Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Day 3,643: The 500th Mile (Saucony Zealot ISO 2)

A pair of Saucony Zealot ISO 2s with 500 miles on them.
One of the things I love about running shoes is getting a pair to 500 miles, probably the farthest you should run on a pair.

In doing so, I get the most out of them for the money (these shoes list for $130) and it helps me pare down what is essentially a pretty large horde of running shoes (I have six other active pairs right now, not including a pair of racing flats and trail running shoes).

It also gives me the most amount of time to really review the shoe and see if it met my needs.

This is the second version of the Zealot that I've worn, the first being the original Zealot that I bought in April 2015. Then and now my purpose was to have a light, neutral, low-drop shoe (this shoe advertises a 4 mm drop and 9.5 ounce weight) that also was cushioned as much as possible.

I felt like the original Zealots were clunkers and pretty heavy, although Saucony's rubber treads really helped in rainy races like the 2015 Hotlanta Half Marathon.

Saucony says the new Zealot 2s feature "EVERUN topsole construction providing smoother landings in the heel and reduced pressure in the forefoot."

From the start I felt these shoes were much lighter than the original Zealots. They were cushy and fun to run in, whether I was doing tempo runs or pushing the double stroller around.

Still, the shoe gave my right foot some fits, reminding me of how the old Nike Air Pegasus used to be.

And then I finally wore them in a race, the Craft Classic Half Marathon. They felt great in the race but shortly afterward I developed my first serious running injury, what appeared to be a stress reaction in my right shin. I blame my marathon training load but it marked the last time I wore the Zealot 2s in a race.

I felt obligated to run them to 500 miles (262 more miles after that race). In the end, they are solid and dependable shoes. I didn't like how I wore friction holes on the inside of the heel (probably from not taking them off properly after runs) but they are dependable enough to keep around as non-running everyday shoes.

I have a second pair that I purchased pre-injury but I'm not as raring to take them to 500 miles ... yet. We'll see.

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