I now have four pairs of Wave Inspire Mizuno running shoes in my house.
I got a new pair this weekend, got my previous pair at the end of May, got the pair before that at the end of January, and probably got the pair before that last fall. I may have had a pair before that, but I’ve donated my older running shoes so I can’t be sure.
I am a firm believer in getting new running shoes every 300 miles or so. If I keep running in shoes much longer than that, I notice new aches and pains flaring up. Maybe it’s psychological, but it’s a small price to pay for “insurance.”
My very first pair of running shoes were Nike Shox. My husband got them for me because they looked so cool, and I was thrilled. I didn’t know anything about pronation, or stability shoes, or specialty running stores. I figured that running shoes were running shoes and that you could choose your shoes by style and color.
Once I got into running and started reading Runner’s World and meeting other runners, I learned how important it can be to have the right shoes for your gait. I went to my local running store, and found out that I am a mild over-pronator and do well in a light to moderate stability shoe. Since I was new to running, I tried different brands and styles of running shoes–I’ve had Asics, Brooks, New Balance, and now Mizunos.
One great thing about the running store I go to is their return policy. You can return shoes within the return period even if you’ve worn them, as long as you wear them on the treadmill to minimize wear. After a while I noticed that when I tried a new brand of shoes, I ended up returning them after a few test runs because something didn’t feel right–either the shoe irritated some spot on my foot, or I noticed a new ache. I decided that having a shoe that I knew was right for me was more important than trying something new, or getting the style that my friends were raving about. My new policy became “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Now, sometimes manufacturers “break” a good shoe when they tweak the model for their annual update, so I still approach new models with caution, but I’ve been lucky with my Mizuno running shoes.
It’s a bit ironic that I am writing this after buying a new pair of quasi-minimalist shoes, but I am dipping my toes into the minimalist waters cautiously, with no plans of going off the deep end into Vibrams! The shoes I selected have some stability control, and are at the structured end of the minimalist spectrum. I plan to ease into using them very gradually, and use them only on the treadmill, at least until I am confident that they are a good alternative shoe for me.
Do you have a tried-and-true running shoe?
Have you tried any minimalist shoes?