Running in Stumptown

There are no junk running kilometers at 30° Celsius, 80% humidity, under a direct equinoxal tropical sun. Friday evening I put in ten kilometers during a sixty-two minute run on the new END Stumptown 12 oz. The shoe was designed from blank sheet to minimize the use of materials and in what materials are used, to maximize the use of recycled materials.

My running shoes all die the same death: delamination of the dozens of colorfully fancy layers of rubber and plastic in the outsole. The Runner's Footprint, an article in Runner's World, that the Environmentally Neutral Design Stumptown had fewer parts than other running shoes. Fewer parts should mean fewer small pieces that will delaminate.

As an overpronator who enjoyed the ASICS Gel MC+ series despite their mass, I was reticent to move into a shoe which was not specifically designed for an archless overpronator. In 1996 a shift to a non-motion control shoe coincided with if not contributed to plantar's faciitus that side lined my running during fall 1996. Changing shoes is something I do with trepidation. Just learning the right size to order for a new brand is daunting given the remote location of Pohnpei. Fortunately a size 11 Stumptown fits me as well size 11 Mizuno and ASICS shoes.

During the Friday evening run I felt well supported and cushioned. I noted no hot spots or abrasion. I once had a pair of ASICS 2080's that as they aged they generated hot spots under my arch that eventually led to blisters. On Pohnpei keeping one's feet from overheating is a challenge.

Saturday I took an evening off and enjoyed four strong cups at Nan Kapw in Kitti. Feeling a bit slow on Sunday, I ran 9.15 kilometers in a leisurely hour. Although slow, the Stumptown's felt surprisingly light throughout the run. With my form slightly uncoordinated and a bit footfall heavy, the Stumptown's still felt like they were providing sufficient cushioning.

Only six months will tell if the midsole can maintain its cushion on hot roads in Pacific tropical heat and humidity. For now I have what appears to be a fast, light, and sufficiently supportive shoe. The shoe is simple in design, and that is promising.

For the first time in six months I again have two shoes to switch between - essential given the rainy conditions that prevail on Pohnpei. I also have a shoe that is environmentally green in design and construction.


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