As a casual baseball player, I need an activity to keep me in shape during the times when my league isn't playing. Running is one of the activities I turn to when I want to maintain my cardiovascular conditioning. I recently purchased a new pair of running shoes, the New Balance 993, to replace an old pair that was falling apart more than I'd care to admit. I put my new shoes to the test over the last week with several types of workouts and want to pass along my thoughts about how they performed.
Jogging on paved paths: This is my first pair of New Balance shoes and I was most curious to learn about the ABZORB® technology in the sole. The material is designed to absorb the shock of each step and disperse the impact so I don't feel it as much in my joints. I was pleased overall with how the shoes performed; I didn't have any heel, knee or hip pain after my runs. I also appreciated the light weight of the shoes. I've found other shoes that contain cushioning materials were heavier and made running more difficult.
Trail run: When I had a little bit more time for my workout during the weekend, I drove to a local park with a nature trail. I much prefer running outdoors to being on the treadmill at the gym, but because of an ankle injury last year, I need to be careful when I'm trail running. I wanted to see how my new shoes performed and I was pleasantly surprised. The shoes have a lot of stability and I didn't feel like I was at risk for rolling my ankle. Still, I prefer them for pavement, as that's where I found they performed the best.
Interval workouts: One of the types of cardio I love most is interval training, which is most practical for baseball because I am always running in spurts with periods of recovery in between. Most of my workouts during the week included interval training during the middle, and I feel like these shoes were great for it. Their light weight helped me feel like I could run at my top speed during the fast times and didn't feel like they were weighing me down during the slower recovery times. I also found they were comfortable when I walked on the treadmill and didn't slip or slide on my foot even when walking at an incline.
Overall, I was very pleased with how my New Balance 993 shoes performed over the last week. I can't speak to their durability over time just yet, but have heard good things from friends who've owned the brand for years. The sole has several layers of materials, so I'm confident they'll stay together through my different workouts. My only concerns are how warm they'll be during the summer and finding them in a snappier color than plain gray. Overall, though, I'm happy with these shoes and am looking forward to training in them over the coming months.