Newton’s and Sugoi
I originally intended on writing a follow up to my review of the Sir Isaac Newton S shoes that I wear, which I am still going to do, but I am also going to touch on my favorite brand of cycling stuff (Sugoi) because they intersect at two different points.
First of all, the shoes, I wrote a generally positive review of the shoes a while back and I still have the same general opinion of them. I am running a lot longer in them now than I was when I first wrote the review and some shoes manifest differently when you are running 3 miles or 7 miles. I am happy with the Newtons at longer distances as well as shorter distances. They are a tad bit heavier than I would like but in training conditions, who cares? The lugs are starting to show some wear patterns but the shoe is holding up well. All the stitching, fabric, and other materials are staying in place nicely. I don’t subject my shoes to the type of torture that say, a HS cross country runner might, but any manufacturing weakness or defect would show itself by now.
Here I am appearing to be a walking advertisement for Newton during the run portion of my Wednesday morning bike/run workout. I normally don’t wear a whole triathlon outfit to the gym but when you are doing a bike and a transition run, it only makes sense. Besides, I had to try my new gear, which happens to be Newton labeled.
Before you accuse me of drinking the “kool-aide” let me get to a point quickly. I like Sugoi gear quite a lot. I started liking them when I bought a pair of RPM shorts a while ago (before triathlon was on my radar) and mile over mile they were more comfortable than any other shorts I tried. Enter Newton, who sells a variety of gear with a big Newton logo on them. The production, however, is by Sugoi. When I went to the Newton Running Lab in Boulder, their Triathlon singlets and shorts were 20% off. I should say, the Sugoi Triathlon gear was 20% off, for 20% I don’t care if I look like a lime green billboard.
Newton hitched its wagon to the Ironman train a while back so Sugoi was a natural choice. It is the official clothier of Ironman stuff as well. If you see someone with Ironman branded jackets or shorts from the last year or so, they are wearing Sugoi.
Why do I prefer Sugoi? One reason, the pad, AKA the chamois. I hate the word chamois (when pronounced the non-French way) it grates on me the way ‘moist’ grates on most people. So I will simply call it the pad. Many pads are simply foam, which is fine for like, 10 miles. After that, the pad breaks down and the seat pokes into your behind anyway. In this scenario firmer is actually better. The pad that Sugoi uses is more like a memory foam mattress, it is firm but it forms to your…shape, so the seat is both more comfortable, and there is less friction between you and the pad. I have had very few hot spots wearing Sugoi – when I have had them they were on spin bikes, which are the devil incarnate.
The only other cycling apparel I have seen with a similar pad feel is actually Specialized gear. Someone told me once that Specialized is very good with products that touch the body. I think they are right, which is why I ride a Specialized saddle on a Trek bicycle.