William Leow is a stickler about the shoes that he races and trains with. The Singaporean running and XTERRA enthusiast tells us why he chooses to race and train almost exclusively with Nike shoes.
“I’ve been involved in multisport activities for many years, though now I am an active participant in XTERRA racing,” he says.
“XTERRA is an off-road triathlon comprising typically of a 1.5km swim, 30km mountain bike ride and a 10km trail run with lots of elevation. I first heard of it in 1998, but never got a chance to attempt one back then as I lost interest in triathlon after my National Service. I only came back into the sport in 2016.”
In that same year, William found out that Langkawi was hosting the Asia-Pacific XTERRA Championship and he signed up for it without hesitation. His ultimate aim was to qualify for the XTERRA World Championship, which takes place annually in Maui, Hawaii. Despite good preparations, a troubling old knee injury slowed him down and he finished fifth in his age-group in Langkawi 2016, two spots away from the qualification cut-off.
He eventually had his chance and took part in the 2019 XTERRA World Championship after qualifying for it through XTERRA Taiwan in 2018. “What draws me to XTERRA over the conventional triathlon is the challenging terrain, dirt, and the friendly competitors. I’ve made so many friends from different parts of the world,” William adds.
His shoes of choice? The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus Trail 36 for trail running, and the Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 for training on tarmac.
William has also recently started using the Nike Joyride Run Flyknit for pre and post-race recovery running, and he thinks it’s the most exciting innovation to hit the running shoe scene in a while.
The beanbag chair-inspired Nike Joyride system was launched in late 2019 after months of intensive testing. In the Joyride Run, four separate, zonally tuned pods are packed with thousands of TPE beads, and the effect feels a little like running on bubbles.
Just how does the supposedly more comfort-orientated Nike Joyride Run Flyknit fit into his overall training regime? William elaborates, “The first thing I noticed when I put on the Joyride Run was the comfort. The cushioning is amazing and the shoe fits like a glove. The little things matter, and I find the loop at the back of the shoe a thoughtful design for putting them on quickly. Because they feel comfortable, I wore them through the Maui XTERRA race week as an everyday shoe.”
The Nike Joyride Run Flyknit is designed to be especially supportive and forgiving as your foot is separated from the Joyride beads by only the thin, embedded sockliner. This delivers a personalised underfoot experience with great impact absorption in a surprisingly light, energy-returning package that has been tested to be as springy as the Nike React foam on rebound.
William generally prefers the familiarity of using just two pairs of shoes, noting that it is important to test the shoes that you want to use in a race during training.
“Comfort, support, and grip are of prime importance. The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus Trail 36 and Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2 are my favourites, but the Nike Joyride Run Flyknit is quickly finding a place in the rotation because it is so flexible. Comfortable, functional and durable for both running and walking, it’s now the shoe that I will wear for travel and shorter, relaxed running sessions. The cushioning beads in the midsole are incredibly consistent and feel very distinct from other cushioning systems.”
Don’t just take his word for it, Check out the Nike Joyride Run Flyknit yourself! Find it at Nike stores, or order online at nike.com.