Gear Series: Running Shoes

A few weeks ago, when I ran the MRTT summer virtual with my local chapter, our chapter leaders put together swag bags for us.  Included in the bag was a trial size of Body Glide for Her, along with this card:

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It got me thinking about running gear.  So I decided to do a series on the blog about what I use, have used, want to use, and incorporate suggestions from readers, too.  I’m going to start the series with what is probably the most important piece of running gear any runner can have: the shoes.

Many moons ago, before I was married, I was trying to lose weight, so I bought new running shoes.  I wanted to be able to run with music, so since I had an iPod (this was before iPhones existed) I bought a pair of the Nike running shoes that had the ability to put the Nike+ pod in the sole of the shoe.

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They were decent enough running shoes (and today, make wonderful every day sneakers), but they really weren’t good *for me*.  Especially for long distances.  But they sufficed for the little bit of running I did.

Right after I got married, my hubby & I were inspired by friends to train with Team in Training to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  At the first group run, we met at a local running specialty store, and we had the opportunity to get fitted for running shoes.  I ended up with a pair of Mizunos.

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 These shoes have lasted me 5 years now (I’ve told you before, I’m an on-again, off-again runner for the most part, LOL).  The Team in Training adventure didn’t last long because we decided to start a family, so the Mizunos were temporarily retired pretty quickly.  When I started running again after my son was born, these were my go-to shoes.  I ran my first half marathon in them.  Recently, I’ve been wearing them again for boot camp & runs on the track.  I’d forgotten how comfortable they are.

At some point when I first started training for the Disney Princess half, my husband got really interested in the barefoot running movement.  So I bought these:

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Vibram Five Fingers.  I ran in them exactly once.  It didn’t take me long to decide that the barefoot movement wasn’t for me.  But it did get me interested in minimalist running shoes.

So I bought a pair of New Balance Minimus.

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I liked these OK.  They’re better as everyday sneakers.  For the life of me, I can’t remember what my exact issue was with them as running shoes.  But they’re still in my closet, and they’re part of my shoe journey, so I’ve included them for your viewing pleasure.

I wanted to continue trying the minimalist movement, so I bought these Altras.

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I really, really like the wide toe box on these, especially for distance running.  My toes don’t rub at all on longer runs.  But the soles are thin, and I do nearly all of my running on city streets/sidewalks.  Even though I tried to transition slowly to these, running a mile or so in them, then doing longer runs in the Mizunos, I found that the thin soles aggravated my shin splints.  So these got retired to the realm of everyday sneakers, and I went back to the Mizunos.

When I started running again after my daughter was born, I decided I needed new shoes.  The Mizunos are a bit heavy for a distance shoe, and after 4 years, were surely approaching the need for retirement.  Off to the local running store I went to get fitted.

I think I had a “bad” sales girl that day.  She kept trying to push me into Nikes, even though Nikes have never fit me well as running shoes *and* the pairs she brought me to try on didn’t fit well.  Finally, I spotted these on the wall:

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(They might look familiar, LOL)

These Saucony’s are, for me, the perfect running shoe… except for the narrow toe box.  They have a zero drop like barefoot shoes, but a nice, thick sole like “traditional” running shoes, which is ideal for my running conditions.  I like them so much, I’m 99% sure I’m about to order another pair in different colors to start rotating with the green ones.

Unless…

I’ve started hearing good things about some other shoes lately.  Altra has a pair out with a slightly thicker sole that might be a good option, I certainly miss that nice, wide toe box.  And then there are the Newtons.  They keep popping up in various groups I belong to as the perfect shoe for distance runners, so I’m going to have to check those out too.

Any other suggestions?  What do you run in, and why do you like it?  If you can read the top image (gear checklist), what do you want me to talk about next week???

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2 thoughts on “Gear Series: Running Shoes

  1. I’ve got crazy shoe drama! I ran the first year in Nike and they were perfect, then they changed them and I got 3 minor injuries. Tried Mizuno twice, not for me. I’m in Asics Gel Cumulus and love them, on my 3rd pair. I also have a pair of Newton Lady Isaacs and I like them for racing 5k’s. I haven’t tried them for long distances yet.

  2. Pingback: Do I really need new running shoes? | Rob's Surf Report

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