Not Fast But Not Last
My Love/Hate Relationship with Running

Wanted: New Shoes

I am a creature of habit.

When I find something I like, I stick with it (see posts on Bondi Bands and Experia socks).

My running shoes are no exception.

I know a little bit about running shoes and their construction. Not just through research, but because I worked for a sporting goods retailer for 6 years and we needed to be knowledgeable about the products. I never worked in the footwear department, but I paid attention to those that did and I would read the specs on new technology when it came out.

Before I started seriously running last year, I did not prefer Nike’s footwear. The toe box was always too narrow for me, the prices were always more than other comparable shoes and it seemed to be all about the hype.

Last October (2010), I went to my local Fit2Run to be fitted for the perfect running shoe. The shoes I had been wearing, a pair of Sauconys, had no tread left. I was having shin and calf pains after my beginning attempts at running and I knew it was time for new shoes. The options were a little overwhelming and I wasn’t sure that the shoes I had been wearing were right for my gait and goals.

I was fortunate to be paired with a very knowledgeable sales associate who seemed interested in helping me find the right shoe for my feet and running abilities. I was put on a treadmill in my current running shoes and asked to jog. It was recorded and played back for me to see.

We discovered that I am a neutral runner that does not need any additional support or help. Mr. Helpful brought out 3 options for me to try. One Saucony, one Asics and one Nike. Every pair I tried on was tested on the track indoors and then on the treadmill while being recorded. I tried on the Nikes last. They were white and orange and as soon as I put them on, I knew I had found “The Shoe”. They were a size 7 Air Zoom Vomero. I liked the look of the shoe and the color combo.

Nike Air Zoom Vomero+ 5

I really liked these shoes. I wore them for about 7 months and roughly 225 miles. I wore them for all of those crazy races I did, including my first half marathon.

As my distances started to get longer, I started wearing the Experia socks, which are thicker. After the half marathon, I realized that the size 7 shoe and the Experia socks were not a good mix, as the thickness created a problem in that my toes were constantly hitting the front of the shoe. This is how I developed black toenails.

Seeing as thought I had to upgrade or risk more damaged toenails or blisters from not having enough cushion, I decided to find the same shoe, just a half size bigger. I opted for the all black version because it was so different and neutral.

All Black Vomeros

Well, the black Zoom Vomeros have been through way more miles (about 450) in 7.5 months and my second half marathon.

After the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, I realized the tread was done, especially on the midsole.

I began my quest for new running shoes a while back, but nothing seemed exciting. I was considering new Vomeros, to stick with with what I had been using because if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

I narrowed it down to 3 options:

Nike Air Zoom Vomeros (Duh!) although I was not impressed with any of the current color schemes.

Nike Air Citius (reviews seemed good for distance and they looked fun)

Nike Air Citius

Nike Air Citius

Saucony Pro Grid Kinvara 2 (Coach Brian recommended them, which means something)

Saucony Kinvara 2

After a 12 mile run this morning, I realized it was time to get some new shoes today, as my legs were not happy with me. So, I braved the mall 2 weeks before Christmas to get to Fit2Run.

Luckily, Gary (the Fit2Run event ambassador) was behind the counter and I stopped to say hello. We started chatting about the latest Fit2Run events and I said it was time for new running shoes. He decided to personally help me, although I am not sure if it was because they work on commission or because he knows I know what I am talking about, but either way, its always nice to be helped, not sold to.

I told him how I loved my Vomeros but that maybe it was time to try something new. I looked down and he was wearing the men’s Vomeros, so I knew he understood.

He brought out 3 options: the latest Vomero, a Pearl Izumi and the Brooks Glycerin 9.

I have heard good things about the Pearl Izumis, but they didn’t seem to fit my foot just right. I am not in love with any of the current Vomero color combos and I think it is important to like what you wear so that you actually want to put the shoes on and go run.

I tried on the Brooks Glycerin and it felt great! They have responsive technology and I could feel it right in the midsole where I need it most.

The winner: Brooks Glycerin 9

Best of all, since I am a Fit2Run Club Member, I have 30 days to try them out and still be able to exchange them and they were 20% off!

I am a little sad to not be a Nike girl this time around, but I have high hopes for the Brooks Glycerin.

I will report back after a few runs and let you know how they are working for me.

Who doesn’t love new shoes?

4 Responses to “Wanted: New Shoes”

  1. Yay!! I love them. Too bad they don’t make them in little girl sizes (:

  2. The Brooks Glycerin is my running shoe, and was Alice’s first running shoe. (I think I was before the 8 and she was the 8). I thought you wanted to head towards a minimalist shoe. The Glycerin is not that, but I’ve been wearing mine for a LOOOOOooo000ng time, and so I have only good things to say.

  3. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning extra on this topic.

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