Running quote of the week

“We run because it makes us feel like winners, no matter how slow or how fast we go.” – Florence Griffith Joyner and John Hanc, Running for Dummies

Friday, January 4, 2013

Running shoes: your mileage may vary

Adrenaline and Kinvara are best in the long run
Today's run (treadmill): 25 minutes

I like running shoes for the same reason I like sports cars. They are the only layer between you and the road and they're engineered to enable performance. If you use your imagination, sports cars and running shoes even look similar, sharing the same aerodynamic profile. The biggest difference between the two is that while anyone can go fast in a Porsche, the best thing a running shoe can do is optimize a runner's potential.

In the 4+ years that I've been running, I've acquired a number of shoes. Some of them were great and some are best forgotten. I started logging my workouts on Daily Mile in April of 2010 and that service provides me with a tool to track the mileage of my running shoes. With the exception of the first few pairs I bought back in 2008, I have a complete history of my time spent with every shoe that I've owned since late 2009.

Saucony Kinvara (original)
Brooks GTS 10
I recently exported my shoe mileage data and graphed it to visualize the range (above). When people tell me that they notice their running shoes breaking down after five months, I'm usually skeptical because my Brooks Adrenaline GTS 9's held up for more than 700 miles. My all-time favorite running shoe, the original Saucony Kinvara, performed well for almost 500 miles before giving out. I ran a little too long in those and suffered a bad knee problem due to it. Despite that, I still can't bring myself to throw them out.

My current shoes of choice are the Kinvara 3's for the road and, for the treadmill, the Pure Drift prototypes that I tested for Brooks. Had I requested size 11's instead of 10.5's for the Pure Drifts, I'd probably be wearing them more often. The fit in the toe box is just a little too narrow for my foot, so I don't use them for long runs on pavement.

The good thing about running shoes (vs. sports cars) is that you buy new ones often without breaking the bank. I suspect, based on history, that the Kinvara 3's will need replacement in the next few months. I'm tempted to replace them with the production version of the Pure Drift, but there are a couple of New Balance models that interest me. Plus, a whole new crop of 2013 models will soon arrive from the other brands.

While I'm thinking about it, it might be time to add a new trail shoe to my collection. Why not? It would certainly be cheaper than getting a Land Rover.

4 comments:

  1. Gee Whiz.. lookie at all those shoes! What must your closet look like? You forgot to post a pic of that!

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  2. Love your attitude! I completely agree!!

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  3. Just started running and Im so glad that you posted this. I have no idea about shoes and am starting to look into which shoe I should get for my 365 days of running.

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  4. TPP - The chart is hard to read but a number of the shoes have [retired] after the name. Those shoes have been donated or given away so my collection is actually more modest than it might seem.

    ARC - I don't know why but whenever I see a review I always want to try the shoe. I like to go to Sports Authority or Dick's because I can pick my shoe and size without asking for help. I spend a lot of time in the running shoe section when we go to the mall. It's something for me and my son to do when my wife and daughter go to Abercrombie and Hollister!

    Brooke - If you haven't bought shoes yet I suggest you go to a real running store rather than a big box store where the help have no real understanding of shoes and fit. Everyone looks for something different so I can't give any advice except to say if the shoe doesn't fit well and feel natural in the store, DO NOT BUY IT. Don't let the salesperson say the shoes will feel better when you're running in them. That's never the case.

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Comments are most welcome!

 

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