Running playtest review: New Balance RC5000

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If you’ve read any of sport-Locker.net‘s recent running play test review features you’ll be aware that we are into barefoot running in a big way and are increasingly reaping the benefits.

Having made the transition from heel striker to forefoot runner on the treadmill, the road and the fells it was time to take it to the track for a bit of speed work.

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And our footwear of choice currently is the New Balance RC5000. A superlight and super snazzy minimalist racing shoe crafted specifically for racing on the track and the road.

When we say super light, we mean it. One RC5000 (size 9) weighs in at just 3.1oz and barely registers when held in the hand or laced up on the foot.

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This really does take minimalist running to a new level giving the wearer a complete sense of lightness in the feet and legs, perfect for speed drills and racing.

Other vital statistics include a 16mm heel and an 11mm forefoot with 5mm drop.

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The lack of weight is the result of a combination of clever design features and cutting edge footwear technologies.

The minimal out sole features ‘DynaRide’ technology and what are essentially very small rubber spikes.

On the track I have found these to be full of traction and far more sympathetic and forgiving to the soles of the feet than traditional harder track spikes.

What the out sole also allows, is for the wearer to get a good feel for and connection with your chosen surface, in our case, the track.

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This combined with the ’RevLite’ high density foam mid sole makes for a very responsive (springy) running experience.

The upper is paper thin, light as a feather and very flexible allowing for very natural foot movement.

The first time we put these on they felt like a ballet shoe (imagination, not experience!) and there was a hint of scepticism that they would hold up to the demands of a track session.

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However our doubts were, and have continued to be, unfounded as we have completed several track sessions of up to 8km in complete comfort.

From the experience of other online reviewers of the RC5000s, it is worth noting that the narrow forefoot and slight lack of arch support may make these unsuitable for some runners.

But our experience thus far has been light, responsive and flexible.

While sport-Locker.net is never likely to trouble Mr Bolt, his shadow, dust or 60m radius anytime soon, the super lightness at least gives a sensation of increased speed.

What are your impressions of the New Balance 5000? Do you wear them? If so, please leave a comment below or on our Twitter and Facebook pages letting us know what you think of them.

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