I am a huge bargain shopper, whenever I do shop, which is not very often because:
a) I am a underemployed graduate student
b) Where I live there is a Wal-mart, K-mart, and….yup, that’s it.
But, I do not have a problem internet shopping. Sometimes it is too easy. Amazon, ebay, and Sierra Trading Post all have my credit card on file. I get addicted to finding really good deals on really quality products. Like my 4frnt skis or my Columbia omni-fleece.
I used to be the one that bought any athletic shoe that was on sale for $29.99. Then, 4 years ago I decided to run a marathon. At about the 10 mile mark of training I realized that those shoes were not going to cut it. I was introduced to Asics 2130, I believe was the model at the time (now they are like the 2170s or something). They were just under $100 and worked fabulous for my feet. I tried a pair of Brooks Adrenaline somewhere around mile 23 of the training. They worked great at first, but I realized that my feet swell on high mileage runs, so buying a half size up now became necessary. These shoes also became worn down really quickly. It was back to a new pair of Asics about 3 weeks before the marathon.
I hung on the buying the same model of Asics for the next 3 years. They worked. And I became a pro at buying them on clearance at Dick’s, Amazon, or running warehouse. Sometimes I could pick them up for $30 or $40. The last pair of Asics that I bought was exactly 1 year ago. My orthopedic surgeon had cleared me to run again. Ironically, the day I was cleared to run, I tripped on those shoes neatly lined up next to my bed and broke my foot again. Seriously, no joke.
I could not really run again without pain and discomfort, both mentally and physically until last September. Then I decided to run a half marathon. Go big or go home-right. I realized out on a 13 mile run that my gait had changed as a result of the ironclad foot and I needed to think about a new shoe. I bought another pair of Brooks Adrenalines thinking maybe things had changed. They didn’t. They lasted about 10 runs and then I felt the support gone. I read some blogs and heard about Mizunos. I went to the local running shop and found a pair of Nirvanas. I was in love.
These were a stability shoe and I should have had a neutral shoe, but I thought I would try them anyways. I got them on sale for $100, but knew that they really price themselves around $140. They have lasted me until now and even still they have a few miles left in them. I read around some more and found that the Mizuno Wave Riders are a neutral shoe, comparable to the Nirvana but priced less. So, I hit the button on amazon last week when I found them for $50 with free shipping.
The plan is to switch between my two pairs of Minzunos. The ones that I have now will be for shorter runs-under 10 miles. They are my exact foot size. The ones I just bought are a half size up and are for long runs because my feet swell during long runs. I think that this will help prevent from wearing out the new pair too quickly as well. Although, these Mizunos seem to last forever.
My advice for finding a running shoe that works for you:
1. Start at a local running shop. Have them do a gait analysis and then try on several shoes. Many times they have a return policy of 30 days. If you don’t like them, you can exchange them for something else.
2. Be sure to change your running shoes every 3-6 months or about 350 miles. Many times there are tell tale physical signs. For me it is achy knees. Others get shin splints.
3. You know what they say, if the shoe fits-stick with it. It will make your runs far more enjoyable. You may even be able to find great deals on them.
What running shoe do you swear by?
Do you enjoy the thrill of internet bargain shopping too?