Sunday, January 27, 2013

Freeheel Running Pads - Initial Run

Today was my 1st run in my new Freeheel Running Pads.

I decided to give them a shot at a local trail that's about 8mi from my house.
So, I grabbed my fixed gear, running pads, phone, and took off for the beautifully serene solitude of Bulow Creek. 

Can't just leave my flip-flops unattended... :)
It's a little over an 8mi ride to the trails, which gave me some time to get warmed up.

And since I was running, I didn't really rush the pace to the trailhead.  (avg 18mph)

Gotta love lower latitude weather.

Flip flops, shorts, and sunshine...even in the winter.

Freeheels on and ready to run.

Nice breeze, 74F, trails, and sunshine.  Life is Good!
The trails, while usually bustling with hikers, tourists, people fishing, and nature lovers, were almost completely deserted this afternoon.

I left my GPS at home, as to not be distracted by pacing or distance queues during my initial experience wearing these most unconventional running....

Well, I'm still not sure what to call them. They aren't really shoes, and they aren't really sandals. 

The only occupants to be seen were armadillos, but they're faster than my camera.  Saw about 8 of them in just over 4 miles, but could never catch one on camera. 

Hard to believe that less than 30mins ago, I was surrounded by Condos, Traffic, and Noise. 

During the run, I noticed a few differences between the running pads and most other minimalist footwear on the market:

1st run down...many more to go!
  • They really do a good job of soaking up the sharp bits of trail. Thorns, Sticks, Sandspurs, ect.
  • The unconventional construction really forces you to stay forward in your posture and the exposed heel really lets you know when you're dropping back in your stride (putting more weight towards heel).  But I never got the impression I was being forced to tip-toe, at all. 
  • They don't slip, slide, chafe, or move around. Very secure feeling on your foot. I was half expecting them to feel always on the verge of coming off, but not once did I even have to stop, slow, or adjust them in any way. 
  • The "toe-centric" design really reminds me of what Newtons claim to do, but just without all the weight, posting, and chafe areas of conventional shoe uppers.

As you can see no wear/damage.
Overall, my 4 mile tempo run was... uneventful.

I didn't have to alter my stride, or make compensations in speed for comfort.

They held on at a 7min/mi avg without any fuss or drama.

I can't wait to try them on some longer runs to see how they feel when fatigued.

End result:
A little over 4 drama free miles in just over 28mins and 1 fairly impressed running enthusiast. 

Check back for some upcoming head-to-head comparisons.

Happy Running ~ JMB


  1. Looks like a great place to run and enjoy the scenery. Thanks for the pictures, here it's freezing rain and ice and I know you miss it. Keep writing, running, and living life. Brian Morgan

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