Running Shoe Shopping Binge

Over the last few years as I got to know more and more runners, one of the things that I have noticed that many runners do is rotate a number of different brands, styles, types of shoes. I have always been a little intrigued by this, but have never been much of an experimenter. My approach has always been to find a shoe that worked, then rotate it with an identical shoe, usually of a different color.

But one of the pieces of advice that I got from Coach as we are starting to work together is to try to supplement my current shoe (Brooks PureCadence, what I would call a lightweight trainer) with an even lighter “racing” shoe and a heavier “trainer”. It has been several years since I have gone through the shoe shopping process, and to be honest, I wasn’t really excited about it. I was feeling mostly overwhelmed by the options and a little nervous about ending up with something that I wasn’t happy with.

But, alas, Chanthana made a good point at dinner Friday night…when I said “I just don’t know if I have the time to put into shoe shopping.” Β She made the very true (yet, pretty obvious) statement that, “I could make time if I really wanted to.” Point well taken. {And, Thank you Chanthana!} So the next day (Saturday) I headed out on a shoe finding mission. (Little did I know I would be out on a bike finding mission the next day…it was an expensive weekend. It makes me a little queasy thinking about it.)

Note: I am stealing this format from Lora, who also recently went through this process. I won’t talk about the technical details of the shoes here. If you wanted to know the weight, drop, etc., I am guessing you would probably go to the shoe’s respective website. I wanted to tell you more about my experience with trying them on and the feel.Β 



Nike Lunar Racer – Coach wears this shoe. It had a good feel when I put it on, but I wasn’t a fan of the super thin tongue and I know in a racer I should feel the ground more, but it felt really stiff on the bottom.

2013-07-26 08-27-58_Nike Store

Addidas Adios – Kristy professed her love for this shoe Friday so I was excited to try it. They were a good fit, but I felt a weird lump under the outside of both feet.


Brooks PureConnect – I thought I would love the other Pure Project line of shoes since I am such a fan of the Cadence and I liked the Flow when I tried them on too. The Connect was an awful fit. It was very, very narrow and had a super high arch support, plus a wide toe box. It just felt awkward.

pure connect

Brooks PureDrift – This shoe is meant to be the most “barefoot” of this line. Thus a really big toe box and I felt like I needed to lace it really, really tight to get it to fit. It was weird and just not a good fit for me at all.


New Balance RC 1600 (Runner Up) – I liked the look of this shoe to start, but tried not to let it influence me. It was a nice, snug fit throughout, with a longish toe box, which I like. It felt light, but much more flexible and cushiony than the Nike & Addidas.


Saucony Fastwitch – Big fan here. Same fit and feel as the A5, but with slightly more stability and cushion. Depending on how the A5 works out for me, this may be my next racing shoe if I feel like I need a little *more* shoe. Or it could potentially even be worked in to rotate with the Cadence as a trainer.


Mizuno Sayonara – I really loved this shoe too. It was comfortable, had a nice fit and felt good to run in. The only issue is that this is a little too similar to the Cadence. It wasn’t really the ‘racing’ shoe that I was seeking. I could definitely see myself rotating this in with my next pair of Cadence as my regular trainer though.


WINNER:Β Saucony A5. I knew when I put it on that it was the right shoe. It fit like a glove, felt super light, but still felt like it had some cushion on the bottom. I took it for a test run during my speed work Tuesday and I definitely am in love. It is so light and made me want to shorten up my stride, which I know is good for me.

saucony a5

I also tried on a bunch of trainers last Saturday. The objective was to find something little heavier than the Cadence to wear on recovery/easy runs and maybe for long runs sometimes. I won’t go into all the details because I didn’t find it nearly as exciting as shopping for the racing shoe, but I ended up choosing the Brooks Ghost. I ordered them on-line with a discount and they haven’t arrived yet, but I will share good/bad/ugly when they do!

Who else loves the A5? Thoughts on the others?

About Corey

I am a 30-something swim, bike, run addict married to my best friend and in love with my two schnoodle doggies.
This entry was posted in running, training, workout clothes. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Running Shoe Shopping Binge

  1. Congrats! I just bought myself new racing flats last night – but I always get the new version of the same shoe – New Balance 1400. I recommend them like crazy – light and fast – great for all distances. I’m on my 4th pair and these ones have TIE DYE on them. πŸ™‚

  2. I’m curious about race flats. In the book I’m following, they suggest it for 3:10 marathoners and below. My goal is around there, but I’m scared to use something other than my fun trainers or hurt myself, Would love to see your reviews on how you feel post race with race flats!

  3. lvrunsnyc says:

    Ah! Congrats πŸ™‚ The Saucony A5 are my FAVORITE shoe. They’re amazing. Many happy, speedy miles to you in them! xo

  4. Lauren says:

    I LOVE my A5s!! So light and responsive. I feel so speedy in them…which is what matters most in a racing flat, right? I had the Adios before the A5s and liked them because they provide a little more support, but ultimately I love how light the A5s are.

    Also…I have to admit that I’m happy to see you didn’t chose the Sayonara only because I don’t think I could handle one more blogger telling me just how “great” they are… πŸ˜‰

  5. chanthana says:

    You were very thorough with your shoe-shopping! The trick is finding out what works for you. I’m glad to see you got some new shoes that you love. I adore the LunaRacers (for speed & intervals) and the Adios for racing. Happy running, Corey! Thanks for the mention and looking forward to seeing you again soon (preferably over a bottle of wine πŸ˜‰ )

  6. I love Saucony!!! I currently have two pair that I rotate – the Kinvara and Triumph. But I love the Kinvara and normally opt for that instead of the Triumph. Plus my last pair of Triumphs was great, but I can’t seem to get comfortable in my current pair and it’s really annoying – same model and everything. I think running shoe shopping is so fun, I got excited just seeing the title of your post πŸ™‚

  7. elizabeth says:

    i’ve only tried on the mizuno sayonaras and I loved the way the felt. but i won’t need any sort of racing flat for a while-never rotated either. will be interested to see how you like doing it.

  8. erin says:

    As someone who’s been a runner for most of her life, you’d think I’d have a bazillion pairs of running shoes. Alas, I only have one (which is a little ridiculous considering all this IM training). I’m currently wearing Nike ZM Elites and love ’em, but definitely need another pair (or two) to rotate. Thanks for the great post… I have a little shopping to do!

  9. we’ve had this discussion via text and twitter, but i adore the fastwitch as a racer/speed shoe! before recently i had never really rotated types/brands either, but i must say i like it– although it’s an expensive “hobby”! i moved from asics last fall to the brooks ravennas and LOVED them! recently, i tried the saucony omni for a “trainer” and thought i liked it, but it was too much support for me and my IT band got angry! for some reason mizunos and i just don’t get along- although i’ve tried to find the love other bloggers seem to have for the brand. so to recap, i currently “train” in the ravennas and do speed/shorter races in fastwitches. will likely add saucony guide to the rotation soon…oh, i also have the puregrit trail shoes (like the fit, didn’t love them on the trails- too slick)

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