Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gear Review: New Balance 1226

A few years ago when I decided it was time to get "real" running shoes, I headed over to Sports Chalet and was fitted with a pair of New Balance 768's. The first time I ran in them, I thought they were the greatest shoes ever, but to be fair, I was wearing "big box" running shoes. I loved the 768's and then one night at my local running store, A Runner's Circle, the New Balance people came out and let us "test drive" their new shoe...the 1224. I did 5 miles in them that night and bought a pair of them that night. They had lots of cushioning and support and felt so good running in them. About 9 months went by and I was very happy until the 1225's came out and I got a chance to run in them. New Balance really messed with the design and comfort of this shoe in favor of a lighter shoe. When I found out the 1224 were being discontinued, I had the running store and my son, who worked at Sport Chalet, find me every pair in a 10 2E that they could. I ended up buying 4 pair and putting them away.

Back in October, I was able to run in a pair of the new 1226's one Thursday night at A Runner's Circle fun run. New Balance really did a nice job with this shoe, not only is the cushioning back, but it feels (and is) lighter than the 1224's. I was able to get a pair of my own and have been testing them for about 6 weeks now and have about 65 miles on them.
New Balance 1224 (Left) and 1226 (Right)
 The 1226 is definitely a bit lighter than the 1224, approximately 2 ounces per shoe, which doesnt seem like a lot, but over 26.2 miles, it can add up. The toe box area is covered in a light weight mesh that allows air movement through, which in the winter means cold toes. The 1226 uses N-ergy® in both heel and forefoot and provides NB's most advanced shock absorption and cushioning. The Stabilicore® medial support system provides an extremely smooth transition from heel to toe-off.
I have done several runs over 10 miles in these shoes and they are just as comfortable at mile 13 as they are at mile 1. New Balance did a nice job on this shoe by maintaining the cushioning and support and shaving a few ounces off. I look forward to putting more miles on these shoes and wearing them for the LA Marathon in March. Now the issue I buy a few pairs of the 1226's and put them away? I still have one more pair of the 1224's...I guess they are now considered "vintage" and I should probably put them up on ebay.

1 comment:

Glenn Jones said...

I've often wondered what happens to all those obsolete shoes. They must all leave the distribution channel somehow. Like you, I get pretty frustrated when something new and improved is neither new or improved...