Monday, May 4, 2009

Give me the old soft shoe

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My Nikes served me well for Saturday's race and it was almost with regret that I set out on Sunday to find their replacements. On the advice of experienced runners I decided to visit a local running store in Huntington where I could get some informed opinions on the right shoes to buy. The woman who helped me certainly had the right attitude and she looked at the way I walked and confirmed that I have a neutral stride. I told her I wanted a neutral cushioned shoe with a good response for a front foot runner.

I was given a number of shoes to try from Saucony, Asics, Brooks and New Balance. They all felt okay although I found one pair a bit unbalanced. After some trying and re-trying it came down to the Asics 2140's versus the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 9's. After some debate I chose the Brooks and took them home.

When I got home I looked up the shoes online and confirmed that the Brooks are more of a stability shoe for pronators (AG had warned of this) and the Asics 2140 had similar characteristics. I was deeply disappointed that I was steered toward this type of shoe despite my request for neutral cushioning. I spent the rest of the day deciding whether the Brooks, which felt okay, would be worth keeping. I ran with them on the treadmill and they felt fine but their responsiveness was not what I was hoping for. A big issue is the way they fit at the tongue, too tight against the front of my ankles. I felt like I couldn't have the laces any looser without feeling some slippage. I also think I've diagnosed the problem with my Garmin, a low battery in the foot pod. I'm hoping to find a replacement for that today.

I tried the Adrenaline GTS 9's again this morning and decided that I should be 100% happy with a pair of running shoes that cost twice what I paid for my trail shoes. Super Runners has a number of stores in NYC and their policy is to take back or exchange shoes if you're not happy. I'm going to take back the Brooks and try on true neutral shoes until I find a pair that feels as good as the Nikes did when I first brought them home.

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