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Me and my shoes - Simon Keller

Salming Miles vs. Mitsubishi Electric Floor Console Heat Pump

In our latest instalment of Me and My Shoes, we compare the Salming Miles with a Mitsubishi Electric Floor Console Heat Pump.


Like many runners, I am always in the market for new shoes, and always looking out for the next new thing. A year ago, while reading online forums about the best shoes for runners with plantar fasciitis, I came across rave reviews for a little-known Swedish company called Salming, and their new and exciting range of semi-minimalist running shoes. I ordered a pair online. About the same time, my family invested in a new heat pump. After taking time to get familiar with each of them, I am ready to put the two products to the test and see whether I can pick a winner.

Comfort

The Salming Miles has a heel-to-toe drop of 5mm, making it almost a zero-drop shoe. It is snug in the heel and midfoot but has a splayed toe-box, allowing your forefoot to move around naturally without the shoe feeling at all loose. While the cushioning on the Miles is thin, it is firm and solid. Underfoot, it feels as though you are wearing a firm racing flat. The result is the feeling of running barefoot, though without the impact that comes with most minimalist shoes.

While I love the fit of the Miles, it will not keep your house warm and dry. For comfort on a cold Wellington night, the Mitsubishi heat pump is clearly in front.

Advantage: Mitsubishi heat pump.

Weight

The Miles is reported to be 306g, making it similar in weight to shoes like the Nike Pegasus and the Brooks Ghost. That puts it on the light side for a neutral training shoe and means that the Mitsubishi heat pump is approximately 75 times heavier.

Advantage: Salming Miles.

Durability

For a shoe that feels fast and light, the Miles is surprisingly durable. Even after several months of solid wear, both the upper and the cushioning feel like they are still in good condition. The tread and the midsole wear evenly, so the shoe does not feel unbalanced as it gets old. I have got a good 800km out of my first pair without any noticeable decline in the shoe’s performance.

With regular cleaning and occasional servicing, a heat pump can last for as long as 20 years.

Advantage: Mitsubishi heat pump.

Adaptability

Both the Miles and the heat pump are deceptively flexible. The Miles is marketed as a road shoe, but its grip is good enough for light trail running and its low profile makes it suited to speed workouts too. The Mitsubishi heat pump is not just a heater; it can be used as an air conditioner on hot days.

Advantage: dead heat.

Style

The most noticeable feature of the Salming Miles is its brightly coloured space-age design, betraying its Scandinavian origins. Not everyone will be entranced by the look, but there is a range of colours available – green, blue, and now yellow and black – so everyone should find a colour they like.

The style of the Mitsubishi heat pump, in contrast, is most kindly described as utilitarian. You will want to find other features in your house to distract attention.

Advantage: Salming Miles.

Availability

At present, the Salming range is not widely available in retail outlets in New Zealand. To get a pair, you need to order through the New Zealand website and you may have a few weeks’ wait for them to arrive. Several Wellington retail stores sell the Mitsubishi heat pump, but again, there are obstacles to an easy transaction: you will need to find an electrician to ensure that it is safely connected, and it can take time and money for the installation to be completed.

Advantage: dead heat.

Cost

The Salming Miles retails for $249.99. That is a lot of money for a pair of running shoes, though brands like Adidas, Brooks, and Asics now charge similar prices. And you may well be able to get a lower price by buying an older model or waiting for an online sale. (I have managed to get my pairs of the Miles for significantly less.)

The Mitsubishi Floor Unit heat pump starts at around $3400.

Advantage: Salming Miles.

The Verdict

Which item comes out on top? As is so often the case with running and home heating, it is impossible to say that one product will be right for everyone. In the end, it depends what you are looking for.

If you are out to make a long-term investment in a warmer and dryer house, then you should look past the Salming Miles and give the Mitsubishi heat pump your more serious consideration. The heat pump will not be the right choice, however, if you are eager to try a new kind of high-mileage neutral running shoe that has a firm and comfortable feel. If that is what you are after, then the Salming Miles may well be the shoe for you.


Simon Keller

 
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