Sunday, February 20, 2011

Product Review: Avia's Avi-Bolt II

Disclaimer: Yes, I am sponsored by Avia and received this product for free. However, I write reviews based on my experience and not on loyalty.

I have been in love with my running shoes for a long time. I have been running in the same brand/type for about 6 years. Hearing that I would have to switch to a different shoe this year made me a little sick to my stomach. I actually questioned if I wanted to continue to be part of Team Trakkers because of the shoes. It's not like I haven't worn different shoes before, so I decided to give Avia a try. This week my new racing flats, the Avi-Bolt II, arrived on my front porch.

I took them out for their maiden voyage on Friday for a quick interval run. It's been a long time since I've run in a pair of racing flats and initially they felt really, well, flat. I felt every rock and bump and crack. But once I got going on my intervals they felt great. I forgot how light and fast a pair of racing shoes can make your legs feel. I was flying in my intervals at sub-7:00s. I don't know if my training is creating those times or the shoes, but either way, it felt good to be running that fast. Later in the day my quads were more sore than they would have been with a pair of trainers, but that's typical for a run done in racing flat.

The goods and not-so-goods:
  • I absolutely love the color of these shoes, totally Ohio State shoes.
  • I have decided to name my shoes "Mean Streak." Not only is this a ride at Cedar Point, but a pretty good indication of how I like to run.
  • When I opened the shoes, the left shoe's insole was bent in half. It took a while to straighten this out and it still has a crease in it, but didn't bother me too badly during the run.
  • I thought the high heel/achilles would bother me even though I always wear socks. It didn't and will be nice as an aid to getting the shoes on quickly in transition.
  • I love that they came with a pair of locking shoe laces, although I think I'm going to put in my elastic laces I've been using for years because, well, I like them a little better. :)
  • I am definitely going to wear these shoes in my race next week, but the verdict is still out if these shoes will be used in the marathon.
More to come on these shoes as more miles are accumulated...


Kiersten said...

I'm so glad you liked them...I know the shoe change was a big deal for you. I was worried about the high back, too, but it doesn't seem to be bad at all. I like to think of them as University of Maryland red, but we can agree to disagree on that one. (Go Terps!) :)

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Glad to hear they are working out for you! For me the Bolts are going to be for races 10k or less. And I love high back as it allows you to pull on the shoe quickly. Excellent shoe for sprint and oly tri's ... I am trying out the Avi Lite III's too and they so far are a perfect trainer. And they look cool!!

Laura Wheatley said...

Great review - love the honesty. I have some friends asking for AVIA reviews, I'll definitely give them your link!

Betsy said...

I'm the same way about my running shoes....been wearing the same shoe for 6 years now & cringe at the thought if trying something different. But.... I've been hell bent on trying out the issues k-Ruuz race flat for the last couple weeks!

Savannah said...

I got my Avias on Thursday and have fallen in love with them. They are very comfortable.

LittleRachet said...

Great review. I haven't run in mine yet (I'm told they have arrived at my house, I just haven't been there to get them!). I'm with you though - was nervous last year, having to switch to a brand I had never run in. Glad to hear you are happy so far with these. Can't wait to try them out!

Melissa said...

This post reminds me that I need to go buy another pair of fast shoes. Thanks for the reminder and the good info!