After I somehow put a hole in my Nike Dual Fusions the other day I needed a new pair of running shoes. Shopping for a new pair of running shoes is one of those things I love and hate – all at the same time.
I love it because
I get to see all the new running shoes styles up close and personal. Instead of just reading reviews from other blogs, manufacturers websites, advertisements, magazines and other online review of those shoes. New shoes also tend to reinvigorate me to run more.
I hate it because
it usually takes me so damn long to try on 15-20 pair of shoes, 4-5 different stores and taking up half a day, just to figure out which pair of shoes I am actually going to put my money down on. An apt expression, because when you buy a new pair of shoes, you are gambling that the shoes you buy will work for you and in today’s market – almost $100 for a pair of running shoes is a healthy wager on a fixed income.
What was I looking for in a running shoe?
A shoe with a low heel-to-toe drop, heading down the minimalist running shoe spectrum. I have run in my old racing shoes pretty much for the past month, so I believe that they are rather minimalist anyway, so I wanted to go a step further this time (not quite ready for the Vibram 5 fingers yet).
While I really prefer a small locally owned running shop, the nearest one is about 40 miles away in Brunswick and I really didn’t feel like driving there to get running shoes today. Those kind of shoe stores usually have people working there that actually use or have used similar shoes to the ones you are looking to buy and can offer some expert advice, that you might be able to use.
Unfortunately, there are no small running specialty stores in the Augusta area, so to do running shoe shopping locally, I have to go to Dick’s Sporting Goods, Famous Footwear, Lamey-Wellehan or Olympia Sports, which are okay, but sometimes the choice is not what I am looking for and the staff not as knowledgeable about running shoe design or uses.
First stop was Famous Footwear, I went in and looked around. The young woman who was there was nice enough and tried to be helpful, but when I said I was looking for minimalist trail running shoes. She looked at me with a blank look and then looked around a little nervously and said “mmmm you are in the running shoe section.” I told her I didn’t really need her help and kind of shoooed her away. I figured at that point I knew more about what I was looking for than she did.
The Shoe Choices
I looked around and they had 3 pairs of shoes, out of the 7-8 that I had researched online.
|The shoes to try on|
Adidas Response Trail
The Adidas just didn’t feel right and were quite heavy compared to the other 2, so they were the first to be put back. I have run in several different styles of Adidas shoes, but the only ones that I ever really had a lot of luck with were the original blue Marathon Trainers with the Dillinger Web (I had 3 pair of those). I would love to find a pair of those in a size 8 :-).
The Reebok shoes were very comfortable on the right foot, but the left one there was something funny about the heel that made me think that these were going to be a blister in waiting. After taking them off and on 5 times and wearing them around the store, I decided against them. If it hadn’t been for how the left heel felt, I would have had a very difficult choice between the Peregrine and these, that is how much I liked the feel of the right foot.
|Saucony Peregrine at home|
The Saucony shoes just felt right the first time I put them on. However, they were also 8.5 and I have worn 8.0 for far too many years and was a little concerned that I was going to buy a pair of shoes that would be too large.
Unfortunately, the store didn’t have any 8.0s, but they passed the thumb test between my big toe and the end of the shoe.
However, the more that I wore them around the store (the other 5 times) though they definitely felt more and more comfortable and not too long (I have read that some other people have had sizing issues, so going up a 1/2 size didn’t concern me near as much as it would have otherwise). The Peregrines had enough room in the toe box and felt snug enough so that when I do run on trails, I shouldn’t have problems because of my foot moving around excessively.
Also, I have had several pair of Saucony running shoes (10+) over my running career, starting way back when the original Jazz, then the Dixons, plus a bunch of other Saucony models (I used to love going to the Saucony outlet store in Bangor, but it is now closed).
However, I stopped running in Saucony when my last pair of Hurricanes, had a higher heel than I wanted and it caused me some problems with my Achilles tendons. Now that Saucony is changing its line to lower heel-to-toe drop, I am much more interested in running in their shoes again.
Truthfully I did read a lot of reviews about the Peregrine before going out shopping and was leaning in that direction before I left the house this morning. From what I have read, that they are a high quality shoe that should meet my needs quite well.
Saving $10.00 didn’t hurt either.
I feel pretty comfortable with the gamble (choice) I am taking on buying the Saucony Peregrines as my newest pair of running shoes. Now I just have to go out and try out these shoes beyond walking around in the store. Right now of course it is pouring rain, so I will wait a bit to see if it dies down a bit before I go get my feet wet.
After all I am one of those fair-weather runners 😉 .