Monday, April 20, 2009

Shoe Review - Brooks GTS 8

Personal Stats:
  • 9-9.5 foot size / fairly wide - size depends on the shoe manufacture.
  • Current weight -204 lbs
  • No history of any running pains other than some small cramping which I have mentioned before.
  • NEVER have had any blistering issues, nor nail issues.
  • I run in addias, NB, Asics, and Nike - so I'm not very picky.
  • Finally, my gait is fairly standard - I do tend to pronate though.
I normally run in New Balance or Nike, but after not being thrilled with my last pairs of shoes from both of these companies, I decided to look for something new. A few of the blogs I read mentioned Brooks as a good shoe so I set Beth on a search for a good deal on some Brooks.

After a small search - Beth found the GTS 8 on sale for $59.99 (reg price was $109.99) These shoes have already been replaced by the next generation - GTS 9 in the sales market, so this was more of a clear out then a sale - but heck, I NEVER buy new models....

The shoe comes in two colors (that I'm aware of) - Yellow and Lime Green. After trying on a couple pairs I realized that the 9.5's would fit getter than the 9's and since I do have a fairly wide foot this isn't uncommon for me. Plus I like just a little space for my foot since they tend to 'swell' when I run (just a tad). Since I chose the 9.5's; all that was left was the Lime Green color - not my first pick but they'll do.

This particular shoe is a stabilizing shoe - or a shoe that puts your foot in the correct ground strike position. If you know me at all, I'm really not 'thrilled' with all the different kinds of shoes, stability, cushion, racing, etc... so I've tried all different types of shoes - I've never been fitted nor will I ever - shoot I used to run barefoot on the sand growing up. (Talk about rubbing your feet raw, but that's a different story). But for all of the different 'types' of shoes, stability seems to be the best fit for me.

While trying the shoes on in the store - two, count them, two people asked If I'd run in Brooks before. Now realize these people were customers not sales people, both of these 'runners' told me they swear by this shoe and were buying 'stock' because they loved them so much. Now in all my years of trying on shoes I've never had this experience before - were these shoes really that good? And good enough for a lady to buy 6 pairs for herself (yeah and this is the men's version....)

Getting home I didn't waste any time getting them on and getting them out the door, and about 5 miles later I wasn't really sold on the shoe. The shoe fits good for my foot - wide in the toe box and snug around the heel. Padding is good and overall the shoe felt good. But dang it - no 8 min miles were produced by putting these on........ (really 6 pairs?!?)

Since that time I've now put 49.1 miles on them and I'm really liking the shoe. Stable but soft is the best description for them. Light enough not to weigh you down, but enough material to be pretty durable. You give up cushioning and flexibility in the shoe for the stability, but for me right now in my running this fits my needs. No blisters to report, and the shoe itself cools pretty well since I haven't experienced any 'hot' spots during my time in them. The arch support in the shoe is a medium range support - not too high but not too low - I think this has helped me with my cramping a little since I haven't had to deal with this issue too much since I started using them, but I contribute this more to the old shoes being old than the these shoes solving the problem.

Traction seems good - puddles on concrete with alge don't cause any problems (I was surprised) but don't expect to have good traction if you're running SoCal trails - got get a good trail shoe for that - but these weren't designed for trails.

Construction on the shoe seems solid also, the seams are all stitched well and there isn't any loose material inside the toe box. The tongue of the shoe is well placed and doesn't "slide" off to one side as some shoes tend to do. The interface between the fabric and sole seems to be well done and I don't anticipate and issues with the shoe not being able to hold up over time.

Wear (so far) seems to be good - I can't see any outward signs with 50 miles, but it's still early in the shoe's life and I really didn't expect to see wear at this point. Reading customer reviews on-line this tends to be the shoe drawback. Several reviews I've read indicate less than 300 miles logged and the shoe broke down. I'll let you know when I get there.

Overall I'm fairly impressed with the quality and design of the shoe. Running pain free (arches) is a plus - and it has helped me record several PB's over the last two weeks. I'd go out and buy another pair.

Keep Steppin'


The Boring Runner said...

I'm really glad you like the shoes! Like I said before, I run in these shoes and I like them OK. They were the first shoe that I tried when starting out. I'm honestly ready for a change though.

I am going to try to get 'fitted' though. I have to wear platellar straps and I don't feel like I should have to.

Anonymous said...

Just make sure you dont keep leaving them out for Bogey to eat!! :)

SuperDave said...

Good review.
I've always been afraid to change shoes. I'm pretty much a Nike and Asics fan. Then again I always eat the same thing at every restaraunt I go to. Hard to change. I've heard good things about Brooks. I try to stay away from Stabilization shoes - they seem a bit too stiff for me even though my weight makes them a recommendation.
Awww damn I just need to try something new.

Tanya said...

I'm afraid to try something new-i'm going to be in deep trouble if Asics discontinues the Nimbus shoes. when you find those 8 minute pace shoes, let me know, because I could really use them!