New Balance Wear Test Program - New Kicks In The Mail!
A friend of a friend told me about New Balance's Wear Testing Program several months ago and I applied for it on a whim. If you fit their criteria (not sure what that is) they will ship you shoes to try out & evaluate. I had forgotten all about the program when I found that UPS had left a box of new shoes on my doorstep Friday. Pretty cool - I like new running shoes. I LOVE free new running shoes. Ok, with a few strings attached.
They ask that you give them detailed feedback in return on specific dates as you run in the shoes. I only have one final evaluation to fill out before I ship them back to New Balance. It looks like I will be shipping them back (via their paid label) on July 12 which should give me plenty of time to rack up some miles on them. I think this is a fair swap and works well for both parties.
I'm not into shoes at all. That probably sounds weird coming from a runner, but I just put on shoes and go hit the trails. I've noticed lots of runners who can spot Montrails or Hardrocks from a mile away. I rarely even pay attention to shoes unless someone is pointing something out to me. I guess I should educate myself better, but it just doesn't interest me much.
I'm testing a pair of MR738s. The MR738 is lightweight, well-cushioned ride for the daily runner with a neutral gait great for mid to long distances. The MR738 features Abzorb cushioning in forefoot and heel and Acteva light midsole. They feel nice after walking around the house and it is a shoe that I would choose to run in. I know that they are not "trail" shoes, but this has never made a big difference for me in the past. I've ran in spongy soft road shoes or broken down older flat shoes. Neither seem to make a big difference.
One thing is for sure - you can bet that they will look horrible when I send them back in July!