Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Shoe Journey

I don't think that the shoe makes the runner, but I do think that foot comfort is extremely important to the success of any athlete. In my almost 16 years as a runner I have sported nearly every brand of shoe in every model ever made for runners, minus minimalist brands.

My feet have pounded the pavement in Asics, Brooks, Nike, Adidas, Newtons, New Balance, Saucony, Mizuno, and countless other brands that didn't leave much of an impression. 

Last summer I bought Newtons in an attempt to stop overstriding and learn to run with a bit of a smoother cadence where I have been doing most of my runs in these shoes post Chicago marathon. Rockin these bright kicks always sparks the interest of other runners and often leads to a Q&A session.

During that time period there was a failed attempt to transition into the Mizuno Wave Rider 15's that left my ankles bruised and sore.

These are not the shoes for me as there isn't sufficient room for my ankle bone

And most recently I've been testing out the Nike LunarEclipse+ 2's which I won from a twitter contest.

At first I wasn't too sure about these, but as soon as I put them on my feet and headed out the door for a run I felt like I was drifting on little clouds. Obviously these shoes are much more cushioned then the Newton's I'm used to, but my feet seem do be enjoying their time in these bad boys.

As my spring races are closing in, I am considering buying a pair of racers. The last time I wore racing flats I was a high school senior, which was a decade ago. A lot has changed in running in those 10 years where I haven't been keeping myself up to date on what racers are best for my foot and the distances I want to cover in them. 

Some of the models I'm interested in:

New Balance WR1400

My first race this year is in just under 6 weeks so I want to get a pair ASAP to give my foot a little time feeling them out before I hit the race scene, but I can't seem to make a decision and would love some input and feedback from you guys.

Do you run in racers?
Any brand or model recommendations?


  1. If you like the Nike eclipse, you might like the Nike lunar elite. It's the "performance" version of that shoe. It's also a "stability" type shoe but very light. I just wore them for the marthon and felt pretty good.

    I also like my Nike lunar racers, super light and cushiony. They feel really comfy and I love them even for long runs and have run several marathons in them. I think that wearing the light shoes makes my feet feel better later in the race (or it's 100% mental). If you run in 5oz shoes vs 10 oz shoes over the course of a longer race, that's a lot of extra weight to carry I think...

    I haven't tried any of the other ones you mentioned above.

  2. I run in the Nike Lunarflys and LOVE them! So light! I love reading your journey with shoes...knowing what a high mileage and talented runner you are, makes me value your thoughts!!

  3. I do not wear racers but love that they are always the fun colors! I am excited to see what you choose!

  4. I got the Pure Flows for my racers this year. I ran in the Saucony A3? maybe an older model than what you have here several years ago and loved them, but they had little holes in the bottom that were rock collectors and I ended up bruising my heel really bad on a rock that wedged in my shoe during a 5 mile race. Needless to say I have not worn them since. But you should get some sort of racers they really do make a difference and you are so speedy!

  5. NEWTONS! I have the distance racers, I ran 2 marathons in them. They are retiring soon and I'll be buying more. They're expensive but I love them...best shoes I've ever raced in.

  6. Nice to read about your shoes! I want to get a pair of Newtowns to try them out! Your Mizuno's also look cool. I really like the color of your shoes!

    All of the models you list above seem like good racers, I know people like the Brooks Pureconnect, because they are minimal light shoes. Good luck picking one!

  7. I have the new balance you have featured and absolutely love them! They are not only good looking but extremely light (5oz.), comfortable and all around awesome. I have run up to 8 miles at one time in them and am fine.

  8. One of my running club buddies who is about your pace races in the Saucony's. She loves them. They all sound pretty good, though. Maybe one day I'll be strong enough to transition to more minimalist shoes.

  9. So many great shoes out right now, I just circled about 6-pairs in the new roadrunner magazine! :)
    right now I run and race in the Mizuno Waverider 15's, I love them and I don't think they rub my ankle bones (I haven't thought about it, so that must mean they don't!?)
    I would like to starting racing halts and shorter in a light weight shoe, I run barefoot in the grass a lot so I think my feet/shins/knees could handle it...It's just all about finding the right pair! :)
    I'm looking at the Brooks Pureconnect and a pair of asics
    I hope your week is off to a great start!

  10. Obviously everyone is different -- but I will say that the Brooks Pure Connect do NOT work for me. I love Brooks and only run in them, but this shoe in particular does not do it for me.

    I wound up with a stress fracture in my toe when switching to Mizuno wave riders. I ended up with tendinitis when I ran too many miles, too quickly in my Brooks racing flats, I have learned my lesson and realized how important it is to SLOWLY transition to new/different shoes.

    I now wear Brooks Ghost and haven't had any problems. My new mantra (in terms of running shoes) is "if it aint broke, don't fix it". :) I hope you find the PERFECT shoe for you. It sounds like those Nikes are really doing it for you.

  11. Funny--I am going through so much with shoes right now and the Pure Connects seem to be the go-to shoe for me, even for the heavy miles. I'm learning that my gait is affected by too much cushion, so the flatter, more "ground feel" shoes work better for me. Keep us posted on what you decide!

  12. I am looking into racers too!! I'm just so nervous to make the jump because I sprained ALOT of tendons in both my feet last year and I'm afraid of doing it again. I don't think it was the shoes though, and they were probably just overworked.

    My go to shoes are New Balnce though so 'm thinking I will look into NB racers!

  13. I remember when you got those lovely newtons. Glad they're providing you with some great runs, I bet you do get a lot of comments/questions about them. Every time I see someone with them on, I ask about them haha.

  14. and PS I had the same problem with the Mizuno's-- digging into my ankle :(

  15. i've been running in the nike structure triax steadfast for years now....i think since 2004! wow, crazy...i've been really unhappy with the updates over the years but on the whole they've given me the support and i've been relatively lucky with injuries (that a shoe could at least prevent...haha) so i try not to mess with watever works. :P

  16. I really love the Green Silence shoes. They have the same feel as the Kinvaras, but they only weigh 6.4 ounces (a little less than the connects). I like the connects as well, but for me they take some getting used to. I don't know if it is mental or what but I run much faster in lighter shoes, and so I keep my heavier shoes for the easy runs

  17. I was so excited to get the Brooks Pure Connect! But sadly they are really thin so my foot was really uncomfortable in them. I know a lot of runners who love them them!
    I run in Saucony's and I couldn't be more in love with them :)

  18. Sorry for the late reply, but I just stumbled across this post. My Mizuno Wave Rider 16s are starting to bruise my ankles as well =(. Did you find any shoes that are cut lower around the ankle bone? Thanks!

    1. most mizunos have a deeper heel cup. if you have more pronounced ankle bones it can be an odd fit. i had a problem with the 15's.