So be sure when you step. You step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Shoes, shoes and more shoes

I've always have had a thing for shoes.
Maybe it’s to compensate for ugly feet, but I just love having a variety of shoes.  This has always been something that drives David nuts because not only do I love having a lot of shoes, I love leaving them all over the house.

As a compromise, I have bought shoe racks.  They hang on the bedroom door, master bathroom door and sit in every closet, as demonstrated in this vintage photo of Hayden wearing my dress:

The completely filled shoe racks did more than deal with the clutter - it worked as a deterrent.  If I bought more shoes, Where would I put them?  

But given the number of shoes that I own, it should not shock anyone that I also like to have a lot of running shoes.  It reminds me of the time I accidentally brought my road racing shoe to a trail race instead of my trail racing shoe....that is like grabbing a pair of Chucks to wear to a wedding!

Picking out running shoes is very personal.  I rarely read reviews because one person’s experience is irrelevant.  When I want a new shoe, I spend hours trying on different make /models and testing each pair with a 2-3 minute brisk run.  If I like a shoe, I may run 6-10 minutes.  I may do running drills. Or sprints.  Or cartwheels.

But even though I find reviews irrelevant, here are some thoughts on the current players in my shoe rotation:

1. Saucony Kinvara 2 and 3
I LOVE THIS SHOE.   This shoe does not like running slower than a 7 minute mile.  It’s made for speed.  It weighs practically next to nothing and although it has very little cushion, it is surprisingly comfortable.  The only downside is that because of its minimalist-style, it only gets 250ish miles.  I currently have 3 pairs, plus an additional pair for racing.  I feel that by giving the shoe at least 48 hours between wears, I can get at least 300 miles.  I wear them for speedwork, tempo runs, 5K - half marathons.  The 2’s are discontinued but just as good as the 3’s – if you can find them, buy them.  Unless you wear my size.  Sorry, but I bought every 10.5 I could find on the internet.

(If you need a shoe that offers stability, I recommend the Saucony Cortana.  It is like the Kinvara’s cushioned cousin and comes in prettier colors.)

2.  Saucony The Ride
Compared to the Kinvara, running in this shoe is like running in bricks, although still relatively light for its kind.  It’s good for a leisurely long run. 

3. Brooks Ghost 4
I alternate this shoe with The Ride.  Pros:  It has a wider toe box.  Cons:  It feels a little heavier and loses its bounce way too quickly.

4. New Balance 890s
I never thought I would run in New Balance sneakers but I must say, the 890s were a surprising treat to the feet!   They have more cushion than the Kinvara, but still very light weight and fast.  It’s a good suggestion for a non-minimalist, but minimalist-like, shoe and good for less leisurely long runs.
5.  Brooks PureGrit
I got these shoes two years ago on my birthday.  I couldn’t believe how simultaneously light weight and supportive they were.  I am hesitant to say more because I have not tried the newest model – I did, however, just buy two new pairs of the older model.  I know many other lightweight trail shoes have been introduced in the past two years, but the PureGrits have a special place in my heart.

6.  Newtons Distance
I am falling in the love with this shoe.  I won’t lie, it does help that the limited edition is pink.  Either you love Newtons or you don’t love Newtons.  They don’t have much cushion but they do have something that feels like a little spring board.  I feel like Newtons is a great shoe for running fast, but unlike the Kinvaras, I can just go jogging in them, too.  It’s just a comfortable, high mileage shoe that you can wear for any workout.  I’m currently not doing a lot of speedwork, or tempo runs, or long runs….so this is the pair that I find myself reaching for the most.  Plus, did I mention they were PINK?

In lieu of quicker runs, I've rekindled my relationship with my BOB - turns out, the spark is still there.


  1. I never realized your feet were that big.

    Also, I too leave my shoes all over the house. From rain boots, fryes to boat shoes. I just can't help it.

  2. very interesting the different kinds of shoes out there. i guess this is your off season (?). just out of curiosity, what is your running mileage now versus when you are training? i know it would depend on what you're training for, so perhaps just an average.

    do you think a marathon will be on the horizon in 2013? you are just so speedy/talented

  3. Nicole, I have to go up an entire size and a half in my running shoe!

    And no, no marathon for me. Since I dont train for long distances, my mileage doesn't change much in the off-season, just the kind of workouts. I usually run with my girlfriend and we just run until we don't want to run anymore. It's usually 40-45 mpw.