too cushy mind you, as I don’t feel separated from the road like some “hoopty” Cadillac.


This isn’t the first time I’ve owned a pair of the Landreth.  I had a pair back in 2008 and the experience was markedly different.  They were so flat, heavy and kinda slow.  With every foot strike you could hear a rather loud clap.  I should mention I hear this same clapping sound when I wear the Asics Neo 33 right now.  I do like them, but dang they’re so loud.  But I digress.  Because of the terrible ride, I was forced to wear prescription orthodox in the earlier version of the Landreth.  I can really see the difference in a shoe that is designed for a fast, distance run over one that can work only to a certain mileage.


The Landreth 7 feel very smooth and even light.  I would use the word “natural.”  I hate to get too excited since I’ve been disappointed by shoes before.  The runs I had this week were fairly short, at most 6 miles, so I can be a better judge on Saturday when I go out for my 14 miler.



I commend Asics for the vast improvement in the Landreth.  I just hope they don’t get recurring schizophrenia and totally redesign the shoe in two seasons.  Wishful thinking, I know.  But admittedly, there is a small something fun about test driving new shoes every year.


So, if all goes well this weekend, I have a real plan.  I’ll wear my Brooks Pure Flow during the week and then strap into my Asics Landreth 7 for the weekend.  Shucks, this just might work!  Never, never stop running.

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