Running and I have a very mixed relationship. I think I am one of those people who loves the idea of running, but when it comes to the physical exertion involved, is actually never going to be able to describe myself as “a runner”. I mean; I get running, I understand the appeal, I love the idea of jogging for miles and miles and in my head think a marathon would be an awesome thing to do. But, in reality, I am incredibly heavy on my feet, get pains in my knees and ankles, and have tried and failed to become a runner on more than one occasion. I trained and trained to achieve my goal of running 10km in an hour, several years in a row, but missed out by a few minutes each time. So I now tend to stick to lower impact sports such as walking and cycling that get me into the countryside without making me feel so terrible.
Having said that, though, I still go jogging when I get the chance. Not running, I’m too slow for that, but a jog around the block on a Sunday morning or when I have a day off gets me up and about, out into the fresh air, and is a great start to the day. Parkrun starts in Lincoln in a few weeks or so and so I think I’ll move my Sunday morning jog to a Saturday and head down to Boultham Park to see if a weekly timed 5km run makes any difference to my fitness and shape.
The last few runs (jogs!) I’ve done have been in these Cloudrunner trainers from ON. With the slogan “I make concrete easy” written on the insole, they are designed to give you a spring in your step that makes concrete and tarmac a lot softer on your legs. Being as heavy footed as I am the claims of these trainers are like music to my ears – anything to help my knees and ankles and you never know maybe even reduce the noise of the slap slap slapping of my feet on the pavement.
Here’s what they say:
An enforced CloudTec® system with 15 high-profile Clouds absorbs heavy impact and provides the best stability and underfoot protection. The Cloudrunner is equipped with the all-new Speedboard to unleash the natural energy of your feet and promote an efficient running gait. Win the battle beneath your feet and transform impact into a light, natural run. The Cloudrunner is designed for high-impact runs, long training sessions and endurance runs. Run on clouds: build your endurance, prevent injury and reduce recovery times.
The trainers are very comfortable. They are a good fit and the lace design makes it very easy to pull the trainers into the right shape for my foot. They feel good on my feet; light and airy with plenty of space where I need it.
When I first put them on, and in fact every time I have put them on, I feel like I’m wearing a very deep soled shoe – a platform – these have a normal sole plus the “clouds” which makes me feel very tall which seems to go against the trend for running shoes at the moment having a more neutral sole. They make a funny noise akin to four or five people wearing high heeled shoes when I walk across the wooden floor in my kitchen, I guess as each individual cloud touches the floor, which is rather unusual.
My first run in these was a very steady 5km run around where I live. I kept to the pavement, naturally, and hoped that the clouds lived up to the promise. One thing I definitely noticed was how much quieter I was once out and about. It was a lovely autumn Sunday morning, bright blue sky, quite warm, no-one about – just me and the sound of my feet. I absolutely must have been lighter on my feet, because I was making much less noise than normal. So a good start! I also noticed my knees and ankles didn’t hurt so much the day after; they are normally quite painful when I get up the day after a 5km jog, so I’ll take that.
Having done four or five 5km jogs in these trainers now I can report that they are still comfortable and as springy as when I first tried them. One question I have for the long term is how long those clouds will actually last. They squish right down with every step – will they eventually lose their spring and stop bouncing back to the cloud shape? Will they crack and collapse? I guess only time will tell.
The other thing with these clouds is that stuff – dirt, mud, even bits of gravel – gets into the gaps, filling them up and making the trainers less springy and cloud-like and more like ordinary if not rather tall trainers. This doesn’t seem to happen if you stick to tarmac or concrete, it only happened when I ventured off the pavement and onto a muddy path. These trainers are definitely for the road.
I like these. They seem to have helped with my running and they look great.
Find out more about these Cloudrunner trainers by ON here: www.on-running.com/products/cloudrunner