'SLIGHTLY DISAPPOINTING UPDATE OF A PREVIOUSLY EXCELLENT SHOE'
Strengths: Light, comfortable and still reasonably fast. Good grip and wear.
Weaknesses: Comparing to earlier versions (8 & 10), new lacing system doesn't seem to hold feet a firmly, ride seems firmer but shoe is no quicker.
Overall: I'm a neutral runner, weigh about 11st and use these shoes for both training and racing (up to marathon); my 'default' speed is about 7.5 - 8 min/mile.
There are two major visual changes to this shoe, one successful and the other less so. The revised sole is a success for me; the grip is outstanding and the wear rate seems good, too. The asymmetric lacing system is slightly less successful as my feet seem to move around a bit more than expected.
I've had 2 earlier versions (8 & 10) of this shoe and been delighted with both, so I bought this version untested on the strength of the earlier models. For me, this update has moved the shoe away from the ideal fit and ride of those versions, and although still comfortable, the shoe seems firmer and has a slower heel to toe transition resulting in a slightly slower feel.
In summary, I'm disappointed these shoes don't suit me as well as the earlier versions, but I still recommend a test run for anyone looking for a fast trainer/racer.
'A FINE PIECE OF KIT, NOT WITHOUT WEAKNESSES BUT RECOMMENDED'
Strengths: Range of options and features is excellent. If you need any combination of pace or distance you can set it up and the 301 will monitor your run/bike (or other sport), or give you a virtual partner to run with or against. download to PC is easy through the supplied software, and it's also easy to write workouts in the software and load then to the wrist unit.
Weaknesses: Mostly minor for me. Unit loses GPS signal quite easily in woods or among tall buildings. Takes a minute or two to acquire the GPS signal. I have also had some inconsistent readings from the HRM, but a new battery and a thin application of gel under the sender unit seems to have fixed it.
Overall: Using it to help follow the "3 a week" marathon schedule makes the 301 invaluable for me. So far it's been reliable, and a great way to keep your trainign diary if you're too busy or lazy to write it down.