Guess what we’re talking about today?
I’ve got shoes on the brain right now. Mostly that’s because my trusted Adidas Ultraboost ST are nearing their end. Strava is yelling at me to replace them, and really, the outsole is starting to go.
I learned that when I stopped on a downhill and literally slid three feet in mud. There is no traction on these shoes anymore (not that the Ultraboost had a lot to begin with).
So I’m looking for a replacement for those in my rotation.
And with Nike releasing their fancy new foam next month, I’m thinking shoes, so we’re gonna talk shoes.
Like many of you (I assume) I have a plethora of shoes in my arsenal. Currently, I’m on a three shoe training rotation. Two for longer and easy runs, and one for speed work. Plus, what I would call auxiliary shoes for racing, trail running, and others that have fallen out of rotation, but I still use sometimes.
Yes, I have too many shoes.
My big problem is that I’m a sucker for a good deal. In my first marathon training cycle, I had two pairs of Adidas Energy Boost 2, but found a pair at a store for $40 in my size, and my favorite shoe color. Did I need them? No. Did I buy them? Yes. Recently, I did the same with a pair of Pearl Izumi M3…because $45 shoes can’t be passed up.
That gets me into my main topic here (talk about burying the lede). We all have our favorite shoes and shoe brands. For example, I’d call myself a “Pearl Izumi Person” or an “Adidas Person” since I do most of my training in those. However, out of all run distances, guess how many of my PRs are in those brands?
Three. The mile, the 15 mile, and the 50k.
When I was first getting into running, I held onto the belief that for legitimate training, one should stay away from Nike. I actually had a conversation about that with a worker (and a customer…whoops) in a running store in Iowa.
But guess what my 5k, 8k, 10k, and Half PRs are in? Nike. Also, my second fastest Marathon.
And my Marathon PR? Saucony.
So what does this all mean? Well, absolutely nothing.
We’re all so different. I know some of you reading this are wondering things like, “Does this dude know Brooks exists? That’s all I use!” or “Ben, you want cushioned shoes, buy some damn Hokas.”
That illustrates my point. Both of those brands feel absolutely terrible on my feet. And do I own a pair of Clayton and Pureflow? Yup. Both of them made it about 200-300 miles before I gave up on them. Blisters did in the Clayton, and the Pureflow felt like I had flippers on my feet.
For both of these brands, my feet just don’t mesh with them. When I try them on, the shoes have a weird bump that rubs the middle of my foot. I’d wager those of you who wear Brooks also like your Hoka and visa versa.
And for those of us anal runners, heel to toe drop plays a big role. I love doing my training in 4 mm drop shoes. The Saucony shoes I run in (formerly the Kinvara and now the Freedom) and my Pearl Izumi’s all have that drop. The Adidas have an 8, and that’s the lowest Adidas has (I think?), which led to my departure from all Adidas all the time.
For races, I throw that out the window. But whatever. That’ll be for a different post.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, I’m hoping to replace my Adidas with a pair of Skecher GoRun Ultra. I’ve wanted to try Skechers for a while. I figure, if they’re good enough for Meb, they’re good enough for me, right? Have any of you tried out some Skechers shoes?
What about all of you? Are you a one brand type of person? And you just own all the models within that brand? Are you a one model type of person, and just buy the new version each year? Or hoard the old version? Or are you like me, and have favorites, but “play the field” with your shoes?
I’m interested to hear!