It is just about time for me to purchase some new running shoes, not according to the ‘Manufacturers Suggested Mileage’ but according to my wear patterns. I have a tendency to wear them out on the inside before I wear them out on the outside, or at least it feels that way. I try to do 500 – 600 miles on a pair before I look at getting a new pair and I try to keep at least two pairs around so I can rotate them. It is also handy to have a second pair on hand in case I get one pair really wet from a run in the rain.
My strategy from the beginning was to find a brand that fit really well and me my needs as far as foot type, stride pronation etc. Turns out I needed a stability type shoe so with the help of Dick Pond Athletics in Lisle Illinois, I settled on Asics Kayanos. The year I bought them (2007) they were on model 13 (they have a new number every year), so I bought two pair and started rotating them. Good thing I bought two pair, since the following year they changed the toe box and the model 14 caused a rub on my big toe. I skipped the 14s and was able to find some clearance 13s online, which held me over till the 15s came out in 2009. I retired one of the 13s for a 15, then near the end of the year retired another 13 and bought two clearance 15s. I now have three pairs of 15s that I am rotating and have passed over the 16’s and 17s, so far.
Back to my wear patterns. The manufacturers suggest you only put 300 miles on a pair of shoes, but being cynical, I submit that they are just trying to sell you a new pair every year if not more often. I tend to wear out the lining at various touch points to my foot. I have been very fortunate to never have gotten blisters from running, except for one freak weather run at the Disney Marathon in 2010 when it was so cold my feet did not expand as they usually do when I run. Another reason I don’t get blisters is I am very aware of those wear spots and will replace the shoe if I start to get a hint of a hot spot, which is usually around the 500 mile mark with the Asics.
This post was actually prompted by a podcast I was listening to yesterday while doing a 5.5 mile run. I listen to Phedippidations quite often, a podcast for and about runners, and was catching up on some older episodes as I usually do. Steve Runner (Walker is his real last name) produced a podcast called ‘Anatomy of a Running Shoe’ and it reminded me it was time to start looking for some new shoes before the weather gets nice again. This particular episode talked abut the important parts you should pay attention to when looking for a new shoe or when moving to a new version of the exact shame shoe. As I mentioned I ran into that with the 14s and might eventually have to move away from the Kayanos if the change too much. I am very happy with the Kayanos, but they are getting pretty expensive at $140.00 and there are other good stability shoes on the market.
Steve has a very strong opinion about Nike and their sweat shop practices, something I agree with him on, so if you are a Nike lover you might be turned off by the first few parody minutes of this episode, but keep on going and listen to what he has to say about shoes and what to look for.
What kind of shoes do you wear and why did you choose them?