Shoes

Saucony Peregrine 2

** Update 7/3/12 – these shoes will live to see about 400 miles before being put down.  I could probably still get another 100 out of them, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the explode somewhere on the trail.  I’m buying 2 more pair for the LT run so that should tell you what I think of this shoe.

** Update 4/15/12 –  After 40 miles, the beginnings of a small tear have appeared on the outside of the toe box. Still very small and I don’t think it got worse after 36 this weekend.  Must have caught a stick or something.  We’ll see how long it holds up.  Super Glued to toe bumper down.

This is what happens when foot meets root on the Metacomet Trail in CT.  I loved the 1st Saucony Peregrine, and luckily my foot escaped without injury, but I was immediately off to the store for a new pair.  After I dusted myself off, and found my water bottles, I realized this run just cost me $100, and I have 1 week to break in a new pair of shoes before a 50k. Sweet.

I was able to get 8 trail miles on the new pair before lacing up for the race.  They felt fine during that run, and I didn’t think twice about them during the race.  A little different feel than the 1st edition, not quite as tight around the foot, a little lighter, but just as durable and comfortable.  I love this shoe.  I’ll be curious to see what the difference is between the Peregrine and the anticipated Kinvara Trail.

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Saucony Kinvara 2

Update: I’ve never had blister issues, but I did get a few from these while on a treadmill. Nothing major.

Update 2: No further blister issues.  I like these shoes more and more, but I’m doing less road running.  It’s just nice to have something so light and comfortable.

My new Christmas shoes!  So far I love them.  I got them to replace my Nike Free, and they are everything I hoped they would be.  They are light, fast, 4mm heal to toe with enough support for a longer run.  They don’t get loose on your feet and they’re construction zone orange.  The original Kinvara was the most popular shoe of 2011 and the Kinvara 2 doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel.

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Brooks Cascadia 6

I’m just starting to take a harder look at shoes and paying attention to what works for me and what doesn’t. This was also my 1st pair of trail specific shoes.  The Cascadia 6 gets great reviews on a lot of running websites, and features their adaptable Brooks DNA cushioning to the heel and forefoot.

I didn’t love the shoe.  I took them out for 15 miles on the Metacomet Trail on a fairly muddy day.  The fit was pretty good, but I quickly realized I would have to really tighten them to get a good wrap.  I had to adjust the laces and the tongue several times during the run, something I never do.  I was also pretty disappointed with the traction.  It was a wet day from rain the previous day, and I slipped on both rocks and mud.  I didn’t have much confidence in my footing.  Lastly, I have flat feet and tend perform better in a lower heel.  The Cascadia 6 has a 34mm heel and a 11mm heel to toe drop.  This caused a few slight ankle turns but luckily nothing major.  The shoe was comfortable and did protect my feet on a fairly rocky trail with steep ascents and descents.  REI was awesome and took them back no problem.

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Saucony Peregrine

Update: I’ve worn these in the snow and mud and I still love them.  Traction on these is great.  They are sturdy while still letting your foot feel the ground.

Took these bad boys out 1st weekend of October, just in time for Halloween.  The trail was full of rocks, both slick and loose, roots, mud, and tree stumps.  Fairly steep climbs and descents.  I loved them!  After my experience with the Cascadias I was nervous about finding the right shoe.   The Peregrine hugged my feet nicely so I could maintain agility on technical terrain. They had great traction, and allowed me to run confidently.  This shoe is built on the same platform as the popular Kinvara and feature the same low profile 4mm heel to toe drop.  This is exactly what I was looking for.

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Nike Free 3.0

Update: I’ve had these shoes for 20 months and they are still in full rotation at the gym.  As far as construction goes, these hold up great.

I want to love these shoes.  I really do.  Sometimes they’re great, and sometimes I hate them.  I read all about these shoes and was so excited to get them. I loved the concept of a minimal shoe designed to move with your feet instead of controlling them.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t meant to be.  They always felt too loose on my feet, like they needed a better wrap on my midfoot.  After a few months and only light miles, they feel stretched out.  I do like them at the gym, but even then they aren’t great sometimes.  My feet go numb when I do Box Jumps in the Nike Free, but feel fine in the Vibram KSO’s. I’m not sure what that means, but don’t do box jumps in them.  I will continue to use this shoe on the track or runs under 5 miles, but they aren’t an everyday shoe for me.

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Vibram 5 fingers KSO

I love these shoes.  I’ve run up to 6 miles on gravel trail with these and 3-4 miles on trails with rocks and roots. A mile or 2 on Asphalt. You pay the price a bit with these if the terrain isn’t forgiving.  I love them on grass or soft trail, and they are great at the gym.  I like having the barefoot element available to me during my training so these play an important role in my shoe line-up.  The 5 Fingers are comfortable, fun to run in, and have a long life.  Mine smell terrible, but you can toss them in the washer when it gets to be too much.  I will definitely replace these once it’s time for a new pair.

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Brooks Defyance 2

I got these about a year ago and was quickly informed by the organizer of a local running group that they were “last year’s model”.  I’m not sure what that means, but I am sure that I like this shoe for everyday running.  I bought these before I knew anything about running shoes.  I went to this shoe store in CT, The Run In, and it was unlike any place I’d ever been.  There were about 3 pairs of shoes on display and about 1000 boxes of shoes in no particular order.  The owner looks at your old shoes and brings out your new shoes. There is very little discussion on the matter, and I have to say he got it pretty right for me.

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