Researching for my Next Pair of Running Shoes

It was bound to happen, my Saucony Peregrines running shoes, after 257.6 miles are starting show some clear signs of wear, but only in one place.

In my post about Choosing New Running Shoes, I talked about doing your own research before you go ahead and buy a new pair of running shoes. This way you have a better idea of what you are looking for, what is out there and the price ranges for a particular shoe you might be interested in, when you do go to look for your new shoes.

Also you will be able to ask the salesperson “intelligent” questions about their recommendations, instead following them blindly – I don’t follow anyone blindly.  They may know a lot about running shoes, but they usually don’t know a lot about you.

Since I have noticed that my Peregrines are going to need replacement in a month or so, now is the time to take my own advice and start researching for my next pair of running shoes. So here it begins.

Background

I am 5’7″, wear somewhere between a 7.5 and 8.5 (American) shoe size and as of today I weighed 165 pounds. My goal weight is somewhere under 155, under 150 would be ideal. I am running 25+ miles a week and would like to be running 40+ miles a week by the end of the summer. I do like to run faster (even though I am still pretty slow now) and my goal this summer is to run a sub 20:00 5K.

During the past two months I have worked hard to change my running form back to being a forefoot runner, to help reduce the impact and stress to my knees. I have had great success with the Peregrine’s 4MM drop and would like to stay with a zero to 4 MM drop in my new shoes. This seems style to be working a lot better than other shoes have for me.

I do have shoes that I can wear for racing or track interval workouts, but not an extra pair of shoes that are in good enough shape to wear as an alternate daily trainer. I have some older shoes that I could wear occasionally if my new ones need to dry out or something, but I wouldn’t put them into a regular shoe rotation.

Money is tight, so looking at sale items, close outs, and other deals are a part of the equation – just the way it is.  This also means that whatever shoe I buy, probably will be a hybrid running shoe style, to do everything that I will ask of it. Since it will be the shoe that I wear running 90% of the time, since I don’t have the money to buy 2 pairs at this time.

What kind of Running will I be doing?

  • I live in the country, so I do a lot of running on both tar and dirt roads.
  • During the spring, summer and into late fall, I will be running trails 1-2 times a week. Initially I might be able to still use the Peregrines for a while, until they really start to bother my heel.
  • Luckily winter will be mostly over by the time I get these shoes and I won’t have to worry so much about snow and ice during most of this shoe’s running life.
  • No treadmill running, strictly outdoor running.

What do I use now?

Right now I am running primarily in Saucony Peregrines. They have been great shoes and done everything that I have asked of them. Unfortunately, they have developed the same problem as other Saucony running shoes have for me.  The fabric on the left heel now has a 1/4″ hole in it and is down to the heel counter, this will only get worse as I wear the shoe more. This really sucks because it will eventually cause blisters in that area, been there done that – major league BUMMER.

It is strange because other brands of shoes that I have worn do not get this hole in the heel, just the Sauconys? Weird huh.

The reality is that

I was thinking about getting another pair of Peregrines and still might, but this wearing in the heel will significantly reduce how long I can run in them without problems. However, this problem does make want to take a closer look at other alternatives, that might not wear through in this area and allow me to run in the shoes longer.

Another consideration is that while running in the 4MM lightweight shoes, I haven’t been injured and have been able to increase my mileage pretty dramatically since November. Therefore, I would like to stay with  that style of shoe or even go to a zero drop shoe, if they feel right.

Finally

This means I have to do a lot of research to find a lightweight, zero to 4MM drop, hybrid running shoe that I can use to meet my running needs over the life of the shoe.  I don’t want a shoe that is going to fall apart and wear out after 200-300 miles, I need something more sturdy than that, especially with prices of quality running shoes today.

What companies am I going to look at – all them that offer light-weight trainers that promote forefoot striking. Actually I think that I am going to enjoy this project, but the most important thing is to make sure that I get a pair of running shoes that will work for me over the next 6 months as I continue to return to running.

  • Do you have any suggestions on the kind of shoe that I should be looking at?
  • Are there specification or things I should be looking for in a shoe besides what I have discussed?
  • Other comments or suggestion that you can give me while looking for my next pair of running shoes would be appreciated.

21 thoughts on “Researching for my Next Pair of Running Shoes

  1. I’ve got Saucony Jazz and get blisters on the heels all the time from them. My Kinvara’s don’t do this but they have a 4mm drop. I’ve been looking at the Altra Instinct and think they will be my next shoe. 0 drop and about 8 oz. They have a wide forefoot which suits me well but the heel area is supposed to be nice and snug. You might want to look into them.

  2. Since you have been running in 4mm drop uninjured I would suggest trying the Altra Zero Drop Instincts. I’ve been running in them just a few weeks and my plantar fascia issues have all but cleared. They have just enough cushion (8mm) and a wider toe box so your toes can spread. Although I personally haven’t seen you run, I would suggest getting video of your form. if you have a worn heel I suspect you may still be heel striking.

    Hope that helps, best to you in your running goals

    1. Working on the form, not perfect yet, but getting closer ;-). I plan to do an update on the progress I am or am not making on my form next week, with a video, if the snow/driveway get good enough to run comfortably on without the ice being a factor.

  3. It’s like loosing an old friend. No shameless plug intend (I wear test at times for Brooks), check out their new Pure Connect series. They sound like something you may be interested in.

    1. Once you find a pair of shoes you like it is tough to see them starting to wear out. Oh well just a part of running, but lots of great memories running in these shoes :-). I was selected to be a Brooks weartester back in October haven’t heard anything since. So I don’t worry about it.

  4. I just got the Saucony Kinvara 2s – 4mm drop, but have a bit of cushioning for pavement running. I also ordered the Altra Intuition (the guy’s version is the Instinct), and those will be coming tomorrow. Similar idea to the Kinvaras, but with a 0mm drop! I had good luck with the NB Minimus Roads, but they are a little too narrow in the mid-foot for me with my inflamed metatarsal.

  5. Kudos to you for getting into minimalist shoes. I am a believer. I am currently in the Brooks Pure Connect–also 4mm drop. I really like how lightweight and flexible they are. The sole has held up well for me so far, so I’d give them a thumbs up in that regard. Also nice are the NB Minimus trail–they are smaller drop (zero?) and I think a good trail/road shoe. I haven’t tried the Altras yet, but those get lots of good reviews also. If you’ve never been to his site, go to http://www.runblogger.com. He has reviewed just about every minimalist shoe under the sun.

    1. This minimalist shoe movement in my opinion is actually going back to many of the shoes that were similar, which I ran in during the 70’s and early 80’s. The material might have changed, but the low heel drop and and light weight was more the norm back then, then is has been recently. Guess like everything else what comes around, goes around and if you wait long enough you will see something you wore 30 years ago, coming back into fashion :-).

  6. I’m currently running in the Kinvara 2s – I like them but my one complaint is that the fabric is already tearing near the little toe on the left foot. I’ve heard from others on Twitter of the same problem – odd.

    I’m planning on getting the Brooks Pure Connect – just waiting for my local running store to stock the new colors.

    Good luck!

  7. Pingback: A Veteran Runnah

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