For a girl who this time last year was running in plimsols. (Don’t ask it was one of the worst mistakes of my life). I now have in the region of 20 pairs of trainers. I learnt the hard way – via a very nasty hole in my foot, a twisted knee and a resulting infection, that if you’re going to do the work, you need the right tools.
Hence my expanding collection. I’ve got kicks for dancing in, kicks for playing tennis in, kicks for running in, kicks for jumping about town in and now I have kicks for training in.
Little did I know that you need separate shoes for running and for running training. I guess there was a time when you didn’t, when people just went for it in whatever was available. But now, we have technologists and sports experts whose job it is to maximise performance potential and minimise risk of injury by developing trainers that work with us. Clever huh. So, may I introduce the newest addition to my trainer family: The Nike Women Trainer 1.
Firstly ladies, this shoe has been designed specially for you. No men allowed. Not that I’m saluting any object or activity that excludes men. but I do know that when it comes to training, men and women have different needs, so it makes sense that our footwear is different too, right? So this little trainer is designed to pack a lot of punch for the felines out there.
The idea with the Nike Women Trainer 1 is you wear it when you’re cross training, i.e taking classes at the gym, working out at the gym, partaking in activities such as skipping and circuit training. Why?
The sole is created with Diamond FLX Technology, which means the sole has maximum maneuverability, allowing your muscles and limbs to move as they should without constraint, offering excellent grip and proving a good foundation for balance. This would not be good for long distance running. But for training = TICK.
The Diamond Flex Technology is pitted as such that it actually activates your muscles, so while you’re squatting, jumping and lunging it supports you and encourages muscle response. Clever stuff. So, does it really work in practice?
I wore my NikeWomen Trainer 1 to Body Combat at Virgin Active in Oxford Street last Thursday. A 45 minute class that takes you through a collection of martial arts styles – a mixture of high-octane cardiovascular training and anaerobic leg lifts for muscle durability, strength, balance and focus.
In charge was Brian Cochrane one of Nike’s Master Trainers. Wow. That man knows how to inspire energy. The class was non-stop and everyone was raring for more. Brian pushed the 25 attending women through their paces to a backdrop of pumping euro pop (not my, er, favourite choice of tunes, but they certainly did something to keep the adrenaline going).
A combination of stretching, punching, kicking, lunging and jumping all structured around traditional moves from Karate/Kung Fu/Tai Chi/Capoeira had us sweating like sweaty things.
The trainers felt very secure on my feet owing to the lace-up plus added velcro fastening. The air in the heel was welcomed, particularly on the jumps, a lot of which landed flat-footed or even heel first. As an ex-dancer the leg balances came quite naturally – I’m used to doing them in thin leather ballet shoes, so wearing a brand new pair of training shoes felt a little awkward to me, but I can imagine that for most people their Diamond cut sole would have been a huge help. Certainly, during the changes of weight (of which there were many) the multi-directional movement the shoe allowed was a great advantage to me. POW.
Slightly heavier than other trainers I’ve previously worn for class, I think it will take a couple more wears before my feet are attuned to their obvious benefits. Like any pair of new shoes you can’t expect 100 per cent comfort on the first wear. However, I think me and little miss diamond sole are going to get along. It’s totally important that I cross train as well as clock up miles on the road. As someone who has recently overcome a torn muscle it is hugely important that I cross train – to strengthen my core, improve muscle durability and stamina, increase flexibility, keep my hips, knees, ankles and joints well tuned and also to get my heart and lungs used to being under immense pressure.
And let me tell you, I’m happy with all the support I can get. Thank you Trainer 1.
Body Combat at Virgin Active Oxford Street Plaza, Thursdays 5.45pm (although you’ll need to be a member). Non members should log onto Nike’s Online Training Club, which is a bit like having a personal trainer, without actually having to fork out. Genius.)