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Which Running Shoe Should I Buy?

disc golf
My shoes are getting a little long in the tooth.

My poor little running/training shoes are about to get replaced. I think it’s been quite some time since I’ve had them, and I’ve done a decent amount of running in there over the past year. I know, I know. Some people throw theirs out after 6 months, but according to this New York Times article, it varies from person to person. There’s nothing wrong with my shoes except that I’ve had them for a while and it’s time to get a new pair for real running. (I dunno what the heck specific kind of shoes these are. Check the bottom of this post to see how I found them in the first place.)

There are a gazillion different shoes on the market, and now I can’t choose which shoes to get! Back in the 90s, when I was a kid, there seemed to be very few choices. It’s a totally different story now!

Now, you have to know what kind of foot you have, the kind of workouts/training you’ll be using them for, what color you want, and a whole slew of other properties that I’m not even going to list because it’s already making my brain hurt. So many choices! Whenever I’m left with too many choices, I either have to just wing it and get the first thing I come across, or consult others for advice. I’m going to go ahead with the latter, because I know I have some smart readers out there who would love to weigh in on this topic!

Here’s what I’m looking for:

  • I’m planning to run some races this year, but I’d also like to be able to use them for working out at the gym.
  • I want some black sneakers so that I can wear them with any outfit and not look like a total mess.
  • They shouldn’t be crazy expensive (a girl’s gotta budget). 
  • They don’t need to be for marathon running, since I don’t plan on doing that any time soon. 
  • They need to “work” and be comfortable.
That’s it!

I don’t really have any sort of brand allegiance when it comes to running shoes. I’ve already done a little research, and have come up with a list of some of my top choices. Of course, any suggestions you have that might not be on this list would be much appreciated!

Mizuno – Wave Rider 17 or Wave Sayonara?
Shout out to Mizuno, though, for being the only brand that actually responds to my tweets! They recommended that I try the Mizuno Wave Rider 17. My teammate Jackie plays volleyball in hers, and she loves them. In fact, she wants to get a second pair to use for running outdoors.I’m not a huge fan of the color selection for the Wave Rider 17, though. Kind of a bummer. They also suggested that I try the Wave Sayonara, since I don’t do long distance runs. I still have the same reservations about the colors. They just look… weird. Does everything have to be all BAM! in your face? Maybe I’m the weird one…

Nike Free 5.0+
I really, really like the look of the Nike Free 5.0+, but I’m not sure if they really provide enough support. I know that this sort of style is the new trend for running shoes, but I’m still ambivalent. These are widely available, so maybe I’ll just go to the store and test them out. I know they’re really popular, so maybe some of you have opinions about it?

Reebok ZQuick
I think just about every single blogger I followed received a free pair of the new Reebok ZQuicks. They’re super cute, and I love all the different colors. I really like the look of the Reebok ZQuick TR, but they are training shoes, which means that they should be good for my workouts (e.g. Zumba, kickboxing, weight training), but not necessarily good for running outdoors. The New Balance site actually has a good little comparison about the difference between training shoes and running shoes.

I actually have quite a little bit of experience with Reebok running shoes. The last pair of running shoes I bought were Reebok Realflex (an older model of the ones at the link). They took some getting used to, but I really liked how lightweight they were. My sophomore year of college, our team was sponsored by both Reebok and Mizuno. All of our non-volleyball gear was Reebok, including our running shoes. I didn’t like how wide the running shoes were back then, but I like how slim the Realflexes were when I had them. I have narrow feet, so they were a real joy. PLUS, I ran my first (and only) 5K in them, and they felt good!

Puma Mobium XT or Faas 300 v3
I’ve seen quite a few reviews about the new Puma Mobium XT through some of the blogs I follow. I really like them in black, but I haven’t ever owned Puma performance shoes, so I don’t really know where they fall compared to other brands. The Faas 300 v3 running shoe is super cute, but again, I have no real experience with their running shoes. Anyone out there have any thoughts to share on this one?

Other brands I may/may not consider:

  • Brooks – I’ve heard that their running shoes are really amazing. I’ve also heard (and seen) that they’re crazy expensive. I don’t generally like the look of their shoes, but it seems like they really know their stuff when it comes to feet. I went on their site to try to figure out which types to look at, and it occurred to me that I have no idea what I’m looking for as far as my foot type is concerned. I’m bowlegged and wear out my shoes on the outsides, so I guess I overpronate according to this chart, which doesn’t help at all with the Brooks site. 🙁
  • Asics – I have owned roughly a bazillion and a half* Asics shoes, between volleyball and running shoes. I really like them, but I think I want to try something new. I do like some of their designs, like this one, and the brand has always worked for me. My one complaint is that I prefer a lighter shoe, but they’re really not that heavy. 
  • adidas – I never cared for my adidas running shoes when I had them a million years ago. Don’t think I’ll start caring about them now. I like other things by adidas, but I’ve just never been a fan of their running shoes (though, these are kinda cute). Maybe I was traumatized by the adidas Gazelles I had to wear for two years when I was in middle school. In defense of those shoes, they did take a severe beating, and only got holes in them once they hit the last semester of the second school year. 
Required adidas running shoes, and random handstands in the subway.
Please note that I am not wearing them because I hated them so much.
  • Under Armour – While I own quite a bit of their gear, I’ve never actually owned any of their shoes. In fact, the only people I know who have worn their running shoes are my dad and The Boyfriend. They both love their shoes, but I don’t know how their women’s shoes are. I really love the brand, though. These seem decent, even if one reviewer did call them “weak sauce.”
  • New Balance – I bought my first pair of New Balances last summer. I was headed to one of my first games with a new team, and being a knucklehead who really hadn’t played in a while, I totally forgot shoes (plus, I didn’t really have any presentable ones at the time). I stopped at Marshall’s with my teammate CC, and these were the cheapest pair that looked like they wouldn’t fall off mid jump. Plus, they weren’t Skechers (that was important). I don’t wear them as much anymore, but they really have been good to me. I think they’re probably more like training shoes, but they get the job done when I go running. I would consider getting a pair of their running shoes. They seem to have more reasonably-priced shoes than some of the other brands, and I like the different designs. I’m diggin’ these.

Which running shoe do you think I should buy? Which brands have worked for you? Which were duds?

*slight exaggeration likely

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  1. I voted for asics but I'm not sure you should take my advice! I'm really not a runner so I usually try to find cross training shoes and I've only heard that asics are good from other runners. I have zero experience with them. I do own a few pair of Reeboks and I generally find them to be not super supportive and not very cushiony either so that is my two cents on those. Good luck with your pick!

  2. I voted for asics but I'm not sure you should take my advice! I'm really not a runner so I usually try to find cross training shoes and I've only heard that asics are good from other runners. I have zero experience with them. I do own a few pair of Reeboks and I generally find them to be not super supportive and not very cushiony either so that is my two cents on those. Good luck with your pick!

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