Note: This blog post is NOT an advertisement or an endorsement for any product or brand of any kind. I am not getting paid nor sponsored to talk about my shoe experiences.
I’ve been reading quite a bit about running shoes lately. Which makes sense of course, because I’m finally back into the ‘post holiday’ running vibe – albeit little late.
When I decided to voluntarily take up running for the first time in my life three years ago, my first pair of running shoes was the Nike Zoom Pegasus 33. Since then, my old Nikes have become like a favorite pair of jeans; they’re soft, worn out and there’s no way I can run in them today.
For kicks, I tried on the latest iteration of the Nike Zoom Pegasus 35s, and either Nike shoes have narrowed, or my feet have widened – most likely the latter. It’s a bummer because I’m something of a brand snob and Nike has always been one of my favorites. Those shoes will always hold a special place in my heart for being the the first pair that helped carry me to my very first mile – without stopping1.
One gallbladder surgery and some recovery time later, and I was back on track – or rather on the treadmill – to give running another shot. This time, instead of heading to the mall, I went to a running store, since Nikes no longer fit my much wider feet. This would be my first encounter with the Brooks product line. I quickly fell in love with the comfort, feel and weight of the Brooks Ghost 10 and happily made those my go-to shoes throughout the running season last year.
By the end of the year, after running (ok, I did my fair share of walking as well) my first ever 10k, I knew that my beloved Brooks Ghost 10 were just about finished. I considered purchasing the Brooks Ghost 11, and of course, tried out another pair of Nike shoes to no avail. I decided to go with the Hoka Bondi 5, another wide width shoe out of the box. After one light treadmill session on the Hokas, I had a major case of shin splints and was ready to toss them out of the car window on my way home from the gym. They are big, beautiful shoes with just a little bit too much wiggle room everywhere for them to be very comfortable.
At the beginning of this year, I decided to try Brooks again, but went for the Glycerin shoe. It’s at best – ok. The toebox feels narrow and the shoe itself is a little long. The bad fit on my part is totally my fault and I have only myself to blame for purchasing them. They are definitely not my Brooks Ghost shoes, nor are they my Nike Zoom Pegasus of days of old.
So now I’m looking for a new running shoe – I’m actually trying to give the Hokas another chance in the interim – to see what I can find that is equal parts stability, equal parts cushion, with a decent drop that will last. I find that I’m questioning my form, my feet and my sanity in my attempt to goldilocks my way through all of these choices.
It’s funny to me how times have changed. Five years ago, I had a closet full of absurd looking stiletto heels. Now I have an equally expensive and growing collection of running shoes. And no, you’ll never catch me in those 7-inch heels again.
1. I’m sure that shoes don’t make runners better any more than cameras make photographers better artists. Or do they? Do we define our tools, or do we let our tools define us?