How Many Running Shoes Do You Need?
I wear the heck out of shoes. It is mostly because I am economical (some would say frugal) and I want to make sure I wear every last centimeter of sole out of a pair. I have had to adjust my ways though since I have started running.
I purchased the first pair at a department sports store. I tried on some trail shoes and they felt comfortable enough in the store so I went with them. I thought they were doing the job but I kept getting Achilles and knee pains that lingered days after running. My wife and friends convinced me to stop being a penny-pincher and go to Fleet Feet to get properly fitted for “real” running shoes. I never believed it was possible but it was a night and day difference on the first run. However, after four months of a 1/2 marathon training program, they were in need of being replaced.
It was hard to let them go but after 400 miles, we said our goodbyes. I went back to Fleet Feet and got fit for my next pair. Even though the first pair of Saucony Grid 4 “special” shoes were great, the Saucony Omni 10‘s felt even better. I still use them even though I have more than 600 miles and 11 months of running on them. The tread is very worn and the fore foot padding is thin but I like keeping them in the rotation for recovery runs less than six miles.
I decided I wanted to go more lightweight on my next pair so I got a pair of Asics Gel NEO33 that I use for my races or interval training runs that are shorter than a 1oK. I have to think a lot about my form in them since they are neutral in support and do not do much to assist me in maintaining proper running form. Since I have long runs in my plan, I needed some more supportive shoes for long runs when my form begins to suffer. I liked the Omni 10 shoe so much I wanted another pair. Unfortunately, they were out of my size so they offered me a great discount on the Saucony Omni 9. This is easily the most disappointed I have been with any of my “special” running shoes to date. They just seem to not offer nearly the same ride and the tread is worn more than the Omni 10’s with half the mileage.
Given the overall disappointment in the Omni 9’s, I needed another shoe to work into long runs. I went back to Fleet Feet and they have the new Saucony Omni 11 shoes. These are the best I have had to date. I only have used them for about a month and have logged a little more than 60 miles on them but they offer the best ride I ever felt with a running shoe. They are lightweight as well.
A picture of my current arsenal is below. I give each its turn to run the streets of my small town. Yes, even the Omni 9’s — I just cannot let them retire early without getting my money’s worth out of them.