Today I say farewell to the final incarnation of a dear friend. We have been together through many times of great enjoyment and many times of great challenge.
I can’t remember the exact reason behind my first purchase of a pair of Brooks Green Silence. I had just started incorporating barefoot running into my training, so it is possible that they represented the “path to minimalism” that was seriously trending in early 2011. With an 8-mm offset from heel to toe, they were lower than the Brooks Adrenalin and Asics GEL-Kayano that were the workhorse of my running shoe stable. They also had an interesting environmental spin with 75% of the materials being post-consumer recycled. But most importantly, weighing in at under 200 grams (~7 oz) they were the lightest shoe I had owned up to that point.
The Green Silence made me realise how much of a difference a lighter shoe can make. The first time I ran my club time trial in them I set a new 8 km PB that felt comfortable, and they were also with me the first time I broke the 40-minute barrier for 10 km. In that race one shoe lace came undone with 1.5 km remaining, but without time to spare I continued running as the lace repeatedly slapped against my other leg. Luckily the shoes offered a great slipper-like fit, even when unlaced.
I owned a number of pairs over the years, starting with my first green and black pair, and including a very funky red and yellow pair (pictured below) where the left and right shoes were inverted in colour. The shoe was discontinued way back in January 2013, and in its relatively short lifespan it had quite a few colours but never underwent design changes that would have been as likely to displease as to please. I found a couple of very cheap pairs at a factory outlet in Australia in mid-2014 and knew that they would be my last pairs. Today I retire the second of those pairs and say farewell.
It also comes at an interesting time, with the current workhorse of my shoe collection (the Brooks PureConnect) having just been discontinued. I guess another eulogy will be due when my final pair of those shoes is also lain to rest.