If you read any sort of running magazine, blog, post on FB, etc. you know that there is a hot debate about minimalist running shoes vs. traditional shoes. I’m not here to debate that issue. I’m just here to tell you what I wear.
As you can tell from Desma’s recent posts, she is an avid minimalist when it comes to her shoes. Her husband is as well and they love that style. I, on the other hand, would LOVE to wear those shoes but it doesn’t seem to be in the cards for me. At least, not yet. Maybe one day as I strengthen my feet, ankles, and legs. Pretty much my entire lower half.
I wear two different shoes. One pair for road running and a pair for trail running. I’m the kind of person who once I discover something works for me, I will buy it over and over and over and OVER. So I think I’m on my fourth pair of New Balance 860v3 as my road shoe.
New Balance 860v3
“The 860v3 is the go-to shoe for overpronators. With the contoured fit of a NuFoam saddle, a larger ABZORB crash pad, and a T-BEAM TPU shank offering enhanced torsional stability, it’s designed to provide a light, smooth and stable run.” New Balance
Sounds like the description for an army tank and they kind of look that way too but that may caused by the large size of my feet. However, I’ve been using them since I was diagnosed with “Runner’s knee” (aka PFPS) a year ago and they seem to be doing the trick. Haven’t had that issue since. I have developed tibialis posterior tendonitis since I was training for my marathon. Basically, my arch is falling in my right foot and it’s yanking on the tendons surrounding my ankle bone. It’s been swollen for months. That hasn’t gone away but it has been helped by using a “SuperFeet” insert and taping and strengthening the muscles in my feet. The only way to fix it is to stop running and that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. (Hey, you know you do it, too!)
My new trail shoes are Asics Gel Scouts. I’ve never worn Asics before so I went into them without any sort of idea of how they would be.
“This new addition to the ASICS® trail shoe family provides full ground contact and utilizes full outsole coverage in order to provide great protection and ground feel. Aggressive lugs ensure optimal traction on the trail. The upper features a supportive cage structure around a soft mesh lining, ensuring comfort, durability, and a secure fit.” Asics
How do I feel about them now? I’ve only tested them twice and compared to my New Balance they are waaaay better on the trails, obviously! They are made for overpronators, like me, and provide decent cushioning. They have a rock plate in the bottom to avoid bruising of my tootsies which I am grateful for but they still feel pretty bulky. They don’t exactly look sleek either but I can pass on good looks if you make me feel good. 😉 (Sorry guys, I had to.)
The drop in the Asics is less than the drop in my New Balance. I’m unable to find on their respective sites just how much different but it’s not noticeable. The only difference I’ve really seen is in the stiffness in the sole and the Asics are slightly more form fitting on my foot so I’m not slipping around inside my shoe constantly. That’s not a problem while road running but when running over roots and rocks, if my foot shifts unexpectedly inside my shoe, I end up rolling my ankle. I do that enough on my own. Let’s not make it happen even more frequently.
So now you know what I wear. What kind of shoes do you wear? Are you a minimalist or a traditionalist?