July 20, 2011 11 Comments
In my running careers, I have run in Keds (no, I am not kidding), Nike, Reebok, New Balance, Asics, Vibram Five-Fingers, & Brooks. I had a unique reason for including every pair. I am happy to say that I have never bought a pair of running shoes because they look cool. I tend to be more about two very important purposes: protecting my legs & getting faster.
A good pair of shoes can provide support, comfort, protection, and perhaps even mechanical advantage. Track spikes, for instance sink into the track just enough to make sure you don’t slip. This gives you the mechanical advantage of grip so that you can make sure that every ounce of energy you expend actually helps you move forward faster. The racing flat does a great job on race day, but would not provide enough support for most runners on the daily run.
So here is the question of the day: Whose shoes do you use? Do you stick with one brand? Do you use different brands for different purposes? Do you have multiple pairs of the exact same shoe so you can rotate them and help them last longer?
The shoes I use? I currently train in Vibram Five Finger.
I love the Bikila LS because it feels almost like barefoot running, but with the advantage of not having my skin ripped up by rocks and other debris along the way. I also have some Nike Zoom for racing and short runs. I still have a pair of Brooks Beast that I wear from time to time. They are the polar opposite of the Vibrams because they offer tons of cushion and support. Hence, I am likely to use them on relatively slow and easy runs when my legs are a little sore. Still, on the long runs, running up and down ridges, track workouts, and anything of substance I will keep going back to my Vibrams Bikila LS. They fit like a glove and they encourage me to run with a more natural stride. In the long run…figuratively and literally…that means that my legs are happier and that I am running faster, which makes me happier.
So… whose shoes do you use?