by Austin “The Bus” Bussing
Welcome to the first installment of the Rogue Athletic Club product review! This will be a bi-weekly post featuring descriptions and reviews of products used by our stellar athletes here at Rogue AC. The first product to be reviewed here is the adidas Supernova Glide Boost 7 shoe. Many runners here at Rogue (myself included) have come to love this shoe for its durability and reliability on everyday training runs.
Before diving into the touchy-feely, subjective and equivocal drivel that comprises most shoe reviews (and will certainly play a significant role in this one as well), let’s get down to brass tacks and talk about the specs for the Supernova Glide Boost. Here’s what we know:
Weight: 11.3 ounces (Men’s Size 9); 9.2 ounces (Women’s Size 7)
“Drop” (heel-to-toe differential): 10 millimeters
Midsole cushioning composition: 55% Boost, 45% EVA foam
In light of these numbers, let’s start our discussion with a blatant declaration of what the Glide Boost is NOT. Weighing in at a hefty 11.3 ounces, this shoe is not a lightweight trainer. It is not nearly as light or sleek or sexy or fast as the beautiful Boston Boost. If you’re looking for a good lightweight shoe to crush a Town Lake tempo or some quick intervals on the track… this is not your shoe. It feels a bit heavy and clunky, and the numbers above bear that out.
Those things being said, this review was never intended to be an all-out roast of the Glide Boost. As most good runners and coaches will tell you, the amount of time spent scalding dogs on Town Lake or tearing up the Austin High Track is relatively miniscule compared to the time spent knocking out the long, easy miles that comprise the bulk of your training load. Who’s gonna be with you every step of the way on those long runs, medium distance runs, and easy days? The Supernova Glide Boost 7- that’s who. This is not the glamour shoe; it’s the workhorse shoe. The great Arthur Lydiard once said, “Miles make champions.” Well, the Glide Boost will reliably get you through the miles that will make you a champion. So basically the Glide Boost will make you a champion, guaranteed.*
*Not an actual guarantee.
All joking aside, I stand 100% behind this shoe as an effective tool to help grind through the high-volume demands of a marathon build-up or a long track season. Its considerable heft is not all negative – that bulk goes a long way towards protecting your feet and keeping your legs feeling fresh (following the same basic logic as the “More Cushion for the Pushin’” theorem). Despite the 11.3 ounce weigh-in, the Boost in the midsole gives this shoe the responsive feel you’ve come to expect from adidas. The outsole, with its vertically segmented forefoot, provides just the right mix of flexibility and rigidity. Another “techy” feature that actually lends some real functionality to the Glide Boost is the “Torsion System” – essentially a plastic ‘bridge’ piece through the midfoot portion of the outsole that connects the heel with the forefoot. This little guy helps facilitate a smooth transition from your midfoot stance phase through the toe-off, so that you can really GLIDE through your run. Of course, the Continental Rubber tread provides excellent grip on any surface to prevent too much gliding/sliding.
Let’s talk uppers! While adidas has been known to make some pretty narrow-fitting shoes, the Glide Boost is a bit of an exception. The upper feels very roomy, and while the sock-like construction of the midfoot/tongue provides a supportive fit, it will not feel too restrictive or tight on most feet. The women’s version of this shoe features a techfit upper meant to stretch and adapt to all foot shapes. This is especially helpful in the toebox, as it can help alleviate the all-too-common problems that arise from cramming your toes in a shoe that is too narrow. This comfortable, stretchy upper is very accommodating to your forefoot, allowing your toes to splay apart on the impact of each step – without hindrances from needless, oppressive overlays.
In short, the adidas Supernova Glide Boost 7 is a great shoe for all levels of runners looking to put in some long mileage on the roads (or around Town Lake). It will not blow you away with the fast, versatile feel of the Boston Boost, but when it comes to easy days and long runs, this shoe gets the job done. In many ways, I believe this shoe is the unsung hero of the adidas running line – the hardscrabble grinder that shies away from the glitz and glam of the limelight. While you’re out there crushing it on the track or in a road race, the Glide Boost will be sitting humbly at home on your bedroom floor with a contented grin, knowing that the incendiary speed you’re displaying is made possible by the day-to-day dependability and consistency that only it could provide.
The Glide Boost retails for $130. Come by Rogue Running at 410 Pressler Street to try a pair on for yourself!
by Austin Bussing
I slipped out the door of that little apartment I was in for the summer in Georgetown, into the dark, dingy stairwell I had helped carry furniture up when we moved in, back in June. Taking little jogging steps down the stairs in my running shorts, I descended two stories to the foyer and hoisted open the unwieldy metal door to come out upon the landing in the old courtyard of the complex. Out of the old, musty building I stepped into the almost-just-as-musty outdoors, thinking with a smile how futile was my attempt to escape the humidity of my native Houston. At times, DC was no better than a swamp. And indeed, you were occasionally reminded that it was, at one time, exactly that. Before the Forefathers made men labor day and night to fill it in, engaging in that fantasy, that hubristic charade in which humanity could play God with the awesome eternal forces of nature itself, creating solid land where at first there was only marsh – and further, erecting on that land the imposing institutional architecture that embodied that very same prideful spirit which believed it could clear forests, control the flow of rivers, and move mountains in order to impose the sheer indomitable will of the people.
I run (now at a better pace) past the formidable façade of the Cathedral on Georgetown’s campus. I follow the slope of the land through Old Georgetown down to the banks of the Potomac, where I cross the Key Bridge. To my right, on the near bank, I can see the reddish-pink crushed granite of the old canal towpath heading off into Maryland. Out in the middle of the Potomac, three rocks jut prominently from the water- the Three Sisters. Legend has it that three Algonquian sisters attempted to cross the river long ago in order to save their brother, who had been kidnapped by another tribe. Halfway through their valiant but futile crossing, the sisters drowned, and were turned into the three rocks that thrust themselves defiantly out of the Potomac to this day. John Smith himself saw these rocks as he sailed up the river in 1607, and today, I casually observe them on my run. Turning my attention from the Three Sisters, I look to my left, where off in the distance I can see the spire of the Washington monument rising regally into the early evening sky.
The air is heavier than usual with the humidity as I cross over the river, and it occurs to me that it might be threatening to rain, all that precipitation lying heavy up there somewhere in the sagging sky, waiting to be released. Once on the other side of the bridge, I’m in Alexandria, VA. Tracing the Virginia bank of the Potomac, I decided to take a turn onto a narrow footbridge crossing to Theodore Roosevelt Island. I had run past the bridge almost daily on my other runs, but had always ignored it. The ‘island’ looked small, and I figured it couldn’t possibly provide much room to run. But on this particular day, I thought I’d see what Teddy’s island had to offer.
The trails on the island were absolutely beautiful. Soft dirt, interrupted by the occasional root, formed a corridor that wound through a tunnel of trees. A boardwalk crossed through a wetlands area on the interior of the island. As I traversed these new trails, ducking the occasional branch and covering ground with effortless speed, the skies opened up and rain fell heavy through the dense canopy above. I felt a primal sense of joy as I bounded along, discovering a new landscape with each turn of the trail. After one particularly tight turn, I startled a deer out of the brush to my right, and it bolted across my path, missing me by merely half a foot. Shaken and invigorated by my close encounter, I continued down the trail until I came upon a large clearing.
The rain fell harder in the clearing, with no tree canopy to intercept the drops. I was stopped in my tracks by the sight of a 17-foot statue of Theodore Roosevelt himself. Struck by the bizarre nature of the whole situation, I felt like I had stumbled upon an alien civilization. I was overwhelmed with a sense of irrational, uncontrollable joy- a primitive feeling of unbridled passion and energy. I ran through the rain, soaked and laughing, running circles around the clearing under Roosevelt’s discerning gaze.
by Austin [The Bus] Bussing
Horace Benbow, a character in William Faulkner’s novel Sartoris, has a rather profound line of dialogue in a conversation with his sister, Narcissa. The line has stuck in my head since I first came across it a couple of months ago. It was one of those lines that forced me to dog-ear the page immediately, so I could easily refer back to it in the future. The context of the conversation between the two Benbow siblings is nearly irrelevant for the purpose of this blog, because the quote itself is universally applicable, and can exist outside of its given context on the page. Without any further ado, I give you Horace Benbow:
““You forget that lying is a struggle for survival,” [Horace] said. “Little puny man’s way of dragging circumstance about to fit his preconception of himself as a figure in the world.””
Not surprisingly at all, I related this quote to running almost as soon as I read it. I have a certain preconception of myself as a figure in the running world, and recent race results (read: my entire cross country season) have seemed to contradict that preconception. But the thing about racing is that you can’t just lie about your result to make it fit nicely with your view of yourself as a runner. It’s all there irrevocably in black and white, and you have to deal with it. In many ways, this is a departure from the “real world,” at least as I’ve experienced it. In running, there’s nothing for you to hide behind, no fudging the numbers, no “way of dragging circumstance about” to make yourself feel better.
So the question becomes, as Steve has so often put it, “are you who you say you are?” Of course we all want the answer to this question to be a resounding “YES,” but sometimes that’s just not the case. This cross country season, it turns out that I was not quite who I said I was. I was coming off a successful outdoor season and a solid summer of training, so I started the fall season thinking of myself as some sort of badass. In the ensuing months, I was very painfully disabused of this notion. Now I’m faced with Horace’s “struggle for survival” in the running world, without the convenient and comforting option of lying to myself.
But with indoor track just around the corner, redemption beckons. Although I didn’t necessarily race well during cross country, I put in a lot of good training that I fully believe will pay off on the indoor and outdoor track. Through a willful suspension of disbelief, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, I still see myself as a bit of a badass. And I guess this may be a subtle form of lying to myself- kind of like a ‘fake it ‘til you make it’ type of thing.
So, time for me to get out of my own head. And all of you get out of here too! You’ve overstayed your welcome! To steer us out of this depressing cross country talk, I’ll leave you all with another quote. This one comes from Dante’s Inferno. Standing before the gates of Hell, about to make his descent, Dante understandably begins to get cold (hot?) feet. He turns to his guide, Virgil, looking for some reassurance. Virgil tells him:
“Here thou must all distrust behind thee leave; Here be vile fear extinguished.”
Besides the fact that this quote is just obviously awesome, I believe it’s also applicable to all of us at Rogue AC. With Steve as our Virgil, we are all about to take our next step on this epic journey. So let us extinguish vile fear, leave behind us all distrust, and run some blazing times on the track- all of this bringing us one step closer to becoming who we say we are.