By Tim Sweeney
They Say - The Racer ST 5 racing shoe is built for the speed you crave while providing the support your body wants. This durable, lightweight racer is ready to propel you to new personal bests. The instantaneously responsive cushioning of BioMoGo keeps legs invigorated mile after mile. And, yes, they’re bright! You’ll be a blur when you speed down the road.
- Lightweight construction with solid support
- Diagonal rollbar provides superior control
- Full-length BioMoGo midsole adds custom cushion
- Bright color brings high-visibility safety to your run
- Great for training day, race day and every day in between
We Say – My first attempt at trying out Brooks runners is this Racer ST5, a nicely styled trainer in a world often filled with ugly running shoes that look like they were coloured in a paint shaker. Good looks aside, my first impression of the ST5 was that they’re surprisingly lightweight, despite seeming like a pretty substantial and supportive shoe.
Once I put them on however (they fitted very comfortably) I couldn’t help but notice how odd I felt walking in them. A quick search on the Brooks website told me why I felt funny…they’ve got a 12mm drop. Generally I walk around in shoes with close to zero drop, and most of my running miles have been done in 4mm drop shoes, with some trail miles in a 6mm drop shoe. Going to 12mm seemed at first like putting on those sort of block heeled shoes that short guys wear to appear taller. This left me wondering if there were still really that many heel strikers out there to justify such a high heel drop. So, being a mid foot striker who doesn’t generally look for support or cushioning in a shoe (I’m more interested in feel and fit for logging high mileage), I was expecting to not like these ST5.
My first run was on the treadmill, and despite the occasional scrape of my heel due to my mid foot form not being accustomed to such a protruding heel, I actually liked how the shoes felt.
I couldn’t do much walking in these but if you are a forefoot or mid foot striker you can easily compensate for the heel drop by running as you always do, which mostly takes the heel out of play.
With the shoe being so light and comfortable, I decided to wear them next on a 25k road run. The shoe performed wonderfully on that run, and I logged some mid week training runs (slow and easy) in them before lacing them up for an attempt at a 5k race PR. For a short race, the shoe felt great, and the PR was actually a full 2 minutes and some seconds lower than my previous best.
Being used to a more minimalist shoe, one advantage in the Racer ST5 was that I felt like the stability helped me feel comfortable attacking the downhills even more aggressively than normal. That probably had a role in hitting a personal best for the race, and I noticed it again during my first ever 8k race a couple weeks later. I even did some trails and wet road running in the ST5 and felt that they are quite adaptable and suitable for mild trail conditions.
Two weekends ago I was aiming for a half marathon personal record, and again the Brooks Racer came through with flying (bright green) colours. Another PR, and this time by over 8 minutes.
Then this past weekend I beat my marathon personal record, by over 4 minutes. Ok, so more dedicated training this past winter must have had a hand in the better performances, but I can’t disregard the possibility that a decent pair of footware has played it’s part.
These shoes are light, well made and feel fast, and while I wouldn’t walk into a store and ask for a 12mm drop shoe, I did discover that it doesn’t hinder performance wearing such a large drop shoe if you already have good form. And hey, if you’re one of the heel strikers that must still be out there, you’ll probably like this shoe even more than I do…which is quite a bit.
I can’t do anything but give this racer a big thumbs up…and it’s left me very curious about trying out more Brooks shoes that maybe don’t have quite the massive drop from heel to toe. I sort of feel like that guy who expected to hate a movie and now can’t stop going on about how great it is.
To discover more about the Brooks Running Unisex Racer ST5 please see - http://www.brooksrunning.com/en_gb/brooks-racer-st-5-running-shoes/100018.html