Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Brooks Shoe Love

When I first started running I knew nothing about wearing the proper shoes. I read somewhere shortly after that explained why it is important to go to a running store for an assessment before buying sneakers. I already knew I overpronated but I didn't realize it would be such an issue when it came to running. Originally I wanted a pair of Nike's. I thought they were the "cool" shoe and what "real" runners wore. When I went in to my local running store they completely dismissed my idea. They did all of their fancy tests and quickly decided on the Brooks Adrenaline. I tried on a pair of Asics as well but the Adrenaline's provided me with the most support and were more comfortable.

I took those shoes home and went out for a run in them that day. I remember thinking it felt like I was running on clouds. I loved these shoes. Like any good runner I tracked my mileage on my shoes to make sure I didn't put too many miles on them. About 7 months later I decided to get another pair of Adrenaline's in a fancy purple & teal combo. I didn't really need new shoes but I liked how they looked so I went ahead and got them anyway. I wore both pairs pretty regularly, not really choosing one over the other.

Last summer I tried on a pair of the Brooks Pure Cadence and instantly wanted a pair. I was caught up in the popularity of the Pure Project line and wanted a pair of my own. I was hesitant to wear them though because they were more of a minimalist shoe than I was used to and I didn't want to get injured. I eventually made these shoes my track shoes and wear them whenever I go to the track for a workout.

Over the summer I also bought a pair of trail shoes in hopes of actually going to a trail to run. I figured if I had trail shoes then I would drag my butt to the trail. I ended up buying the Brooks Cascadia that I found on sale at a DSW. I tried them on and thought they were comfy so I got them, not knowing anything about how much stability they provide. I wore them a few times over the summer when I dabbled in trail running but they really didn't get too much use until this past fall when I made trail running a regular thing. I still don't know if they are a stability shoe or not but I really like them.

Around Christmas I realized that both of my pairs of Adrenaline's were approaching 400 miles on them. I've read that you can keep running shoes for 300-500 miles and that overpronators are on the shorter end of that spectrum because they need more support. Sure I used the Cascadia for a decent amount of my running in the fall but I hadn't done any significant mileage in anything other than the Adrenaline 11. Brooks has since come out with both an Adrenaline 12 and 13. I was nervous about what upgrades had been made to the shoe, both good and bad.

Today I decided it was time to bite the bullet and look at new running shoes. I wanted to keep my options open and not just buy another pair of Adrenaline's because that was what I already had. If there was a shoe better fit for me I wanted to try it. When I first put on the Adrenaline 13 I didn't like them. They felt very stiff, more so than a new shoe should. I then tried on the Saucony Guide and some New Balance shoe. The Saucony Guide had no support for overpronating despite being advertised as a stability shoe. The New Balance shoe had a decent amount of support but just felt off when I tried running in them.

In the end I bought the Adrenaline. I took them out for a 60 min test run after getting home and couldn't be happier with my decision. I should have known to stick with what I know and love. Now I have 5 total pairs of running shoes in my rotation and they each serve a specific purpose.

  • Adrenaline 11 (both pairs): easy and recovery runs until they are completely worn out
  • Cascadia: all trail running, which is where I do the majority of my runs at school
  • Pure Cadence: track and tempo runs. I am thinking about using these for races too since they are lighter but might stick to shorter races. Not sure yet
  • Adrenaline 13: long runs and runs where my legs are especially tired and need the extra support and cushioning.

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