The Shoes I Run In

My high school kids make fun of me for having a lot of running shoes. One of them was even laughing one time, ‘like what do you do just wear different shoes for different things?’ Yeah, pretty much.

I actually don’t have as many shoes as plenty of people and I don’t have lots of fancy scientific opinions, but here is more or less what I run in. I just got the Saucony Virrata, which feels to me very much like the Saucony Kinvara 3 (the last model – I haven’t tried the new model of the Kinvara) except instead of a 4 mm heel-to-toe drop, it’s a zero drop shoe. Very trendy.

The Saucony Virrata.
The Saucony Virrata.

I’m not 100% sure how I feel about the zero drop-ness yet. It definitely makes your lower leg work harder and can make my calves feel a little sore, so I think I need to be careful transitioning to them as my main shoe. But, I ran in the Kinvaras before, so a 4mm difference isn’t huge. (I mean I know it’s HUGE like in the scheme of running shoes, but still.) I’ve felt some aching in my calves when I’m pounding hard on the road or on cement, but that’s been happening a lot to me lately in all my shoes, so it might be me not the Virratas.

I was telling Steve that I don’t love the Saucony shoes. (I had intended to get the new Kinvaras not the Virratas, but they aren’t out yet.) They don’t fit me great and they aren’t amazing. But, they’re fine. I keep coming back to them because I know they’re ok and won’t fuck me up and will get the job done. He said I could be talking about a relationship.

The last shoes I really loved were the Adidas Adizero a few years ago, but they changed them all up. Sigh.

I also just got new marathon and half-marathon race shoes, which I’ve been using for some track and tempo work too: the Nike Lunaracer+ 3.

The Nike Lunaracer+ 3.
The Nike Lunaracer+ 3.

These I do sort of love. They’re so light and fun and make me feel like a gazelle. I did Kaiser in them and they worked great. My two concerns are that I think I’m twisting my feet weirdly (I only think this because the tongue on each shoe is constantly getting pulled all the way to the side by whatever I’m doing) and the soles of my feet sort of started to burn around mile 9 or 10 during Kaiser. But, I’m not sure if that’s just because they were new or what.

The reason I have two new pairs of shoes, when I usually have one new pair and one older pair and rotate, is because I had bought these weird new shoes: The On Cloudracer.

The Cloud Racer.
The On Cloud Racer.

But, I’m now mildly paranoid they caused my brief ankle/foot problems. They have these little “clouds” on the bottom that are really just pods not clouds, which I had no problem with. On the whole, they were supposed to be similar to the lightweight, low-profile, relatively neutral shoes I usually wear. They were ok, felt fast definitely, but also felt big and always seemed like they were sort of stressing the arch of my foot and like there was a bump in the middle of my sole. After I’d run in these, other shoes would hurt my arch.

I’m not sure they caused any of my problems. But, I’m not sure they didn’t either. My arch cramped up, then I started walking and running weird, and then I stressed out the inside of my ankle. Which means, right now, I am shunning them.

Has anyone else tried the Ons?

The Mizuno Wave Precision.
The Mizuno Wave Precision.

Of course, I also have other shoes I rotate into the line-up, like my Mizuno Wave Precision 12, which I only bought because Justin and Steve and Brian made me go with them to REI and I thought these shoes seemed fun and comfortable. I was rotating them with my Ons. Now, that I feel like my foot is better, I’ll probably go back to rotating them with my Virratas, so some days one and some days the other. I used to only wear Mizunos.

I know some people have one shoe and they stick with it, but I’ve found that I have fewer injury problems and fewer problems in general when I have multiple shoes and rotate. It just gives my foot something different to deal with. Of course, the problem right now is that I’m doing more mileage than I used to, so I seem to be going through shoes faster and am accumulating them at a stupid rate in piles by our front door.

Oh Nike Free. What girl doesn't have you.
Oh Nike Free. What girl doesn’t have you.

And, of course, I have a pair of Nike Frees. I think that’s like a requirement of being a female athlete, right.

I just use the Frees, of which I have an older version because I’m not nuts about the newest model, for gym work and short easy runs. I’ve done a couple short races in them and ran in them all the time when I got my first pair in 2010. But, they definitely put a lot of stress on your calves and can be a little wobbly at times. So, that was not my most brilliant idea.

Now, I just wear them so people can say, oh my god, those are so cute.

Which, is pretty the only reason I have this last pair of shoes (well, that and somebody had a 50% discount code, so why not): my K-Swiss K-Ona American flag shoes. These are hella old, from a few rotations ago, really not good for much anymore, but sometimes I can’t resist wearing them.


5 thoughts on “The Shoes I Run In

  1. I tried the ONs and absolutely LOVE them. I reach for them more and more often and for all my long runs now… just bought a second pair so I have one to race in in Los Cabos! I hated the Kinvaras though… I think I’m the only runner on the planet who hates Kinvaras. They just felt horrible to me…

    1. Interesting. I haven’t met anyone who loved the ONs yet, so good to know. I don’t hate them; I’m just really concerned right now. And, yeah, the Kinvaras were like the mediocre boyfriend you go back to because it wasn’t that bad.

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