One of the first things I noticed was that when I was lacing them up I couldn't get them as snug around my foot as I would have liked. I have wide feet, but they are not very tall (does that make sense?) and found myself lacing the shoes up as tight as I could in order to try to secure my mid-foot. This made the useless "nav-band" seem even more useless as it floated about with absolutely no tension. They also seemed to be wayyy to long in my normal 10.5. I thought it wouldnt be an issue and might be nice to not bump my toes.
|Photo - Therunnersvibe.com|
As I was running in these shoes I could not no matter how many times I retied my shoes or tried different size socks, get my heel to lock down. Brookes didn't include the extra eyelet on these shoes, perhaps thinking their "nav-bad" would do the trick. It did not. I never noticed any dramatic changes from the split toe design so I am going to go ahead and say it - Gimmick. Same with the nav-bad - Gimmick (how did wear testers not let Brookes know about this?). And the foot-pod, well it does let you know where you are landing, but I just never got comfortable with it so... Gimmick.
The shoe did a nice job of encouraging a midfoot landing, and had just the right amount of flex, but I have to say I am not a fan of the foot-pod. I know I have a slightly different strike point with my right foot than I do with my left foot, and the foot-pod continually reminded me of this, which began to annoy me to all ends. I also started to worry about the pressure from the pod on my right foot would aggravate an old case of PF. This is where my experience was so sour I called it quits with this shoe and it has since been shelved.
Overall, this shoe has some kickass features, awesome outsole, super comfy interior, and it was a great concept (low to the ground cushion performance trail shoe), but poorly executed with some gimmicky feeling additions. I think Brookes should have tried not to be so cute and just made a shoe to compete with the Rogue Racer, MT101/110, Peregrine, etc. Without the unnecesarys this shoe would have rocked (no pun intended).