“As ever the shoes were provided free for me to test by the lovely people at Profeet, but if they were rubbish I promise I’d tell you. I have only one set of useable knees, I’m not risking them for any old shoes.”
Gary Dalton – Profeet Ambassador, Ultra Runner
Apparently it wasn’t right. Wasn’t ‘natural’ they said. It wasn’t normal for a grown man to publically declare their undying love for something as inanimate as a pair of shoes. But it’s 2017 I said, I can’t be defined by your parochial standards!
Ok, so that’s a little intense for what is essentially just a shoe review. But it gives you a clue to just how much I love these shoes and more importantly how much a revelation they were to me even though I’ve been involved in sports for nearly 40 years.
For me Adidas have been a constant presence in my sporting life but as something of an outsider. I’ve never felt they were quite for me, being geared I felt more for track speedsters and fast road runners like my teammate Paul Navesey. Rightly or wrongly I pretty much dismissed them as either being a lifestyle brand or one totally unsuited to my needs.
So it was with some cynicism that Rich from Profeet convinced me to try the Supernova last year in my seemingly never ending quest to find a road shoe that I didn’t hate. I’ve followed the trends over recent years towards either end of the stack height scale with brands releasing shoes to appeal to proponents of maximalist or minimalist shoes and unfortunately neither camp really appealed to me.
I found that wearing shoes like Hokas meant I lost a great deal of feel for the ground and my stabiliser muscles were working exponentially harder to give me any sort of feedback. To me they were a recipe for disaster without drastically changing my running style and I had neither the time nor inclination to do that. Similarly, with minimalist shoes I just couldn’t face the prospect of changing all my social media names to include the name ‘Barefoot Gary’.
For me the Supernova are the best of both worlds. On paper I thought the Boost midsole would feel soft and squishy and give more lateral movement on the heel to toe transition than I’d be able to handle. Due to a hip imbalance I tend to roll slightly on the outsole through the foot and I thought that with such a soft midsole that movement would be exacerbated. Instead I get a beautifully transitioned heel to toe strike I simply haven’t found in any other shoe to date. The cushioning gives me the comfort I’d expect from something like a Hoka with none of the disconnect. I feel like I’m wearing racing flats but with the knees I had in my teens.
Fair enough I thought. All this comfort is fantastic but there has to be a trade off with longevity. That super cushioned midsole feels fantastic but something so soft can’t possibly be long lasting. Well I’m now on my second pair but my first have well over 450 miles on them and they’re still going strong. The uppers look like a dogs been chewing at them but that’s again down to that hip imbalance. I unfortunately have a tendency to clip my ankles together when I get tired and that can be hard on any upper. However, it hasn’t compromised the integrity of the upper in any way and they still fit like the proverbial gloves.
So, all in all a fantastic shoe which I can’t see myself changing from anytime soon. Adidas really have done something innovative with these and if like me you like the idea of Hoka-like cushioning but are concerned about the lack of ground awareness, then give them a go. I’d be surprised if you weren’t impressed.