Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Flexistential question: Newton vs Karhu

This post starts with a previso: I already own 2 pairs of running shoes, but my desire for a pair of Newtons - the Jimmy Choos of the running world - is rivalled only by my desire for a pair of Karhus - the Christian Laboutins of the running world.  Naturally at this moment I cannot buy both, having just bought a sexy sexy Specialized Dolce Triple bike!
So, the question is since I can only choose 1 pair at the moment, would they be the Newtons (the science of running embodied in Sir Isaac Newton, whose face is on the inside sole of the shoe), or the Karhus (the spirit of running embodied in the god of my running universe, Paavo Nurmi, who himself ran in Karhus)?
I went down to Boyleston Street in Boston where City Sports (of all places) stocks both brands. Well, the Newtons I saw there were very limited and not in my size; the Karhus were non existent - so that was pretty much that.  Though disappointed, all this just served to sharpen my lust for these articles.  Yes yes I know, lust is 1 of the 7 deadly sins and all that, but allow me to say that this is not just casual, unfettered lust which goes nowhere -this is focussed lust: I hope to run faster in either of these articles!
So in the meantime, whilst pondering on this flexistential question, I looked at websites, spoke to those who had Newtons, entered a competition to win a place in the Helsinki Marathon, and finally went to the New England Sports Expo to see if they would have the objects of my desire on display.
And did they ever!  The first exhibition flag I saw was for Karhu.  Trying to contain my excitement, Stuart and I stopped off to chat with the guys at the Boston Triathlon Team stand and after signing up with them, we walked over to the Karhus.  So, after picking up the red pair (see pic!), the boy told me they only had 2 sizes left - and yes, after trying on a pair they actually fit.  I was in heaven - and even more so when I was offered the shoes at 25 USD!!!  The boy seems to think they are from last season (since the new models for next season have just come out), but if you look on the Karhu site, it is actually still a current model.  But I don't care - 25 bucks for perfection - bliss! 
The shoes are quite a narrow fit, which suits me very well.  They are light and snug.  I have only worn them running once, and cycled in them a few times.  The feeling is a bit different from Adidas or Brooks but I like them.  I think I need to wear them more, before I can make a more complete comparison.
So right now I'll limit myself to the aesthetics, and say they look hot.  What is more, I think this is a sign from Paavo Nurmi himself.  I am going to wear these shoes in my half marathon which is coming up in May, and hopefully I will run a very good time.   So I shall enjoy these Karhus for a while before I get the Newtons - after all, I want to enjoy this high for a while yet!

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