Why Review Old Running Shoe Models

Why in the hell are you still doing reviews on older than dirt running shoes?

You know what I am talking about those running shoes that I write about, which are last year’s or older models.

Pearl Izumi Peak II
Pearl Izumi Peak II

Although I love the newest and greatest running shoes as much or more than most runners, they are not the shoes that I actually usually get to run in.


You see, I don’t work for any running shoe brand (though I do have my favorites), a sporting goods chains, local running store or even have a popular blog where I get a variety of free promotional shoes to review (although I did get free pair of shoes for working a display booth for a brand I like, back in June).

Oh, I have had my chances to do some of this stuff and last year, when I retired, those kind of opportunities disappeared.

Like the majority of runners, I pay for most of my running shoes or get them as gifts for my birthday/Christmas.

Which means many of those newest and greatest running shoes are also budget breakers.

Being retired and on a fixed budget, means that those new shoes costing $160, hell $100 or more for a pair of running shoes is simply more than I am usually willing to spend on new shoes and more than most people want to shell out for a present.

Plus TheWife has a tizzy, when she looks at me paying as much or more than we pay for a week’s groceries for a damn pair of running shoes.

Now it isn’t like she doesn’t understand the need for good running shoes, after all she is a runner too. However, she doesn’t see the need to spend that much money, when you can get a pair that will work just fine for a lot less. 

So to keep peace around the house and me out of the dog house, I try to keep my running shoe costs under $100 when possible and half that when I can.

Pearl Izumi N1 Roads
Pearl Izumi N1 Roads

Which means like many runners, I wait until a new running shoe, becomes the “sale” or “close-out” shoe, you know that great shoe that everyone loved…

drum roll please —

last year.

Now does this mean that my reviews are dated and useless?


Just because brands have a newer models to sell, that doesn’t mean the old running shoes, the ones that suddenly become much more affordable are irrelevant to runners?

I do not think so.

Skechers GoMeb2
Skechers GoMeb2

Let’s get real, a good shoe last year or a couple of years ago, it is probably still a good shoe and will work just fine.

Well, as long as we are not hung up on having to have the newest and greatest, latest running shoes to show off to our running buddies.

Or more importantly in my opinion and depending upon who you read/talk/listen to, whether or not the foam used in shoes today degrades significantly while in storage. That is the issue that concerns me the most about older shoes, do they provide a reasonable level of protection for me or has the foam degraded to a point, where I am just throwing away my money?

I still am not sure of the correct answer or when that point is reached and will continue to search for the answer to that question.

I think that there are many other runners out there who balk at the high prices of new running shoes and still are interested in how the close-out, end of run, old freaking shoes work.

That is why I am still writing reviews on older running shoes, there are runners who are still interested in them, even though they are not being hyped by the brands marketing departments or the more popular blogs.

My Reviews

I write about the “older” shoes that I buy or get.

When I first get them I like to go into the reasons, rationale and research process (which includes a shoes stats) – I went through to get that particular pair of running shoes, then do a 50 mile, 200 mile, 400 mile and why I retired/got rid of it review (which will be something new).

Brooks Green Silence
Brooks Green Silence

Also, I am going to stay away from the shoe’s statistics or the brand’s marketing spiel after the initial review, because once I start running in a pair of shoes, stats and marketing do not really mean rats-ass, what matters is how the shoe works for me.

Newton Energy
Newton Energy

My Reviews will focus on:

How have they worked out for me?

  • Self-explanatory

Harold be honest.

  • What are the good, the bad and the ugly that you learned about these shoes.
  • Are they comfortable?


  • Do they run big/small?
  • Are they wide enough in the toe box?
  • How does the heel fit (sometimes there is too much emphasis on the toe box?

Feel (different from fit)

  • Do they run quiet or slap the road,
  • Is the heel-to-toe transition smooth
  • Do they feel fast or sap my energy,
  • How do they feel at the end of a long run, speed workout, etc.


  • Are they rock collectors – I hate shoes that weigh more at the end of a run than the beginning because of all the rocks they collect.
  • Are they a 3 season sole and then only good for indoor running in the winter.
  • Are they multipurpose or strictly roads/trails/snow
  • Wear


  • Do thy have sewn on overlays or are they welded, does the shoe bother my tailor’s bunionette
  • Is the fabric stretchy or molds well to my feet
  • Is it a good-looking shoe or meh
  • Is it weather proof, breathable
  • Noticeable wear


  • Is the model still readily available or can you find hens teeth quicker
  • Do you have to skulk around eBay to find a pair
  • Do the normal retailers (online or store) still have it in stock,
  • Is it still on the Brand’s website?


  • How much did I pay?
  • What are the price ranges now?

Would I get them again?

  • This is the most important question.
Brooks Launch
Brooks Launch

Those are the things that I will be focusing on when I review running shoes in the future.

The reality is that

the shoes I review probably won’t be the leading-edge shoes that “A” list run bloggers write about, but they are the shoes that I actually use as my running shoes and I will be writing about them a little longer than just an initial review. Simply because I do not have the volume of shoes to review that others do and need to keep running in them for as long as they are working for me, to keep the wife happy.

If for some reason a brand does give me a pair to review, of course I will make full disclosure about how I got the shoes and the reviews will be done honestly.

Skechers GoMeb2
Skechers GoMeb2

However, I have a feeling that most of the shoes that end up on these old feet are going to be personal purchases or gifts, which makes things a lot easier for me in many ways.

  • What do you think?
  • Where/when do you get most of your running shoes?

6 thoughts on “Why Review Old Running Shoe Models

  1. I totally agree – so long as we can get the shoes, there is an direct interest. And even if we CAN’T .. there is something to learn! I mean, I love reading about the Kinvara history as I love the new versions but see huge changes from 4 to 5. It is the old adage about what works for some won’t work for others – so rather than the typical frothing about ‘new & shiny’, I would rather get some context around WHY something is better or worse than earlier or competitive versions.

  2. Harold,
    I love the 50, 200, 400 mile reviews. No one else does them. Everyone writes about the brand new shiny shoes that Brand X sent for them to review.
    I want to know how these shoes feel after 50 miles. How has the feel changed over time, things like that.
    Some of the discontinued shoes can still be found out on the web at reputable web sites.

    1. Thanks Andy – I agree, but the “A” list run bloggers are getting so many of the freebies they can’t do more than 50-100 mile reviews most of the time. Sometimes the comments at some of the reputable sites give a lot of good info too. Especially the 2-4 star ratings, I just throw out 1 and 5’s, unless the majority of them are 1’s

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