Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Shoe shopping

I am the worst when it comes to shoe shopping. If you looked at the definition of "running shoe addict" in the dictionary, you would see my picture.

However, over the last few months I have actually been good about NOT shopping for running shoes! I haven't looked at them online or anything. The last time I purchased new shoes was in September 2014.


At one point, I had six pairs of running shoes in rotation, but now I am down to 3.5 pairs. (The "0.5" pair would be my Brooks Ghost GTX shoes. They are waterproof so I only wear them in inclement conditions.)

I generally retire my shoes somewhere between 250-300 miles. As of today, I have one pair that is over 160 miles, and another pair that is probably headed for an early retirement due to blister issues. Therefore, I am finally allowing myself to start thinking about what shoes I might want to get next.

Here are the three types of shoes I am considering, in alphabetical order:

ASICS Gel Cumulus 16 (or 17, depending when it comes out)
The first time I ever got professionally fitted for running shoes, I got the Gel Cumulus 13, which I loved. These were my workhorse shoes for a long time. They are well-cushioned and the shock absorption is good.

Over the last few years, I have gone through three pairs of Gel Cumuluses - two pairs of the 13s, and one pair of the 15s. Unfortunately, I didn't like the 15s as much as the 13s. However, given my previous success with the Gel Cumulus, I am more than willing to test the newer versions.

I think the 17s will be released pretty soon. If not and/or if I got the 16s, this is the pair I would choose:


Mizuno Wave Rider 18
The second time I got professionally fitted for running shoes, they put me in the Wave Rider 16s. I had gone through a pair of the 15s on my own before then, too.

I currently wear the 16s for all of my long runs. They have a very smooth toe-off. They also feel firmer underfoot than the Gel Cumuluses. I like this because it makes me feel like I am more in control of my footstep. For a long time I was an ASICS girl, but the Mizunos have really given them a run for the money! (Sorry, Kim, we may no longer be shoe twins. =( )

Last October, I attended a Wave Rider 18 release party so I could test out the latest edition. The verdict: super light yet very supportive. I told myself that the 18s would be very high on the list for a future purchase. If so, this is the color that I would choose:


The color scheme is a little tame by my preferences - I would prefer something a little more in-your-face. However, it is my pick out of the color options available.

Saucony Ride 7
The last time I got fitted for running shoes, which was last summer, these were a suggestion. Based on trying these on at the store, they were very comfortable, fit my wider foot well, and had good cushioning. Since I enjoy experimenting with running shoes, these very well might be worth a go.

Side note - I know you aren't supposed to select running shoes purely based on color. However, I have such an affinity for red shoes - and check these out!


How about you? What running shoes do you currently love? Do you like sticking with the tried-and-true favorites, or do you enjoy experimenting?

Linking up with AprilPatty, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

44 comments:

  1. I wear Adidas Supernova Glide 6...I've had a lot of trouble finding the right shoes and these have been perfect so I'm too superstitious to try new shoes. I will probably be due for a new pair soon though!

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    1. You know, I've heard of the Supernova Glides before, but I am generally not very familiar with the Adidas line of running shoes in general. I'll have to do some research! Do you get really nervous whenever the shoe designers release their new versions every year? I don't like when they change up something that worked so well for me in the past!

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  2. I'm loving my Brooks Pureflow lately. They're so lightweight and make me run so fast! I've never tried any of these but I'll have to check them out!

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    1. Ooooh, the Brooks Pureflow. I tried a pair of those in the past, but unfortunately they were too narrow for me and they don't come in Wide. Otherwise, I would have loved those, too! Everyone I know who wears the Pureflows LOVES them!!!

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  3. No experimenting for me! I ran in Brooks Ravennas for a while that caused serious Achilles issues. I stick to my tried and true Mizuno Wave Inspires. I'm afraid NOT to run in them at this point. However, I don't like the new pastel colors. I want shockingly vibrant colors!

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    1. Bummer to hear that the Ravennas caused Achilles issues! That's not good at all. I've never tried the Wave Inspires - they are a support shoe, right? But I've heard really good things about them from many folks. I am right there with you on not liking all the pastels. Give me the most loud, obnoxious colors you can possibly put together, as well!!!

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  4. I'm on the cusp of a breakup with Mizuno I hate to say. The last iteration of Creations was no bueno for me. And I stocked up on that shoe with still a pair I haven't touched. I like th Prophecy but not the $$$. I'm thinking of going back to the Asics Gel Nimbus. A shoe I wore back in 2006.

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    1. Yikes on the Creations not working for you!!! I know you love Mizuno so this is a really big deal for you to be considering a breakup! Huge bummer on the new pair that you haven't touched, either. When I've got shoes like that, I relegate them to other types of workouts like biking or lifting so they aren't a complete waste. But even so, I know the feeling of disappointment. I've never tried the Gel Nimbus but I hear it's the "big brother" to the Gel Cumulus. So I bet it would be a fantastic shoe!

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  5. I am going to have to go back to the shoe drawing board. My tried and true adrenalines SUCK in their latest iteration - I cannot run in them. Sad face. Especially sad, since they are hella pretty.

    Going to try out asics and saucony in the running store soon. To be continued...

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    1. ARGHHHHH!!!! That totally sucks about the Adrenalines no longer working for you. It's so frustrating when you have a tried-and-true favorite, but then they change it for the worse. WHY!?!?!? Next time I find a shoe that I love, I am totally going to stock up on them!

      Ooooh on ASICS and Saucony try-outs!!! Can't wait to hear what you pick next!!!

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  6. I'm genuinely surprised that you're interested in Cumuluses and Wave Riders. I've run in both, and I found them to be SO different from one another. I would never consider running in Wave Riders again, because I need, need, need cushioned shoes, and in my experience, Wave Riders were the opposite of cushioned (not that them makes them bad shoes - just bad-for-me shoes!). I guess that really goes to show why you have to buy running shoes for yourself rather than taking someone else's advice on what you should buy, huh? Personally, I'm a big Cumulus/Nimbus fan. I was in Cumulus for two years and switched over to Nimbus in March because I didn't like the Cumulus 16 as much as I liked the 15, so now I'm in Nimbus 16s. So far so good!

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    1. I agree with you that the Cumuluses and Wave Riders are very different! But, I actually read that it's good to vary up the types of shoes that you wear. This is because it varies the pressure on your foot mechanics and therefore reduces the risk of injury. (As if I needed help justifying so many pairs of running shoes, right? LOL). So I actually purposely seek out shoes that are divergent to include within my rotation. I've never tried the Nimbus but I hear so much about how they are the big brother to the Cumuluses (along with a higher price!). So at some point I would like to try the Nimbuses, too!

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  7. I stock up on lots of pairs of running shoes once the brand I like are discontinued. They are usually half off of the new price so it isn't that expensive. Eventually, I will have to switch, but I can go many miles on a pair of shoes (1000+ miles), so it could be a couple of years until my stock runs out! :)

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    1. So what shoes are you currently running in these days and/or that you are stocking up on? I am amazed that you can get 1,000+ miles on a pair of shoes! You must be a very efficient runner!

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    2. Mizuno Wave Inspires. I just read Kim's comment about switching from old shoe to new shoe. I think if this transition is done too quickly it has lead to injuries for me, even if it is the same exact make and model! Even a small change in footstrike from shoe to shoe can potentially cause me pain. I have to "break myself in" to new shoes gradually.

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    3. I've definitely learned the hard way that it's always best to break into anything new gradually when it comes to running! I also experience differences in shoes even when they are the same make and model. It's always a conundrum for me between buy shoes online, where they are cheaper, compared to buying in person when I can try them on and know for certain what I'm getting!

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  8. I have ran in Nikes forever but when they stopped making my Lunarfly I tried Asics. I do like them but I am always up for trying new ones. -L

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    1. When I was a teenager, I only wore Nikes, too! Call me a product of effective advertising - as a child, there was a point in time where I thought that Nike and Reebok were pretty much the only choices, LOL. What kind of ASICS did you try and how did you like them?

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  9. I am having a hard time believing it's been that long since you bought shoes ;) Hee hee! And it's okay if we aren't twins anymore! Get what works for you!

    I'd be curious to hear where you read this about switching what types of shoes you wear to relieve pressure on your feet (in your comment to Bethany). It meant different brands or styles and not just not wearing the same shoes all the time? I am all for different speed, snow, trail, and long run shoes, but... I don't get the idea of switching from things that are vastly different, especially to reduce injury. I would think that would give you a greater chance of injury, cause your foot will potentially land a bit differently with each one, and that will affect the whole kinetic chain.

    The main difference between the Culumus and Nimbus is that the Nimbus has more support under the lateral ball of the foot for supinators who land there. I tried out a pair last year and liked them, but thought the Cumuluses worked just as well for me, so I am not paying the extra money for them. They may have changed other things in newer models.

    I don't experiment, to answer your question! I've been injury free since I switched to Asics in 2010 so I've stayed there. All my running shoes are Asics - Cumulus, Gel-Scout and Gel-Lyte.

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    1. LOL regarding the disbelief on my shoe shopping patterns. I'm actually considering buying two pairs this next go-around - so when I do break the drought, the floodgates will be opening!

      I've actually read several articles about rotating shoes to reduce injury risk! Here is one:

      http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-prevention-recovery/study-backs-rotating-shoes-to-lower-injury-risk

      I think that shoe rotation is like anything else in that you can do it in a way that's beneficial, but you can also overdo it. But, I liken it to cross-training. I have one pair of shoes that I consider my "main" shoes, which I wear for long runs. Then, I have other pairs that I wear on a supplemental basis just for the shorter weekday runs (and to keep some of the mileage off of my main shoes).

      Very interesting feedback regarding the Nimbus vs the Cumulus! This is helpful to know given that the Nimbus is so much pricier.

      You really are an ASICS girl all the way! They should make you a spokeswoman!!! Do you wear their clothing, too, or just the shoes?

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    2. Thanks so much for sharing that - I've never heard it and it would not be intuitive to me! Rotating between different pairs of the same model, sure, but not shoes with various heel drops, densities, etc. Most people I've personally known that switch between shoes with drastic differences has had issues! But maybe they are just running too much on the less supportive shoes and that is why they get the injuries (like the people who wear Newtons for a 5 miler as their first run and wonder why their feet are sore).

      I would be curious to hear if single-shoe wearers means single-model or only one pair of shoes. The way it's written in the article and in the link that it's based on confuses me. Anyway! Again, thanks for sharing! :) (and lol, duh, yes, article, of course cross training more and running less would lead to less running-related injuries...)

      I think your method makes sense :) So you try to keep your LR shoes cushy, and your midweek run shoes have less support, so you can use them for what this study suggests?

      Hee hee. I just wear their shoes. I have a few of their tops, too!

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    3. My guess is that the single-shoe wearers in the article means only one pair of shoes. I've experienced differences across the same make and model, personally. And don't even get me started on how much one version of a shoe can change from year to year!!!

      Yes, you are right on wanting to preserve the LR shoes! I also use older LR shoes for the shorter midweek runs. My philosophy is that I want to be as safe and comfortable as possible with the LRs, so I wear my best shoes for those. For the shorter runs, I can deal with shoes that I don't like as much or are getting towards the end of their usability.

      I actually have a decent amount of ASICS apparel and it's really good stuff! I am a fan!!!

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    4. But you think they mean one pair, like, that you wear all the time, not even switching out between models? The same pair all week... all month long?

      I know. The Cumulus 15s feel a bit different.

      I am the same way with LRs. I used my newer shoes for those - I can tell I need the cushion. I am due for a new pair. I am rotating between 4 Cumulues right now and all have 120+ miles on them. Good thing I have four pairs ready to go. Ha ha ha!

      I love the Asics is the NYCM sponsor! They make nice gear!

      (and really, thanks for taking the time to converse with me - I really hadn't heard this and find it interesting! I feel like I should know these things...)

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    5. Yes - I think they mean one pair all week and all month long! I do know folks who literally only wear one pair of running shoes. I say they better be darned good shoes to wear them ALL THE TIME!

      Ahhh, I really do envy that you are able to rotate your shoes so often! Let me know what you think of the Cumulus 15s vs the 16s. I've heard mixed reviews on both. But my favorite color ever was the aqua/orange version of the 15s!

      Very cool on ASICS being the NYCM sponsor! I think I saw a pair of special-edition ASICS NYCM shoes somewhere online for sale. Wouldn't those be awesome to own!?!?!?

      And no need to thank me because I love talking about running and shoes!!! I think one of my dream jobs would be to work at a running shoe store where it would be my duty to try on lots of different shoes all the time and talk about them all day. ;-)

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    6. WHUUUUUT? I cannot even imagine!

      I am going through my last pair of the aqua/orange 15s :)

      I so wish I had the special edition NYC shoes. I just ordered some NYC training stuff for Gina's birthday and that was fun!!!!

      I think your dream job should be shoe designer!!!!!!!!

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    7. I can't imagine either! I really enjoy how the different shoes change things up for me when I'm running. On those days when I have no motivation to go, I'll take every little boost I can get from mixing things up, you know?

      Gina is so lucky to be running the NYCM!!! I love how she's become such an amazing runner in such a short period of time. She's got great influence from you. =)

      Ahhh, shoe designer! That would be awesome! Make that a Disney shoe designer and I don't think I'd ever retire. =)

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  10. I ran in Asics all last year and up until just a few weeks ago. I wasn't having any real issues but wanted to try something with a little more cushion since I'm such a heavy runner. I tried Hokas and didn't like them. I was then fitted into my first pair of Sauconys. I got the new ISO Triumph and I love them! They have a lot of cushion but a sock-like fit that tightens up with you cinch the laces. They're great. I still have a pair of Asics Gel-Flux, my go-to shoes from last year, new in the box, but I'm loving my Sauconys.

    In reading your convo with Kim, I am guilty of being a one-shoe runner. I wear one pair of shoes for all of my runs until it's time to switch them out. Maybe this isn't the best strategy and I should go back and forth from run to run. I don't run everyday though, so my shoes have time to spring back between runs. Ah, maybe I'll give it a try to keep my very expensive new Sauconys fresh as long as possible.

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    1. Ooooh on Hokas. They seem to be all the rage these days. It's funny how a few years ago, the trend was to wear very minimalist shoes... but now the trend is to wear the super-cushy, thick soles! Yay for the Saucony Triumphs! So glad that you found another shoe that you love!

      I've thought a lot about how wearing one pair of shoes until it's time to switch them out means that you get to replace your shoes more quickly! When you're rotating several pairs, it takes awhile to get any of them to retirement. You could look at it from both a good and a bad perspective, depending on whether you want to preserve your shoes or not, right? But yes, why not give the rotating shoes a try and see what you think? I personally love switching things out to give myself a little mental boost!

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  11. I'm loving my Altra Tornis, but they're discontinued and I can't find any more in my size. I like the idea/look of the Wave Riders and may go check them out! Thanks for linking up with us today!

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    1. Bummer that the Tornis are discontinued. That is so disappointing! I've never tried Altras but have heard rave reviews about them. If you do check out the Wave Riders, let me know what you think of them. Thanks so much for hosting the link-up, as always!!!

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  12. I've been running in Asics Gel Nimbus for years. I won a free pair of Saucony Guides, but they just weren't the shoe for me. Back to the Nimbus and I'll never stray again!

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    1. Woo hoo for the Nimbus! It's great that you were able to experiment with the Guides without having to pay the high $$$ involved in new shoes. Have you ever tried the Cumulus? Would be curious how you think the Nimbus and Cumulus compare.

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  13. I am one of those folks that wears the same pair of shoes for all of my runs. I went to Road Runners Sports to get fitted for new shoes. It is an awesome experience! You should go. They took a video of me running and I saw that I always land on the outside areas of both feet. Now I understand why it would hurt there. I thought it was because of the shoes. In reality I need more support because of the way my feet land. Anyway, I tried a few pairs and went home with the Cumulus 16. Sigh, takes me back to my early marathon running years. :-)

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    1. I remember talking to you about how you have multiple pairs of shoes, but you like to go through them one at a time! The second time I got fitted, I did go to Road Runner and I agree - their process is the best I've seen of any running store. They put me in custom insoles which made me balk at the time, but they have been really comfortable to wear. So what other pairs of shoes did you try other than the Cumulus? It seems that we have similar shoe needs so I am curious what other ones they might have recommended for you. Let me know what you think of the Cumulus!!!

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    2. The custom insoles are so comfortable but expensive. I tried on the Saucony Kinvara, Brooks Pureflows 4 and Launch 2. I said no to Nike and Adidas. The Kinvara were too soft so I felt like there wasn't enough support. Did that statement make sense? The Launch were comfortable bu felt like there wouldn't be much support on the sides which is my problem area. The Pureflows were good too but FUGLY. I am sorry. I know I shouldn't pick shoes based on color/design but seriously the person that designed them should be tired. I really liked the Pureflows 2. I went back and forth with the Cumulus and Pureflows and with and without the insoles and finally decided on the Cumulus. It took me back to my early running days since I ran my first marathon on a pair of Cumulus.

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    3. YES - those custom insoles cost nearly as much as another pair of shoes! But they say they are good for several pairs of shoes, so maybe it's worth it over the long term. I've worn the Kinvara in the past and liked it - but haven't tried any of the newer versions. When I did a gait analysis, they suggested the Brooks Launch to me, too. Bummer that the Pureflow 4s were ugly because I know you like the older versions. And I will fully admit that I will give preference to shoes based on color/design. There are so many choices out there, might as well pick something that looks good, right? I believe that if it looks good, you'll feel good, which will make you want to run more!!!

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