View Full Version : Asking all Runners

03-30-2004, 03:21 PM
For those of you who consistently run endless miles each week, what type of shoes would you recommend? It seems that every pair of running shoe I purchase has a major flaw, some are too heavy, some have hard bottoms that hurt my feet, and some have virtually no bottom so it feels like you're scraping your foot on the ground. Is there a nice pair of running shoes which is lightweight, soft but sturdy heal (to give a bouncing effect when running) and won't cost me over triple digits?

03-30-2004, 03:56 PM
Before this gets sent to IMHO, I've had good luck with New Balance 530's. Run about $60 and are for pronaters. A buddy of mine who averaged 60-70 miles a week swore by Saucony (his particular shoe was for supinaters), however he budgeted about $150 every six months. From what I've seen/read, replacing your shoes every six months or less is about right. Not too mention you get what you pay for.

03-30-2004, 04:14 PM
Get to a specialty running store. They can be a little more expensive, but they know how to get something that fits your foot and amount of pronation.

That being said, New Balance are all that fit my feet and the 880's are a nicely cushoined neutral shoe.

03-30-2004, 04:18 PM
Do you have a local running store (or even one within a reasonable drive)? Especially if you're just starting out, it's worthwile to go to one. Tell the salesman what your budget is. If it's a good store, he'll watch you walk or run to see if you need some kind of motion control and then find a shoe for you. I just bought a pair of Brooks Adrenalines for $70 or so. Don't forget to pick up some socks too: Cotton sucks!

03-30-2004, 04:27 PM
I've had good luck with Asics but everybody is different. If you don't have a local runners store I think a good place is roadrunnersports.com. I like to call them because the people are very good and you can tell them the problems you have. They have always had a good solution for me. There is no substitute for them watching you run if you don't know what your problem is though.

03-30-2004, 04:29 PM
I second Brooks Adrenalines - the shop I purchased them at sold them to me for $85. They're fabulous shoes: great for overpronators, very comfortable, and they have a nice wide toebox so they don't scrunch your toes. Like Metacom & vd said, a specialty running store is a good idea - they can fit your feet to your shoes much better, and can also take a look at your running stride so you know what your form looks like and what shoes would suit you best. I usually go to Fleet Feet or Marathon Sports.

03-30-2004, 04:36 PM
I use New Balance too, 852s I think. They last long and my feet/joints stopped hurting after switching from nike. I will never use another brand (until something better comes along). I do not run, but powerwalk 50-100 miles a week.

03-30-2004, 04:53 PM
Do not go to a chain running store, such as Fleet Feet, unless the employee is an elite runner who knows his stuff, which is not always the case. If you have a local running store nearby, that's the place to go. Those stores are owned and operated by elite runners who know about running shoes.

You can't go by time, like 6 months. The rule of thumb is that a running shoe is good for 300-500 miles. Then it's time for a new one.

some are too heavy, some have hard bottoms that hurt my feet, and some have virtually no bottom so it feels like you're scraping your foot on the ground. After eliminating particular running flaws, such as excess pronation or supination (assume you have normal gait and stride - but if not, you have to consider a shoe that compensates for your flaw), it sounds like you want a cushioned shoe that is not too heavy. This is what you tell the shoe guy. It's impossible to recommend any particular brand or shoe without knowing if you are heavy-set, overpronate, supinate, etc., and if you don't know the shoe guy can tell by looking at your present pair of shoes and watching you jog.

The big rave recently has been the Mizuno shoes, the latest version being the Mizuno Waverider 7. It relies upon the well-tested Pebax nylon Wave plate tempered with polyester inserts and a piece of EVA and Vs-1 elastomer midsole, providing for a consistently cushioned and performance-oriented run. If you need cushioning for your high-to-low arched feet with neutral biomechanics, these shoes are worth your consideration. The weight is 11.4 oz for size 9, and a pair cost $90. You really have to pay at least $80 for a shoe that's not too heavy, cushioned, midfoot support, etc. What I usually do is find a discontinued model, which you can often buy at half price or less. One of the older Mizunos may be on sale for around $50.

If you have neutral biomechanics and comfort is a high priority, the Mizuno is a good choice. Other cushioned shoes: Asics Gel-Cumulus ($80), Asics Gel-Nimbus ($110), New Balance 880 ($90), Nike Air Max ($130), and Saucony 3D Grid Triumph ($110).

03-30-2004, 04:53 PM
As everyone else has said - specialty running stores are your friends. Even though I always end up with the same shoe (Adidas Supernovas - to me they're the most comfortable of the shoes that I can wear), it's good to have them watch me run, make recommendations based on my running style and limitations, and try on a few pairs that will work for me.

03-30-2004, 07:00 PM
Take what everybody said about finding a runner's store, that is hand's down the place to go. You can also find good info at pre-race (and some times race days) sign-up places. I'm a pretty neutral runner, light on my feet despite my build, who used to do serious running. If you're going to be doing anything over 30 miles/wk, then you may want to consider splurging on the more expensive shoes. I love the Supernovas, and the Asics. I haven't caught on to the Mizunos, I'll give them a try as I'm shopping for shoes. I also love the Air Max Triax (seemed like it was built for me). I hate new balance, but everyone I know who does like them, will defend them to the death. All my female runner friends wear Saucony. Make sure to run around a bit to get used to them. I have had many pairs that felt great at the store and gave me blisters and all sorts of trouble after mile 1 at home.

03-30-2004, 09:49 PM
Iíve been running for 15 years. I run nearly every weekday, during lunchtime.

I wear... $14 tennis shoes from Wal-Mart. Seriously.

Every hobby and endeavor has its share of pretentious and elitist psychobabble. Running is no exception. As long as the shoes donít hurt your feet theyíll work fine.

03-30-2004, 10:51 PM
Good shoes are worth spending money on, especially when you're doing high-impact work like running. YMMV, but as far as I'm concerned $140 on a pair of shoes is much cheaper then an injury and subsequent doctor visits caused by running with improper footwear.

Of course, a guy at the gym I frequent runs on the track barefoot. And he runs a lot, I've seen him some days running before i get there, and still running an hour later after I finish my cardio workout.

03-30-2004, 11:44 PM
You wouldn't know it by looking at me now, but I used to be a pretty fair long distance runner. The most important thing is that you have to find shoes that feel comfortable for you. At the time, I could only run on a particular model of New Balance shoes. Others on the track and cross country team were swearing by a certain type of Nikes at the time. They stopped making that model of New Balance, and I literally ran on them until the sole came halfway off during a cross country meet (despite which I still finished in the top 10, with this rather comical flop flop flop as I ran). On the advice of the others I switched the Nikes. I tend to pronate, and the Nikes pretty much ruined my knees, and I haven't run since.

I'm trying to get back into it (slowly) and I am very glad that they have my New Balance shoes that I like.

Maybe your brand is New Balance, maybe it's Brooks (another popular brand on the track team), maybe it's the el cheapo whatever brand, just make sure that it feels comfortable when you run on them.

03-31-2004, 08:14 AM
Maybe your brand is New Balance, maybe it's Brooks (another popular brand on the track team), maybe it's the el cheapo whatever brand, just make sure that it feels comfortable when you run on them.I agree. If a $14 Wal-Mart shoe is comfortable, then why spend $114?

03-31-2004, 09:11 AM
Bikila used to run marathons bare-footed, until he was famous enough to get sponsors. A fellow runner locally also used to run bare-footed. That's fine if you have fine biomechanics, but few of us do. Cheap gymshoes are OK if you are going to run only 2 or 3 miles a day, but for any distance running you need better shoes, esp. if you have biomechanical faults.

Once you've been running for a while and know what shoes are good for you, you can then order them by catalog even, at the discontinued models, which are sometimes half-priced. That's what I usually do, but I know what shoes I like. Until then you must go to the expert shoe guy, unless you want to be injured and not able to run at all.

03-31-2004, 11:05 AM
I'd add that it's good to ask around for the most reputable specialty running store.
I've gone in some where they measure your feet and all, then the salesperson tries to sell you the most expensive shoe because 'it's the only one for your foot.'

runnersworld.com has some good articles on how to check for the proper shoe.

I've had the best luck with New Balance myself. But your shoe could be, as said, a good cheapo brand or an expensive one.

I've found that the more springy-type shoes with the most bells and whistles, like Reebok or Nike, tend to be the worst for running (for me, at least).
If your back starts to hurt after a few days of running, it's usually the shoes.

03-31-2004, 02:44 PM
I agree. If a $14 Wal-Mart shoe is comfortable, then why spend $114?Actually, I spend in the mid-$80s.

When I go to the store - the salesperson usually has me run in my current shoes, has me run barefoot, has me try on a bunch of different shoes and run in all of them, and then discards some, approves others, and lets me select from a range of shoes based on how well they fit, price, color, whatever I'm thinking matters to me. I am not steered to the most expensive shoe in the store (a legitimate fear), and if they don't work after a few miles, I can return them for a different pair.

You're very lucky if you can spend $14 on a Wal-Mart shoe and run comfortably. If I were to do that, (given my flat feet, my bizarre running, etc.) I would very quickly screw up my ankles and knees and not be running for very long. With the wrong shoes, I also injure my back - so every time I go for more than 7 miles, my back, knees, and feet start tingling. It isn't good - and if it happens enough, it gets painful. So I choose the more expensive shoes and the ability to run - YMMV.