I have been away for awhile. That usually happens when I get injured. I had an odd injury this summer where I felt relatively fine while running fast, but it hurt to run easy. For awhile, I tried to work through it just walking and doing interval workouts, but eventually, I decided to take time off. As I was coming back from the injury, I experimented with running in Fivefingers and racing flats. I eventually realized that the Fivefingers really don't work for me. I live on gravel roads and though I tried to build gradually, I just couldn't adapt to the rocks. The racing flats worked well though.
Thinking to replace the racing flats that I have been running in and interested in replacing my 22-year-old track spikes which I use for a couple of track meets a year and perhaps a cross country meet. I purchased a pair of Adidas adiZero Pro flats and a pair of Saucony Shay XC flats. I did not find anything that I liked at the local running store. So, I bought these online sight unseen thinking that flats are very simple and so long as they fit, there is not much to go wrong with flats.
I was thinking that I would use the Adidas for training and road racing and the Sauconys for track, cross country, and perhaps 5K races. When they arrived, I did not think that the sole of the Adidas would handle the gravel roads. The Shays on the other hand seemed that they might be okay. The gravel is not especially thick right now, so I took them for a 4 mile run this evening. They were GREAT. They have a hard sole, so I am not sure how well they would work on paved roads but they were great on my gravel roads. They totally protected my feet from stones. It was dark, so I could not see to avoid the stones. I am no longer prone to getting stone bruises through my shoes as I did when I first moved here, but I do tend to feel the stones if I step on them. I hardly noticed them tonight except that the ground felt uneven when I stepped on them. When I got home, the sole did not appear to have been damaged by the stones. Right now, I think that these will become my primary training shoes for the foreseeable future. I am so excited about them that I may purchase another pair right away. I have a couple of routes that cover 1 mile of paved road. I will post again after I try them there. Right now, I expect that I will continue to use the racing flats for running on paved surfaces and reserve the Shays for gravel, grass, and the track.
By the way, although both pairs of shoes were on sale, I was specifically looking at the Saucony XC flats. I recalled a post from Andrew A about them as a possible transition shoe to the Fivefingers from before I was injured. I may purchase another pair of Fivefingers eventually, but if so, I will probably just use them for casual, comfortable shoes.