I’m a total Vivobarefoot fanatic
Running in Muzuno Inspires for many years, probably had about 6 pairs over last 10 years, off road I use Innov8 mudclaws.
Even if there were races on I can’t imagine ever entering one!
Thanks for all the suggestions folks - very much appreciated.
A few manufacturers which I’ve never heard of or were not on my immediate radar too, so those suggestions have proven enlightening. Since posting, I’ve also subscribed to a couple of YouTube review channels to keep tabs on what’s available (for the long term).
Pairs of Brooks, Hoka and Nike (as a known quantity) ordered, so looking forward to them arriving. Then follows a process of elimination to see which will be keepers, obviously returning the ones that don’t fit or simply do not have the right feel. Always tricky gauging size and potential fit via mail order, and of course there is the hassle of the returns procedure. I’ve gone up a size for the Hoka and Brooks, and half a size for Nike.
No mention of Hoka in the thread, but still very curious as I have an acquaintance who uses them and he really likes their feel, so just wanted to see what all the fuss is about with Hoka’s approach to cushioning. Look forward to comparing them all in due course.
I just enter races to give me something to aim for. If I know there’s a race coming up in 2 months, it sways the decision to go out in 5c, when I could easily decide to stay in. For me, running 3-4 times a week does need some sort of motivation or it’s easy to do nothing like most people. It makes no difference whether I’m good or not, or whether I’m going to be anywhere near the front, it’s just the excitement of race day.
Yes Nike are always 1/2 size too small. You’d think they could just get their measuring tape out with all the money they have.
Hoka are a bit ott on the cushioning and imo just layer a load on without much science. Too much cushioning in the wrong areas just adds instability and your feet can be constantly microscopically trying to stabilise themselves, which in itself can cause ligament problems anywhere in the whole leg/foot. Think they’re market is really for old people who slowly shuffle and need cushioning for their joints.
Running shoes are a very complex subject and at the end of the day, if you can run constantly for a year without a problem, you’ve chosen the right shoe for your running style in relation to what running you do. You’re not going to get any real definitive advice from anyone I’m afraid. “I’ve used these for years, no problem, so I’m right” means nothing. It could just mean the person is lucky enough not to have any issues brought to light by running.
Not much really changes in the construction of running shoes over the past 30 years, apart from race shoes. On Running came along and have changed the principal of a training shoe and they suit me and are in completely different league in construction quality to any shoe I’ve seen.
Interesting, I’d never thought of using racing as a motivator to get out there. I have registered for Park Run but never ever attended, despite my buddy’s (with the Hoka) enthusiasm for it. Is the atmosphere supportive overall and is there camaraderie?
I tend to like using the stats in the Nike Run App as a motivator and then chase the split / overall timings as my competition. I like that App and think it works well. Also use Strava (free version) but I don’t think it’s as good overall for what I need. Also like the way Nike syncs with the Apple Music App too.
Interesting points about running for a year in a shoe that feels just right, I may well have just got lucky with the Pegasus and New Balance, and have stuck to those for a few years now. Assuming the racing shoe advancements you are referring to are the carbon plates which add a responsive spring to the shoe recoil? Interesting but perhaps overkill for my needs.
The ‘Goldilocks shoe’ is of course the grail for most runners, and I do often find it a bit tricky finding shoes that fit, usually not enough height in the toe box for the corresponding correct shoe length, and, of course, appreciate, and acknowledged in the OP that one persons perfect fit is another’s blister generator. I wasn’t expecting definitive advice, as that would be naive for something which is so fit dependent and also so personal in running feel and taste, just hoping for pointers to different off the radar brands, and it has proven helpful for that.
If this selection of shoes are ok, then it will buy me a little time until the next pair are needed, and then I may well investigate booking a session with a specialist running shop to get a clearer assessment of my running gait, and appropriate footwear they’d recommend, but that’s for when things are safer.
I await the Hoka marsh mellows with interest then.
Parkruns are something of a phenomenon and are responsible for getting millions of people (literally!) exercising, many of whom fall into the category of fun runners/ along for the camaraderie. People with dogs, pushchairs etc. So yes, they are motivational and addictive as there is always next week to look forward to.
I used to run to one of the many local ones, do the race, run back whilst beating myself up about not improving my last time, dropping a place or two - or being overtaken by someone with one of the pushchairs I mentioned!
The only thing is that an 0900 start meant something like an 0730 wake up which is not always easy on a Saturday morning after a beer or two.
Brooks Ghost 13 all the way
It’s the atmosphere, absolutely. It’s the silly nervous feeling you get even when you know you have absolutely no chance of getting anywhere haha. It’s ridiculous, but it’s there every time. It’s the staying off wine the night before, the warm up with 300 plus people, the caffeine intake, etc… and as soon as you’ve finished, you’re usually fed up because you didn’t get a PB, but you can’t wait to get out again the next day. For me, it keeps me motivated and I’ve kept it up constantly.
I use Strava (paid version) and I usually run the same route every time. It’s another motivation thing, as I can see how I’m progressing.
Yes toe boxes are quite often restricted on a lot of shoes. I put it down to the average manufacturers copying each others’s fashion design for a sleek shark profile. Their sales literature is usually hilarious, but at the end of the day, they’re just mass, cheaply produced shoes with the same basic closed cell foam. When I look back at the shoes I’ve trained in (still keep them for some reason), they are pretty rubbish. Sloppy wide fit, fat lumpy sole and contradictory support gimmicks. I was at the shoe ‘specialist’ and could not decide at all out of the extensive choices I was trying. None of them fitted absolutely perfect. I then asked about those on the wall. He said they’re ‘Ons’. I tried them in my size and they were the most perfect fitting shoe I’ve ever tried. No idea why he didn’t bring them down in the first place. Perhaps he thought they were too expensive. Anyway, never looked back since. On Running allow the foot to pronate freely and that is the basis of the brand.
BTW, yes the carbon plates is part of the advancement, but not just that. The Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% for instance is an absolute work of art. Everything about it. Nike and other brands can do it if they’re given the budget to produce the shoe for a price. Having said that, they are stupidly priced.
« It’s the staying off wine the night before, »
What is this horror of which you speak?
I think it gives me a 1/4 of a second in a 5k race Rod haha.
Absolute definition of a false economy, I reckon…
@WeekendWarrior When you describe it so enthusiastically it could be tempting, so may have a think about when its safe for the Park Runs start again, although I would be tempted to wrestle the pushchair off that runner and then run them over with it!
@ditton66 Brooks Ghosts are on their way.
@Count.d Yes, understood re the nervous feeling as I used to run sprints as a teen and always loved that anticipation and adrenaline flood at the start - remember it well. Can well understand these races being an addictive event.
Ah, interesting, I hadn’t realised there were such similarities between brands and their shoe lasts / profiles. I get the shark thing, that is a fashion and style based choice certainly, for some shoes with sleek styling, I can tell straight away at first glance they’ll be too narrow.
Yes, i’m aware of the Nike 4% and its eye watering price - would love to try a pair, but it is a lot of money for a leisure runner like myself, and more money than I’d like to spend.
Again, I wasn’t aware of On Running’s core philosophy - that does sound interesting I must admit. OK, I’ll do some more research and have them in reserve if the first batch are all returned.
The Brooks look promising as they seem to offer a wider fit and I like that fact that they have concentrated on just making running shoes. Hope they live up to expectations anyways.
I am not a runner so, when I decided I needed to do some running to keep in shape, I went to a local store specializing in complete service: measurement, video analysis and competent personal appraisal. Based on the results, I tested a selection of shoes outside the shop and settled on a pair of Brooks. Don‘t ask me which model and the brand isn‘t important except that quality must be a given. These shoes just suit my feet and running style.
Yes, the more I think about it, that is a really wise thing to do actually, and something I perhaps should have done years ago.
When I lived in London I never ran at all, preferring to swim every night after work as I lived walking distance to a really good pool (full lanes). I restarted running out of desperation to do any form of exercise when I moved away from London as there was no pool then near where we lived, and have ran on and off ever since. And now, as well as the physical health benefits, I find it a really mediative thing to do, as it gives me roughly 45 mins to an hour of personal quiet time to reset the mind and forget the hassles of the day, and endorphin high is also quite nice too.
That’s exactly why I do it.
And I’m happy
It is. But the large majority of people who buy it, shouldn’t: it’s crazy expensive and only elite runners take the true benefits.
( unless you want to show off and have money to burn)
That would be like saying only Lewis Hamilton should buy a Ferrari 488. Life’s about fun and if buying the most advanced racing shoe gives someone fun, leave them to it. Also, if someone is 15 secs off breaking a 20 minute barrier, let them try with their new shoes. I see loads of runners wearing baggy clothing. They need to get their credit cards out.
I’m not criticizing nobody, sir.
Don’t take me wrong.
I just think that the 4% theoretical gain, is supplanted by a bettter training.
If you are a runner of half marathon sub 1:15, then I would say yes. But slower pace … it doesn’t make sense
Don’t they also need an add on $10k power supply to run at their best?