Today I went upta Bangor to find another new pair of running shoes.
You have gotten 5 pair of new shoes since April, what in the hell is going on?
- Brooks Ghost 10 EE – Expert skin removal on the Right Achilles tendon (otherwise known as a blister) – even after shoe surgery.
- Mizuno Wave Rider 20 EE – Strange pain in lower left ankle after 3-4 miles. Not a new pain, but when it happens it means that it will only get worse and that the shoes I am running in need to go.
- Hoka Infinite – I can run in them, but they are too narrow in the toe box and force my little toe into the 4th toe, which initially is a distraction and turns into much more the longer that I run. However, they were the only shoes I could run in during blister recovery.
- Nike Vomero 11 EE – Still too narrow in toe box, same issue as Infinite’s.
- Saucony Guide 9 EE – Still too narrow in toe box, same issue as Infinite’s.
None of the “new” shoes are working the way that I want, so I planned on going to Triathlon Sports in Bangor, get properly fitted and figure out which shoes I “should” be running in. You know, do things the way I should be to get a new pair of running shoes.
Unfortunately, when I got there I figured out pretty quickly that they are closed on Saturday’s. What was the clue? No lights on and the sign on the door that said CLOSED, with another sign in the window showing they were closed on Saturday/Sunday’s.
Needless to say I was disappointed and felt like a dumbshit.
Driving all the way to Bangor (over 70 miles) and then…well you get the idea.
Oh well, that plan went out the window and I was pretty sure that there wasn’t any other place in Bangor/Brewer that was going to have the brands/styles I had researched and was looking for.
Back to square one.
Back to doing things by my usual seat of the pants and hope things work out.
I stopped at four different places and tried on a bunch of different shoes – nothing really impressed me. I almost got a pair of Pearl Izumi N2 Trail v2’s, because I know that I can run well on anything in them, but then decided that was just delaying finding a pair of shoes that I can run in going forward as well, since PI no longer is in the Running Shoe business.
At that point I was more than a little frustrated and seriously thought about just getting on I-95 South and heading back home, but I really wanted to get a pair of running shoes that fit my damned feet.
I remembered there that there is a Dick’s at the Mall. If all else fails, I seem to end up in Dick’s.
After looking around, I came up with a couple of options:
- Nike Free RN
- Under Armour Charged Bandit 3
I have run in both of them in previous editions, although they have not been perfect and definitely had issues that I was not crazy about. They are both styles that are comfortable and don’t kill my feet. The knit uppers making it not necessarily having to be a EE to fit me and my Bunionette well.
To be honest it came down to pretty much flipping a coin regarding which one I really wanted – I liked the way both of them felt on my feet this morning – a lot and they were on sale at the same price.
Then I thought about where I do a lot of my running – on dirt roads, which brought back memories of Nike Free’s that I have run in before. How they collect pebbles and small rocks in the siping of the outsole. I remembered how frustrating it was to continually be getting rid of that detritus sometimes during and usually after most runs. It was just enough to give the edge to the Bandit’s.
Plus the Bandits have a bit more support on the heel counter than the Free RN did, which after how the Wave Rider 20’s bothered my left ankle was a consideration.
The Under Armour Charged Bandit 3’s made it to their first run with me this afternoon.
I did 7.0 miles out of the box in them.
5.0 miles were quality miles, with three of them sub 8:20 pace at a comfortably hard effort before I shut it down and coasted home the last couple of miles. The 78% humidity and 70* degrees was getting miserable (the hat was raining sweat by then) and there wasn’t any reason to run harder those last 2.0 miles.
I did have to stop a couple of times to adjust the laces, which is pretty normal for me. Although they did start to bother the outside of my right foot after I slowed down. The same kind of issue that the old Kinvara 2’s gave me a little issue with initially, but cleared up after I got used to the shoe.
Once I stopped running it didn’t bother, so it wasn’t a big deal.
Something that I did really like about the Bandit 3’s was that they were light at 8.6 ounces, but still felt cushioned enough that I can run longer runs once I get things healed back up.
Overall, a very successful initial run and the best feeling 7.0 miler I have had in a while.
We will see how they do going forward.