REEBOK RUNNINGPremier Road shoe attracts serious runners

As a swimmer turned cyclist, it seemed a small stretch to start running nearly 25 years ago in order to complete the Hawaii Ironman.

I never really got that fast but, within about six months, I could hold sub 6-minute miles for 10K mainly off my swimming and cycling cardio base. But I was always a terrible runner with no form.

Since 1981, however, I've never completely stopped running as I find running to be the most time efficient of any endurance activity. Sure, I'll go through my periods of focusing on other sports, but not a year has gone by where I haven't run my dogs, entered events, tackled a marathon or just plain run anywhere in the world.

I've always been a Nike and Asics loyalist and the thought of running in Reebok shoes, well, to be blunt, never seemed like an option. As publisher of a regional sports magazine for many years, I was given all sorts of running shoe brands to try. Back in the mid '90s I wasn't even remotely impressed with a way overbuilt pair of Reebok running shoes I received from the local Reebok rep. In fact, I ended up using them to mow my lawn.

In 1995 my thinking and style of running completely changed after meeting Nicholas Romanov, a Russian running coach who taught me how to run much more efficiently. I learned that most running shoes are way overbuilt and the key to running was not to really land on my heels at all. Hmmmm. Why then all the motion control and thick heel padding in today's running shoes?

If you ran barefoot, could you imagine landing on your heels and rolling off the balls of your feet? Probably not.

While I don't need all the pronation control or heel cushion anymore, I can still tell the feel of a solidly built running shoe. For anybody that runs, you know what I mean. It doesn't take but a few strides to tell the shoe has good shock absorption and spring.

Reebok Premier Road Shoes

Fast forward to 2004 and a pair of Reebok Premier Road shoes. I must admit these shoes were a pleasant surprise. In fact, I had just bought a pair of Asics Gel DS Trainers that I thought I'd use all the time yet, most surprising, I find myself running in the Reeboks almost exclusively.

Reebok's Premier Road shoe is positioned as the most versatile in the Premier line, which was launched two years ago. Reebok's Web site claims it's a structured cushioned shoe for the runner looking for cushioning and added support. Well, that pretty much describes any mainstream runner looking for a decent trainer.

Since I run a lot of steep trails, the added cushioning is welcomed on the downhills. Reebok's DMX foam provides outstanding cushioning that rivals any of the Nike Air or Asics Gel shoes I've tried.

The Premier Road features a medial post for stability, carbon and blown rubber outsole, enhanced sockliner and hydromove lining. Strip out the techno-jargon and we're talking a comfy shoe which breathes very well.

As for heel cushioning, well, I don't think anybody's building a shoe that cushions the forefoot sufficiently while minimizing heel buildup. The Premier Road still delivers pretty hefty cushioning and heel counter. That said, it's not nearly as overwhelming as the Reebok running shoes I tried in the mid '90s and the forefoot comfort and cushioning is excellent.

If you haven't tried Reebok running shoes over the last couple of years, I'm sure the entire Premier line will give you a more than pleasant surprise. At a suggested retail of $84.99, the Premier Road from Reebok is very competitively priced. For the complete line up of Premier series shoes, visit Reebok online or call Reebok consumer services at (800) 934-3566.

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