Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Shoes I Run In

Yesterday: 7.25 miles at 8:49 pace
Today: 2 hours of flag football

One of my favorite things about the sport of running is the low barrier to entry.  You can do it pretty much anywhere and you don't need much equipment.  Now, granted there are lots of running gadgets and gear available (garmins, heart rate monitors, hydration packs, super wicking undies, etc), but in the end all you really need is some loose fitting clothing and a pair of shoes.  Now, with the recent interest in barefoot running, you don't even need shoes, although most of us still use them.  For the average runner, the shoe s/he uses is the most important and specialized piece of equipment.

My opinion on running shoes is that its highly personal.  I don't like to give specific advice on what shoe a new runner should buy because 1) I don't have a lot of expertise in shoes and 2) your foot and my foot are very different.  With that said, please don't take this blog entry as advice on what shoe you should buy.  Instead, I want to talk about my running shoes because, well, we spend a lot of time together.  I have stories about how I ended up with what I have and frankly its about time they got a little credit.  So, here goes...

I am currently running in the NB 790T, a lightweight trail racing shoe and the Brooks Green Silence, a lightweight road racing shoe.
NB 790T.  I have these in pink and blue.  The blue ones have ~530 miles on them, so I use them rarely

Brooks Green Silence.  I think they are Ronald McDonald shoes
I always have at least two pairs of shoes going.  I started doing this back in the summer of 2007 when I attended the Dartmouth running camp and they clearly stated that we needed to pack two pairs of running shoes.  Why? you might ask.  Well, we did a lot of trail running and it was muddy/wet.  We also ran more than once a day.  So, that summer I bought two pairs of shoes and actually found that rotating between two different pairs worked well for me.  I liked the variation and it meant there was always a dry pair, even in the most precipitous climates. Sometimes I have two pairs of the same model (usually different colors), other times I have two completely different shoes.

I have a loyalty to NB.  When I was in high school, I started buying NB running shoes.  The company is based in Boston and has a great outlet store in Brighton where their shoes are discounted as much as 50%.  My parents starting taking me there in high school and I found that the NB brand was comfortable and worked well for me.  You also couldn't beat the price.  Since moving to TX, I go to the outlet whenever I am back in MA.  Unfortunately, I've found that in the last two years, both the quality and selection have gone downhill at the outlet.

I like lightweight shoes.  When I started running, I was diagnosed as a pronator and wore shoes with very firm insoles to correct against this pronation.  These shoes were very rigid and typically came with a lot of cushioning.  By the end of high school, however, I started really disliking the heaviness of this particular type of shoe, and instead began wearing a lighter stability shoe.  The pronating was no longer an issue, I think that because I started running so young, my form naturally corrected itself.  Eventually I stopped wearing shoes with significant cushioning or stability, and switched to a light weight performance shoe.  I am fortunate in that I land on my forefoot.  I really like a light shoe; it feels better to run in because it isn't bulky and I can easily feel the ground.  I think it improves my mobility and maneuverability.  I like to run on both trail and road, and I find that lightweight trail racers or a lightweight road flat is good for this transition.

The NB 790T is a great shoe.  I am now on my third and final pair and if I could I would buy many more.  Unfortunately, NB has a terrible habit of discontinuing their shoes, even when they are successful!  This particular shoe has hundreds of 4.5 to 5 star reviews!  I don't know why they have stopped making it, but they have.  I will be very sad when I have to toss my last pair.  Fortunately, they have come out with the 100T, which seems very similar to the 790T. There are some feature differences and the new shoe is lighter, but it looks like the 100T is something I will enjoy.  I haven't bought a pair yet because I am cheap and they haven't really been discounted yet.

I added the Brooks Green Silence to my repertoire because I got them for free.  Who can pass up free shoes?  Here in Austin, there is a running group called Rogue.  Every spring they organize a trail race series; it consists of three races spaced approximately a month apart on three different trails with lengths of either 10km or 30km.  This year I ran the entire 10km series and ended up placing 5th in the Women's open category.  My grand prize was any pair of Brooks shoes that I wanted from their store, Rogue Equipment.  Brooks was the race sponsor, which is why I was limited to this brand.  Well, I tried on pretty much every model that they had and found all of the road and trail shoes to be too bulky and heavy for me.  I was getting pretty sad, because who can pass up a free pair of shoes, when the woman working there remembered that they stocked two models of Brooks racing flats.  I tried on both and the Green Silence felt really comfortable.  They retail $100 and I didn't have to pay a thing, it was great!  The only downside to these shoes is that they look ridiculous!  The bright yellow and red are reminiscent of McDonalds, the lacing is funny and the two shoes are even colored differently.  Nonetheless, these shoes are made largely of recycled materials and should degrade very quickly in a landfill.  That's the "green" part in the name.  I think they should have made them green in color, but they didn't ask me.  Right now I have a mere 51 miles on them, but I really like them and think they will go the distance.  I don't know if I could convince myself to buy another pair at full price, though.

So that's everything you need to know right now about my running shoes.  I would love to hear what other people are running in and why.  No matter what you use, remember to be good to your shoes so they will be good to you!

1 comment:

  1. I use to Egoss sports shoes for running and other activities, I also wear them casually because I like to prefer for shoes which I can wear at all places.

    egoss footwear