Monday, February 28, 2011

For the Ladies

Shoe shopping!  Most females reading this just got very interested.  I'm in the midst of figuring out which running shoes to buy.  I did all of my training and racing for the Goofy Challenge in two pairs of shoes, and am still using those same two pairs.  Since I started training to qualify for Boston, up until today, I've run just over 676 miles.  Split down the middle, that's 338 miles per pair, which is quite a lot.  So, time to shop!

I've always found the best deals to be online.  It would be much nicer to buy the shoes in a store, so I could go try them on and make sure everything is all good, but I'm too cheap.  So I search around online, find out which shoe I want, then find the best deal I can and make my purchase.  I previously have been running in the Adidas Adizero Tempo.
These are the ones!
When I first started running years ago, I was wearing some other Adidas shoes that had a super elevated heel.  I've done some reading about shoes, and obviously everyone has their opinion.  But what I've come to understand is that the shoe industry has given us too much heel cushion.  So this pair, the Adizero Tempo, has a lot less cushion, and is considered a racing flat.  It seemed to treat me pretty well during my training and racing, so I was planning on getting a couple more pairs.  Another reason I bought these was because they were one of the cheaper racing flats I could find.  My trusted internet shoe store,, had them for under $60!  I went back to the site to buy them again,  and they no longer have my size!  Crap!  So back to the drawing board.

There's a whole "minimalist" movement when it comes to running shoes.  I like the theory, but I'm not ready to go barefoot, or really anywhere near it.  I have sensitive feet!  I do have a pair of Nike Free's that I use for shorter runs, but they really destroy my non-existent calves, so I limit them to about 4 or 5 miles at the most.  
Above is the pair I have
This is showing how "free" or flexible these shoes are
These are called Vibram Five Fingers.  This is a little too free for me.
There are a ton of shoes on the market now, though, that claim to be a minimalist shoe.  Realistically, that doesn't make any sense.  You can't be a shoe AND be minimalist.  Regardless, these types of shoes are supposed to allow your feet to move more naturally and be able to feel the ground better.  While searching through these types of shoes, I came across the Saucony Progrid Kinvara.

There's a huge variety of colors, so I'm not sure which ones I like best yet.
They claim that this shoe is "minimalist" in nature, but I'm not too sure it looks that way.  Either way, most of the reviews that people have given it online are very good.  It looks to be very similar to the shoe that I am currently wearing.  So I'm very interested in this little guy.  There is one other shoe that I'm considering.  It's the Saucony Grid Type A4.
Saucony Grid Type A4
As you can surely see, the sole on these shoes is pretty slim pickins.  Definitely a racing flat.  The only thing that would concern me about buying this shoe is logging all of my training miles on such a small sole.  Recovery is a bit longer.  One thing to note is the holes in the bottom of the shoe.  Saucony says they are designed for drainage, which would be good during a triathlon, or any run in hot weather when you are dumping water on your head.  I did read a couple reviews that said they had problems with little rocks get up into the shoe through those holes.

I've been comparing these shoes a lot, because I've narrowed it down to these two finalists.  I've read opinions from people who have worn both shoes, and they actually lean toward the Kinvara.  One thing I could do is get a pair of both, and use the A4's as my racing shoe.  That's always an option.

I'll probably come to a decision later on this week.  Once I do, and I receive whatever pair I decide on, I'll write up a little review to post.


  1. Shopping! :) I am in need of some new shoes right now too. Am hoping to get through this next marathon before I buy them. The first time I got a pair, I was fitted at a running store and then bought the next several pair online. This next time, I think I am going back to the store to check out the new styles. Can't wait!

  2. Karen, that's pretty much what I did too! I went into a store and got fitted for my first pair of real running shoes. I've learned a ton since then and feel pretty comfortable buying them online now. Plus, most places have a pretty good return policy!