Shoes is the one running topic that I get asked about the most. New runners and experienced runners all want to know what is the best shoe. My response is always, “it depends.” Are you a neutral runner, do you pronate, do you have high arches, etc. Oddly these all apply to me and it has taken me several years to find the right shoe FOR ME.
1. Nike Max Air. I bought these shoes when I started running back in 2007. I went to a local sports store, browsed the shoes, saw a pair I liked then tried them on. It was between these Nike’s and another pair (can’t remember what) and I went with these because the shoe laces say “shut up and run.” They probably weigh 2 pounds each and I’ll never think about running in them again but they are still my go to shoe if I need to go to the store or run errands! The motto on the laces also gets me out the door when I don’t feel like it. 🙂
2. Nike Vomero’s. The one’s pictured are the 5’s but I have owned the 3 and 4 also. I bought my first pair of Vomero’s in early 2008 on the recommendation of our local specialty running store. I loved the 3’s and the 4’s and ran both of those out. I was not crazy about the changes that were made to the 5’s though. These were the shoes that I wore for my half Ironman and they got soaked between me pouring water on myself and the rain and subsequently were ruined.
3. Saucony Triumph 8. I bought these in November 2011 after talking to a guy at a shoe store in Atlanta. My initial reaction was that they felt a bit heavy, but were very comfortable. I ran a half marathon, several 5k’s and used these for a triathlon and duathlon. These shoes felt extra stable which was great because I wore these throughout my pregnancy. I really liked these shoes but just wanted something lighter.
4. Newton Gravity. These shoes were my birthday present to myself in 2013. My goal was to be back running by my birthday after having Brice and these shoes were my motivation. Colin had been running in Newton’s for awhile and they worked (and still work) very well for him. I wore these shoes as I trained for my first post-baby half marathon. In the weeks leading up to that half marathon I started to develop pain in the top of my right foot. I ended up getting an X-ray and the doctor suggested I get a more cushioned shoe because my bones were rubbing together.
5. Brooks Pure Flow 2. After doing some research, and a trip to a running store for some advice, I got the Pure Flows. I had heard wonderful things about them and they are one of the most cushioned shoes while still being a minimalist shoe. The pain in my foot immediately went away when I wore these shoes. I set all my current PRs in these shoes. I have run two half marathons, several 5ks, and a 10k. These shoes worked great until I started to get a slight pain on the inside of my left ankle.
6. This all lead me to the Mizuno Wave Rider 17…..
Two weeks ago when Colin and I went up to Atlanta we visited the Big Peach Running Co. I’m not even sure why this was a stop on our list (I think Colin’s dad wanted to look at shoes), but I am so glad we went. I had heard about this place, but had never been. When we walked in Brice was immediately in heaven. He took right off running up and down their little indoor track.After looking at all of their clothing I made my way to the back and started looking at the shoes and socks. They offer a great deal on their socks of buy 3 get the 4th pair free! You can mix and match brands too. I picked out 3 pair of Feetures! and had Colin’s mom pick out the 4th pair for her to have. I learned something cool too- Feetures! does not recommend drying their socks because the dryer will shrink them a teeny bit each time to where eventually they do not fit right. Other non compression brands like Swiftwick and Smartwool want you to dry their socks to keep their shape.
While looking at the socks I saw a few people going through the whole shoe fitting process and I started getting curious. Of all the different brands I have tried and people I have talked to at running stores I had never been through a whole proper fit process before. I asked the ever so helpful associate Dave that I was learning all my cool sock facts if he would fit me. He was more than willing to help and went and grabbed a pair of Nike’s for me to do my initial run in. (I was not at all planning on doing this when I got dressed for the day) The first thing he did was take a look at my feet while barefoot. He asked if I minded if he touched my feet and I told him if he was brave enough to touch them, then be my guest. I noticed that I have high arches but they are only high on the inside of my feet. As in the high arch does not extend inward. The next step was to jump on the treadmill and go for a little jog.
There is a video camera set up behind your feet that records you while you run. After running for about 90 seconds we stopped the treadmill and watched the video in super slow-mo. Dave then showed me a video of a 100% neutral runner and then of a pronating runner. After breaking down my video he figured out that my right foot remains neutral but my left foot pronates. I couldn’t make it easy! The next step was finding a shoe that would help correct my left foot but not cause my right foot to adjust any. He put me in a pair of Saucony Kinvara 5’s next, and they were VERY light and comfortable but after running again they did nothing to help my goofy left foot. He thought a little bit and then decided on the Mizuno Wave Riders. I put them on, ran, and like magic they fixed my left foot without causing my right one to change at all!!! Dave is like a magic man and I owe him big time. I felt a little like Cinderella sliding on her glass slipper. So I guess that makes Dave my Prince Charming, sorry Colin. 🙂
Colin has not been having any problems with his Newton’s, but we were curious to see his running style broken down. In the words of Dave, if you put the two of us together you would have a perfect runner. 😉 His left foot was neutral and his right foot pronated. Colin tried out the Mizuno Wave Sayonara’s and loved them, he didn’t want to take them off. Dave suggested that Colin continue to wear his Newton’s for his long runs and use the Mizuno’s for any speed work, tempo, and shorter distance runs. A stop that was only supposed to last a few minutes turned into over an hour but it was worth every second!! You can learn more about the Big Peach Running Co’s fit process here.
I can’t believe it took my this long to go get a proper fitting done for running shoes. I’m so excited to finally have a pair of shoes that I know are right for me. If you are ever in Atlanta make sure to stop by the Big Peach!! They have 7 different locations, and we were at their Midtown location. BPRC did not ask me to write this but the service there was so great that I felt I needed to share my experience. If you are in the market for new shoes, have some slight pains, or are just getting into running/walking I 100% recommend you find a running store close to you that offers this type of fit process. You will save yourself a lot of money and pain if you get the right shoe for you the first time around.
What brand of running shoes do you wear?
Do you have several different shoes that you wear based on the activity you’ll be doing?