I love shoes. That’s no secret, really. If you look into my closet it’s clear to see that I love shoes. High heels, especially; those that make your legs look like a mile long in summer shorts……….but I didn’t start this segment to talk about my high heels……in fact, I haven’t worn most of them since running my fist bout with Plantar Fasciitis in 2014. Rather, this segment is about running shoes – and I love those just the same. Problem is that I have been known to buy a pair of running shoes just because I like the color or pattern, and not because I need a new pair…….and so I’ve quite the collection (although I know of other runners who own far more pairs than I.
No, these aren’t all of them…..
Here are the pairs I currently have in rotation. I’ll try my best to point out my likes (& dislikes) for each:
Brooks Ghost 9 (top right, gray & turquoise) – Compared to all others I own, I wear these the most. In the summer of 2016 had the opportunity to take these out for a test run at St. Pete Running Company, which is such a great opportunity to really experience a shoe without having to pay for them first. Loved them within the first mile. Very comfy with a roomy toe box so my “duck feet” can splay. Some days I think there’s a bit too much room when I first put them on (especially with thin socks), but after a couple of miles they fit just right (when your feet start to expand a bit from the heat, for example). Despite being dubbed a “neutral” shoe I feel they have just a touch of stability over the Launch 4 (coming up next) and the Saucony Ride 10, mentioned below. I ran in the Ghost 9 for the last 3 weeks of my marathon training last September, and then used them for the actual marathon. Wise choice – they were properly broken in and the perfect shoe for the distance without feeling heavy. I’ve even bought a second pair back in March, and I’m very much looking forward to the new model, due out soon!
Brooks Launch 4 (bottom left, pink & purple) – I’ve absolutely LOVED the Launch 2. They did not need any “break-in” time, and I ran in them for over a year. When Brooks released the update (Launch 3) I immediately bought a pair, but oh what a let-down. Much more narrow in the forefoot, and overall a smaller shoe. Pass! But then, Brooks redeemed themselves with the 2017 model, the Launch 4. Seems that 4 is much more like 2: light with adequate room in the toe box. A good shoe for mid-week runs and speed work.
Saucony Ride 10 (top left, white & blue) – I previously owned the Ride 7 and the Guide 6. I liked the Guide 6, did not care for the Ride 7. When Saucony released the Ride 10 the reviews seemed so overwhelmingly positive that I wanted to test them out – and it turns out I really like them. They’re light, flexible and responsive and needed no break-in time at all. However, I prefer to use them for my shorter midweek runs. It seems that due to my right foot’s overpronation I simply fare better in the Brooks Ghost 9 on longer distances.
I can’t let go (throw out) many of my running shoes. First – they’re not cheap!!! Second – they’ve carried me through part of my journey. Some good, some bad. How could you just toss them??? So, I typically I use the oldest pair for gardening or bike riding. The rest just hang out in my closet for now. I’ve also donated quite a few pairs (some of which I’ve only worn a handful of times). Just because I no longer have any use for them doesn’t mean that someone else won’t treasure them!
So – what is you favorite pair of running shoes? Do you love to “collect” as well?