Li - Ning. The brand name that kept blasting during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. For some fun facts, Li - Ning is actually the name of the founder of Li-Ning Company Limited who is also a former Olympian gymnast Gold medalist. He is actually more well known as the last torch bearer before the lighting of the cauldron. Yes, the one he "flew" around the stadium.
|Li - Ning and the infamous "flying" of the torch bearer.|
|Lin Dan, mostly associated with the brand.|
Just late last year, I've won a Men's Health Li-Ning Contest and redeemed a pair of their latest Superlite 9 running shoes. Yes, you read it right. RUNNING SHOES. I've never would had thought.
At first I was pretty skeptical about trying them on but I gave them a try nonetheless. Of course I had to pick the wildest colour they have; the vibrant red with leopard side prints. I just couldn't resist.
So here are some quick review of features of the shoe (as per brochure) :
- A mesh material to improve air circulation.
- Front Sole Stretches for better support and Stability
- Mid Sole Ventilation for extra comfort and stability
- FoamEVA Lite & NON-GAP to improve performance.
|The heel side of the shoe.|
|The Foam EVA on the sole of the shoe. Makes up pretty much the construction of the shoe.|
|The treadmill test.|
The bottom of the sole features a pretty standard design and markings. The first impression it looks very much like a non-marking design mostly featured on cross training shoes. Upon closer inspection, the grooves of the shoes are very minimal and almost too bare looking. I assume this is probably the brand's approach to "barefoot feel" but there is no statement to support this. Honestly, I didn't feel it has any barefoot feeling characteristics.
|The sides that features the mid sole ventilation.|
|The bottom sole that features very minimal grooves and grip.|
My next trial on the road proved otherwise. Of all days, I had to try them on a rainy day and I didn't had my camera with me to take some pics. The testing ground was at Desa Park City and I actually slipped a few times. After taking them out for 2 rounds (total of 16km run) the soft bottom part of the sole started to tear a little. That was the last time I tried them out on the road. But in all fairness, I was pretty rough with them and I think my weight was a factor.
In conclusion, the Li-Ning Superlite 9 are pretty good treadmill shoes but pound them on the road cautiously. In terms of design, the vibrant red I have is brilliant. It's always a conversational starter every time I wear them out on a casual day. In terms of functionality, it's good pair of trainers for beginners who is on a budget. It also fares very well as a pair of cross trainers as it flexes quite well.
Pretty good pair of trainers especially being this "red", they are a real major standouts. ;)