My wife and family think that I have a running shoe fetish! I just have way too many running shoes according to them.
Over the past couple of weeks on Twitter and Facebook @Wise_Running and @KellyOlexa have asked the communities “How many running shoes do you have” and I responded with probably 12-13 depending upon how you count them. It turns out that I have 14 pair of running shoes!
Those questions got me to thinking about it and I am 90% sure that I am done getting new running shoes this year – at least that is my hope! Plus I was planning to do a recap post of the running shoes that I have run in during 2012 and think that this would be a good time to do it
So here are my running shoes that ran in during 2012and my thoughts about them:
1. Mizuno Wave Elixir 7
These are my current daily trainer with 132.8 miles on them so far – that I got through Mizuno’s Mezamashii Project. I have nothing but GREAT things to say about them, they are light, fast, comfortable and let me run the way that I run. I ran the Runner’s World Half Marathon in 1:41:12, in them without any issues whatsoever with my feet. It will be interesting to see what my opinion is after another 200 miles. In case you can’t tell, I like them a lot, but the jury is still out on them
2. Mizuno Wave Ronin 4
My 5K, 10K race and speed work shoes and they have now become my treadmill running shoes (the gym frowns on me wearing my regular outdoor shoes on their treadmill). They are light and fast with enough cushioning that I enjoy running in them a lot.
When I wear them I just want to run fast.
Racing flats don’t tend to get as mcuh use, so they tend to take a while to get miles on them and it will take a while to get them to my 50 mile typical review point, so I am planning to do one on them pretty soon. The only thing I wish is that they were a little wider in the forefoot, my right foot feels like it goes over the edge a little when I am walking or standing in them. However, this doesn’t bother at all when I am running in them. I have run a 5K of 21:26 at Runner’s World and a treadmill 5K of 20:33 last week, so they are a fast shoe for me. Personal purchase.
3. Altra Instinct 1.5
One of my favorite shoes both in the looks and how they feel on my feet department. Unfortunately, it seems that the way that I run (my form) is not conducive to the Altra’s, which really, really sucks! I love the Altra running shoes and the direction that the company is going! When I wear them, my hamstrings start to bother me. I think it has something to do with how I “pawback” when I run in the Instinct’s that over-activates my hamstrings, which leads to extra strain on them. When my hamstrings are fully healed and I get them strengthened with my weight training routine, I plan to start to wear them slowly again, beginning with a mile on the treadmill as a warm-up to my real workout.
This is a shoe that I truly want to work for me, because they are comfortable, last a long time and the people at Altra are fantastic people who really impressed me with their commitment to the running community. I got these as a free media sample while blogging at Runner’s World.
4. Altra Instinct 1.0
When I lost my Nike Free Run+3’s in Minnesota last summer, I needed a new pair of shoes and these were on top of my list of shoes to get, so I went ahead and bought them. I ran for over a 100 miles in them without any issues (other than a blister on my heel) and then suddenly my hamstrings started to really bother me and as I explained above, I am not sure why these shoes would do this to me – Other than my form issues.
I talked with the Altra people who were at Runner’s World Half Festival and they had never heard of anyone with the issues that I am having, in fact it was their experience it was the other way around, that the Altra’s took care of problems that runners were having.
Maybe I just have to let my hamstrings heal completely and then slowly transition into the Altra shoes? Who knows? I just really want these shoes to work for me.
5. Adidas Vigor
My current trail shoes with 52.6 miles on them. To be honest I got these because they are more protective than the MT110’s I had been using and had beat up the bottom of my feet on Bond Brook trails after just 3.0 miles and that they were pretty inexpensive – around $55.00 at Famous Footwear. They have are a decent trail shoe that protected my feet, had good traction in most instances (on wet or slick rock they are pretty much useless-personal bias there after having fallen a few times when I slipped on those surfaces). Last weekend I went on a 7.6 mile run and got blood blisters under the callouses on the balls of my feet. These blisters didn’t start until I got over 5.0 miles, so I probably wouldn’t use them for much more than a 10K trail run. They have done a good job on the trails that I run, however, if I was going to run further or more often on trails, I would go out and look for a different pair of trail shoes.
6. Skora Base
These are true minimalist running shoes and got them as a free media sample from Skora. I am intrigued by all the minimalist talk and how the shoes work, but at the same time I prefer to have some cushioning between me and the road. I still haven’t decided if I am ready to go minimalist or not. I do plan to do some running in them over the course of the winter, to see if they help strengthen my feet and legs. They have become my go to shoes for just wearing around though, they are extremely comfortable and I like the velcro closure for easy on and off.
7. Adidas Adizero Sonic 3
These are now my primary walking shoe, even though I ran fairly comfortably with the Sonics, getting to 108 miles before I stopped running in them. When it got wet out, the plastic heel cup and the removable insole would slide around just enough to cause blisters on my heels, otherwise they did fine. However, I felt slow in them and just couldn’t seem to pick up my speed with them. With the blister issue and how they felt, I retired them to walking, where they have done fine, but as it gets colder, my feet are getting colder with the more open mesh of the Sonics, so I have a feeling they are going to be relegated to the closet until spring fairly soon. Personal purchase.
8. Nike Free 4.0 v2
This was one of the better shoes that I have run in all year. My second run in them was a half-marathon training run of 13+ miles of which the last 3-5 was in the pouring rain. No blisters, no nothing but letting me run. They were extremely comfortable, but when I got to 300 miles in them, it was almost like a light switch went off, my knees started hurting when I ran in them (which is my sign it is time for a new pair of shoes) and they were exhibiting some strange wear patterns on the heel areas of both feet, but much more pronounced on the right.
The biggest gripe I had about the Nike Free is the rocks that they tend to pick up rocks/pepples, I run a lot on dirt roads, shoulders of the road and even in ditches and when you have to stop and remove rocks from the sole of your after every run and sometimes during a run, this was the main reason I didn’t go with another pair.
I tried one more run in them back in September, but they really bothered my knees after 5 miles, so I knew they were done. You notice that the shoelaces are now gone and I brought them in from outside, where they are waiting to go to charity.
9. Saucony Kinvara 2
I liked the Kinvara 2’s a lot, I ran well in them, but at the 200 mile or so point, my knees started to hurt and the right outside of the forefoot on both shoes was showing excessive wear. The 3’s hadn’t come yet when I needed to replace them. Eventually I would like to try the Kinvara’s again to see if I get a little more mileage out them next time. These have become my lawn shoes and have worked very well in that capacity, although a pair of old trail shoes would be better at times for working around the house :-).
10. Nike Presto Faze
Oldies but goodies, from 2005-2006. When I was searching for new shoes in the spring, these were under my dresser and I had always like running in them, so I figured why not try again. Eventually, when I tried them again this fall my knees definitely hurt just running short distances in them. However, they are definitely tired and I plan to put them out in the give-away pile this weekend.
11. Nike AirFlo
My old racing flats from the late 80’s (no they didn’t get much use did they, since I only raced once in the 25 years before 2012). I did use them for some speed work over the years and have worn them a few times this year, when I wanted to run fast. I always feel like running fast in these shoes and I wore them to a 5K in September and had a 21:48 time. They are starting to get pretty battered looking and there is some dry rot in the sole, so I should probably put them in the give-away pile, but they are a link to my past as a runner and remind me of the “lost years” and what might have been. But for now I have put them to go out to the give-away pile.
12. Saucony ProGrid Propel Plus
These are my winter screw/Solespike running shoes. I have solespikes and screws in the bottoms of these shoes for running when it is icy and nasty out. They don’t get a lot of use, but if I need to walk Bennie or run a race in icy conditions these are what I will use.
13. New Balance MT110
I had high hopes for these shoes, but when it came to running on the trails in them, my feet felt as though some had beat them with a hammer. Maybe I am just wimpy or something, but for me they didn’t provide enough protection for where I run in my mind. Otherwise the grip and traction was fine, unless it was super muddy and they are very, very comfortable. I keep them in the back of the truck in my backpack just in case, I want to go for a sudden run or a change of shoes is necessary. They are a comfortable shoe, that once the Sonics wear out, I will probably go to as my primary walking shoe.
14. Asics Gel Kayano
I bought these back in 2007 and never really like them, they are stiff and heavy and only ran in them once this year. So I put them in the back of whatever is my primary vehicle for just in case or if I have the urge to do a run (I keep a set of old running clothes in my vehicles) – hey you never know when you will have the chance to just run.
Shoes that are Gone
Shoes that I have worn this year, but I no longer have or returned them for a different pair are:
Nike Free Run+3
Probably the nicest looking shoe that I have ever worn – at least in my opinion. I really liked the Free runs quite a bit, even running a 17 miler in them the week before I lost them, when I travelled to Minnesota. However, they had the same problem that the Free 4.0 v2 had as far as having to pick rocks out of the siping in the sole after and sometimes during runs. However, I know that I can run in the Nike Free series without any problems.
The Newton’s were a shoe that I really liked a lot and got a great deal on them. However, the right heel counter dug into my right ankle to the point that I still have a scar there. I ran really well in these shoes having over 300 miles on them. However, I had to perform shoe surgery on them, something I haven’t had to do in a long time, which really didn’t impress me. They are a very good shoe, but just not for me.
New Balance MT20
My first foray into minimalist running shoes. I wasn’t prepared for the lack of cushioning or how they fit. I ran a total of 6.1 miles in them, before I returned them.
Asics Blur 7.0
They just didn’t feel right for me at the time, I got them. I ran a couple of times in them and decided that they were not for me and returned them.
The reality is that
I am searching for the “right” running shoes for me and to date I haven’t found them yet. I am impressed by how well I am running in the Mizuno’s, but the jury is still out on if they are the “right” shoe or not – I simply don’t have enough miles on them yet.
This year I have spent a lot of time and money on trying to find that “perfect” shoe for me. Now it is time for me to figure out which shoes I am going to wear most of the time in 2013 and stop experimenting as much. I am looking at running 1 or 2 marathons in 2012 (that is a different post though). I want to have which shoe style I will be running those in by the end of January and right now the Mizuno Elixir’s have the inside track.
However, I did learn that not every shoe is a good shoe for me and that sometimes it is better to either quickly return them for something else or put them in the closet to look at later, instead of just continuing to run in them and risk injuries.
Hopefully, the next year shows a significant decrease in the number/styles of shoes that I have in my shoe rotation. It will be interesting to which shoes I end up running in during 2013 and if my shoe fetish becomes a lot less of an issue. Running in 18 different pairs of shoes over the course of a year, is just way too many, even for me!
Originally written by Harold Shaw and published at “A Veteran Runnah” © 2011-2012, All Rights Reserved. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Harold Shaw and A Veteran Runnah” with appropriate and specific directions or links to the original content.