Monday, July 28, 2008

Nike Zoom Victory+ : Verdict

Being the idiot that i am, i defied all order to stay in bed and went for a run yesterday morning.

I figured out that the blister on the achilles won't heal any faster in the next few days, even if i don't run. And i know i need the mileage badly.

I started the day with a lot of apprehension. Shooting pain went through my balls, then my heart and my head the moment i slip on the shoe.

The area which were sore isn't the hole of the blister, but rahter, the area surrounding the blister. Yes, i admit, it's infected, and it has in no less way, caused at least 3 nodal gland on my body to be engorged as well (crotch and both side of the neck). It has also cause some outbreak on the otherwise normal acne to be more than just that.

SO, at 6am yesterday morning, a few of us were at Bukit Aman and decided to do the 20km distance. My first 3km was filled with pain and i was running funny. Right after 3km, both the blisters starts to bleed again and i thought since it has already tainted the clean shoe, i might as well just carry on, pain or no pain.

Enough of whining. Here are the test drive of the Victory+.

Like i said before, this shoe doesn't dissapoint in the look department. I got a few runners at the Bukit Aman car park looking and some asking if it was a pair of new shoe. OK, the shoe being so white with fluorescent green laces and sole sure to attact attention, one way or the other. I had purposely wore a set of dark top and shorts (that is for another set of review) so that the shoe stand out better (call me a whore if you like).

As you can see above, the light from the phone did make the shoe fluoresent laces "shine" a bit la.

I think i've covered enough of the shoe outlook based on the previous write up, so, from here onwards, will be the more serious things.

The FlyWire feature are supposed to be the main highlight of this shoe. Derived from the Track & Field version of Victory Spike, it was supposed to "wrap" the athelete foot like a rubber glove, confirming to every single twitch of the planar muscle so that the power transfered are 100% to the rubberized track.

In this matter, Victory+ did not dissapoint. Despite the missing traditional panelling/support system on the usual running shoe, the wires held the shoe and feet really well. No instances where i felt the shoe giving way under any condition on the whole 20km run. That would also meant that the incidences of sprain due to the shoe not being able to conform to the surface are greatly minimized.

I know most shoes are pretty stable nowadays compared to maybe 5 years ago. But in this context where this Victory+ are sorely and greatly missing the whole panelling (or some would call it 360 degree lacing), this shoe comes up as a very pleasant suprise.

On the same matter, the tongue, which i complained to be thin and folding at the base, i figured out that one just need to ensure that the bottom portion are placed properly. Maybe the shoe is still new, hence, the folding up of the thin tongue.

Run Happy

My initial feeling of the "jump test" proves to be right. The sole are on the hard side. The sockliner was too basic to provide extra cushioning. I felt my feet hitting harder than it usually does on the run. I know it is hitting harder because on any other Nike shoes, the landing would be "muffled" and sounded more like "squish-squish" rahter than "thud-thud".

Am i making things clear? :P

The cushioning, abeit harder than usual, are bearable. That would also meant that if you plan to run a 10km race with this shoe, it's do-able. For 21km race, think twice. For 42km race, don't think, get another shoe.

But if there is a consolation to it, this shoe are damn pretty to be used as a weekend fashion shoe. Those flouresent laces and sole are surely to "light up" an UV theme club - provided you got some slick dance move, else, i suggest you stick to running, it's simpler.

Acceptable shoe to be used for races less than 10km. The usual stroll in the park, or to work on a dress down Friday. The shoe colour scheme and combination are sure to attract attention. Moreover, from afar, it looked as if the shoe are just made of mesh material...and those wires that are used to hold and give the shoe support, well, that could be used to impressed some non-running friends.

This shoe construction are the way forward. Already, i know that those heavy high cut basketball shoes already benefitted from this Flywire technology. This would meant that you won't be playing your basketball game as if with a ankle weight on your feet...and that elusive turn-around-your-body-under-the-leg slam dunk are almost possible.

Out of 10, i will give this shoe a 6. Slightly above average, but could be better with plushier cushinionig.

Allow me to whine one last time, afterall, i did bleed for this write up.

i pulled up the socks so that the blister will have fresh socks surface to bleed on. Right leg only, left leg i don't dare to take out as it was more painful that the right.

Sunday run : 20km (Bukit Aman - Hartamas - Bukit Aman)
Time take : 2:30, at least. Limping to a certain extend.
Pain Factor : 10/10 - but satisfying because get to clock up mileage.
Idiot Factor : 11/10 - forgot to attach the Nike+ reciever on the iPod Nano and spent a good 3 km trying to link the transmitter. The extra 1 point is for running with unhealed blood blisters.

E-LEVEN! Even Ryan knows that

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