Not surprisingly, American Olympic marathoners will likely be wearing red, white and blue shoes during next month’s Olympic marathons. While not every athlete has revealed their exact shoe choice, here’s a sneak peak at what their race-day kicks might be, in order of each runner’s finishing place at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Houston last January.
Meb Keflezighi (Skechers)
When Skechers signed Keflezighi in the wake of Nike dropping him, the running world freaked out a bit. Skechers? Many people thought Keflezighi, then 36, was just taking a paycheck with a shoe brand desperate to get into the running market. Even if he was (and we’re not saying he did), Keflezighi and Skechers are the ones getting the last laugh, given that he’s lowered his personal best twice in the two marathons he’s run since signing with Skechers and running in the brand’s lightweight GORun model. Keflezighi won the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in January in a PB 2:09:08, which came about 10 weeks after a solid sixth-place showing in the New York City Marathon (where he’d set his previous best of 2:09:13). He’s 37 now, but few are counting him out anymore. Anyway, here’s a look at his custom Olympic model. A men’s size 9.0 weighs in at about 6.9 oz.
Shalane Flanagan, Nike
It’s hard to say what shoe Shalane will wear in London. We’ve asked, but so far haven’t gotten a definitive answer. Her husband, Steve Edwards, told us a few weeks ago that Shalane hadn’t yet decided on her shoes. In recent years, she’s often worn the Nike Zoom Marathoner, a shoe that Nike is no longer making. It’s not that she can’t get them, though. Nike has a warehouse of outdated shoes it can draw from and/or it could make up a custom pair if necessary, especially for an athlete who figures to have a very good chance of contending for a medal. Here’s a shot of the Nike Zoom Marathoners Nike cooked up for Paula Radcliffe at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Different flag, but still red, white and blue.
Ryan Hall, ASICS
Ryan Hall will be racing in a modified pair of ASICS GEL-Hyper Speed 5 shoes. Although he raced in the infamous “rice husk” shoes in 2008 in Beijing and again the next spring in Boston, Hall has had an affinity for Hyper Speeds for years. He ran in a pair of Hyper Speed prototypes when he set the American record in the half marathon in Houston in 2007 and wore a pair of the original Hyper Speed shoes when he won the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in New York City in 2007. “The Hyper Speeds are very special to me,” Hall says. “They are the same shoes that anyone can pick up the only difference is mine will be a special color scheme.” (As of this week, Hall had not yet settled on the exact color scheme.) A men’s size 9.0 weighs in at 7.0 oz.
Desiree Davila, Brooks
Desiree Davila will be racing in a pair of custom Brooks T7 Racers. They’re also red, white and blue and have a stars and stripes pattern with “Desi 2012” emblazoned across the lateral side of the heel, plus a motivational message (“I’m Ready”) inspired by her fiancée inscribed on the inside of the shoe. Brooks had to modify the design slightly to fit its logo on the 4.7-oz. men’s size 5.5 shoes she’ll be wearing. (The Brooks T7 Racer is a unisex model).
Abdi Abdirahman, Nike
We can’t say for sure, but we believe Abdi Abdirahman will be wearing a pair of red, white and blue Nike Flyknit Racers. That’s what he wore en route to finishing third at the U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon in Houston in January, an effort that earned him his fourth U.S. Olympic team berth. The Flynit Racer (5.6 oz., men’s size 9.0) and men’s Flyknit Trainer+ (7.5 oz.) hit stores last week.
Kara Goucher, Nike
Kara Goucher has had a coaching change (parting ways with Alberto Salazar), a life change (she had a baby boy, Colt, in September 2010) and now it’s possible she’ll be changing her racing shoes, too. She’s still a Nike athlete so we’ll know she’ll be wearing the Swoosh in London. Here’s what she told us last week: “I’m most likely going to use a new shoe for the first time!” Goucher says. “I have run all of my marathons and half-marathons in the Lunar Racer, but I am leaning toward wearing the Zoom Streak. It’s time for a change!” The Lunar Racer weighs about 6.1 oz. (women’s size 8.0), while the Zoom Streak 4 tips the scales at about 6.2 oz. (women’s size 8.0)