Notice how they flex right through the arch area. This is different from earlier versions of padded shoes, which tended to have a rigid, non-flexible arch (no company in particular, they all did it). Of course all minimal shoes show flex in the middle. It's only the most recent training/padded stuff that's doing the same thing.
Now to the point of this post: Once I buy a new pair of shoes I usually get rid of my oldest pair to avoid clutter (I'm not that much of a collector). In this particular case I had some old Asics 2140s. They were decent training shoes I had used running with McGill XC. They're about three years old and forgot I still had them.
|What my 2140s used to look like fresh out of the box|
|Clearly this shoe was nearing the end of its (natural) life|
A thought occurred to me: As an experiment can I make these shoes more like the NB 890s? These older shoes weigh an extra ounce. I was going to throw them out anyway, so what's the harm in a little meddling? There were two things I wanted to fix:
1) Create a more flexible arch
2) Remove some foam from the back heel, creating a rounder more natural heel.
Tools required: a knife.
Objective: cut a line across the plastic arch section and sever the 'spine'; carve away some of the foam (at a ~45 degree angle) so that less tread touches the ground better mimicking an actual heel. Here are the results:
|Severed spine: check|
|Carved heel: check|
|Image from the bottom|
How did the revamped soles feel? It was a subjective experiment, but I had to say they really did feel more comfortable; I could tell the difference between the carved and original shoe. The landing was smoother since I could pronate (no sharp corners) and my foot's arch felt properly used. Closer to what it's like running on grass. Technically they were also a little lighter (because of the carved heel) but it wasn't really noticeable.
My big discovery was to see how easily modifiable old-style shoes could be. But now let's see if they fall apart. I'm going to run in them some more to check the long-term effects of my tampering.