Sunday, July 19, 2015

Shoe Review... Sort of

Our dignity is not in what we do, but in what we understand.--George Santayana

I used to buy a pair of shoes, dog them out and then buy another pair. Every running shoe person would say something like, every 300 miles change them out. I always noticed that I never noticed how many miles I put on shoes. I did notice when my shoes were worn on one side. I noticed if it felt like I ran barefoot in a pair of shoes. I've even heard the range as wide as 300-500 miles and then change them. Usually when a range is that large, the folks volunteering the range have little idea of what one may actually need.

I've decided to train in multiple pairs of shoes. I have been running for long enough to know that different shoes will do different things for me. I would say three pairs of shoes may be good once you hit the point of comfortably having more than one pair. In general, people have running shoes, gym shoes, casual shoes, and something else random in their closet. So whether you believe it or not, most folks are stockpiling shoes for multiple functions. I like to have an everyday training shoe, a long run shoe, and a race day shoe.

I've used the Nike Flyknit Free 5.0 and 4.0 for nearly two years now for my training runs. There is tons of research out there for barefoot type running. I didn't use the research as much as I used actual opinions. I know a few Ultra Runners that will wear shoes more minimal than that in an Ultra- Marathon of at least 60k and up to 100k. When I heard this I was blown away. I always recommended the Free series of shoes to only be good for 5k and max 10k. I decided to experiment with the Flyknit Free 5.0. The show is super light and comfortable. Little by little I ramped up the mileage. The last thing I did in those shoes was a Half-Marathon. I used to supinate when I ran (run on the outside of foot) and now I am closer to neutral. I believe it strengthened my foot.

Although I haven't used it in a little while, I have used the Nike Pegasus for quite some time with different iterations. Most recently I have done distances over ten miles in the Pegasus 31. It was less effective for me after my stride moved from heel to midget from a year training with the Free. That said, the Zoom Air in the heel helps when my side gets lazy and I can no longer maintain my form. I am not yet the strong, disciplined runner I'd like to be so the shoe saves the day when I'm dragging myself through the street for a fifteen miler.

Then we have the race day shoe. I love the Nike Lunaracer 3. I have already purchased it twice. I got it in April 2015 for the New Jersey Marathon and I have only used it maybe 10 times. It is about 6.5 ounces and has a highly responsive midsole. It is very light and gives that bounce to fly through toward your race goal. Shoes wear down and if you have a couple in the stable they may last longer.

I am not suggesting that you go out today and buy three pairs of shoes. I am also not suggesting that you purchase the three that I use. This is not a recommendation. I am suggesting that we research our footwear and experiment. Take the hard data and make better informed decisions.

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