Had a near perfect run this morning. Four miler. No foot pain. No hip or groin pain. No anaerobic stretches. No fatigue. Giving my new shoes, Saucony Hattori, another chance. My first outing with them was my recent 8 miler, which can best be described as a set-back. Since my feet were begging me to quit six miles into that run, I couldn’t give the newbies a very high mark. Today I’m thinking they could be the best shoes I ever bought, at least for the running style I adopted after reading Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run almost two years ago. With the above problems at bay, I was able to concentrate on my form and my foot strike. I will never be a barefoot runner (except on the beach) and my Vibram Five Fingers are viable on smooth surfaces only. But I’m a true believer in the wide toed, mid foot strike, quick lift style I gleaned from McDougall’s book. And though the new shoes have a thicker sole than the Vibram’s, there is zero angle from my heal to my toe and I can still feel my feet spread to grab the ground. How was my pace? As the great Caballo Blanco said to McDougall, “Think Easy, Light, Smooth, and Fast…When you’ve practiced that (Easy & Light) so long that you forget you’re practicing, you work on making it smooth. You won’t have to worry about the last one—you get those three and you’ll be fast.” Pace be damned, give me “Easy, Light, Smooth and (someday) Fast”. As for the shoes, the words of legendary distance coach Arthur Lydiard set the standard. “Shoes that let your foot function like you’re barefoot—they’re the shoes for me”. For me too, and maybe, just maybe I’ve found them.