Since it is December it is time to start looking back at what happened in 2016. With me that usually means I get started by looking back at the running shoes I ran in this past year.
This year I am going to blame my wanting to run too fast, too soon, too far and too often for all the problems with my left leg that started in May. It was completely my fault not the shoes…well maybe the shoes helped me want to run fast and maybe I was wearing the wrong shoes at the wrong times.
After all injuries and poor running is always the shoe’s fault and never the runner’s – right.
I just have to remember that.
If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn or rather a few used shoes for sale at a great prices.
There were no running shoes this year that made it over 300 miles in 2016. None, zip, nada. That is for the first time in many years. Too much of Harold being Harold, injury down-time and at the start of the year being on the Pearl Izumi Run Champion Team for 2016 until May.
Some of the shoes on this list are multiyear shoes like the N1 Trail, H3 Road and Hyperspeed 6, which I got in 2015 and have kept them around to run in during this year.
*Still In Rotation
200 Mile Shoes
Pearl Izumi EM/N1 v1 Trail – 241.78 (closeout 2015) – My winter shoes from 2015. I like these shoes a lot and will not be getting rid of them anytime soon. Once my left leg is fully healed they might even see some time back on my feet.
The lower drop and my Achilles, doesn’t work well together, when it is weak or compromised, so I have kept them in the closet all summer and fall. I am getting closer though and next spring or summer they might re-appear in the rotation.
*Mizuno Inspire 11 – 232.45 (closeout) – The shoes that I really attribute to letting my left leg heal while I kept running. Unfortunately, they are a dead-end shoe since the Inspire 13’s have already been released and the 13’s are a lot heavier than the 11’s, so I am not even looking at them.
The thing is that my left knee has been bothering me when I wear them lately, which is not a good sign. I really like the Inspire 11’s and they have done everything that I would want from a pair of daily trainers, however, if they continue to bother my knee, well it will be time to let them go.
Pearl Izumi EM/H3 v1 Road – (closeout 2015) 227.70 – A shoe that I run well in, like all Pearl Izumi shoes they are smooth, quiet and comfortable. I really do not know why I stopped running in them, other than they were not cool or sexy compared to others I had in my rotation. That too many shoes, not enough miles to go around thing.
They are what I call a workhorse shoe – I can do my recovery or long runs comfortably in them and they are light enough that if I had to I could pound out a pretty quick pace. I have a feeling they were more of the solution than part of the problem back in May, but were put in the back of the garage after I left PI. I have a feeling that at some point they will come out of the back of the garage become a pair of Lazarus running shoes.
Pearl Izumi EM/N1 v2 Road – (first run) 209.12 – The N1’s were tweener shoes, not fast feeling enough to be race day/fast workout shoes, but at the same time, not quite enough shoe to be my daily trainers, recovery or long run shoes.
The thing was that I do like to run in them, but it seemed whenever I would run they weren’t quite what I was looking for on that day and I would always complain to myself about how I would rather of run in “x” shoe for that workout or run. Which is why I stopped running in them and put them in the back of the truck as my “just in case shoes”.
Nike Lunar Glide 7 – 209.85 (closeout) – I got these in May, when my leg was at its worst. I knew that I needed a higher drop shoe and I had a pair of LG-5’s that I ran in last year that I really liked, so I figured why not. The LG7’s and I coexisted very nicely most of the summer.
The biggest reason I stopped running in them was that the outsole wear was very significant for me and in wet weather the lack of traction was a bit treacherous. When the LG8’s came out I loved the fit, but where I run down-back on a dirt road a lot and in the winter the snow, slush and crap – the new outsole made them an obvious pass and paying around $100 for last year’s shoes wasn’t appealing to me.
100 Mile Shoes
Pearl Izumi EM/M3 v2 Road – 115.73 (first run) – Ah…the M3 Road, I had to fight myself to wear them as often as I did. Yes, they were smooth, quiet, had a very nice multipurpose sole and were very comfortable, but felt like they weighed a ton.
Yeah, I know just over 11.0 ounces ain’t that bad, but damn they just felt so damned heavy and seemed to suck the energy right out of me during a run, that I would always look at other shoes, before reminding myself that I needed to get some more miles on them.
Asics Hyperspeed 6 – 100.20 (on sale – 2015) – Actually I only ran in these maybe 3 or 4 times this year and did most of my miles in them last year, but I am hesitant to let them go, because they are a fast as hell shoe and don’t hurt me when I run in them!!!
Unfortunately, I don’t have confidence in how they handle wet/damp conditions and would only use them on the track or a dry course that I planned to go fast (for me). This is one of those 2015 holdovers that I just can’t bring myself to get rid of.
*Mizuno Kazan 2 – 89.13 (closeout) – My winter, nasty weather and when the left leg is as good as it is going to get, my trail shoes. There is still something that makes the right shoe feel like something is poking my foot below the lacing eye when I just wear them around, but doesn’t bother at all when I run in them???? However, no matter how much look at or feel that area, I can’t figure out what to hell is causing that feeling, which is leaving me scratching my head.
Otherwise the MK2’s are doing fantastic on all the terrains and in the nastier weather I have put it through. Even though they do not have a rock plate, I wouldn’t hesitate to take them on single-track for up to 6 miles or so, after that I think my feet would let me know that I need a rock plate and the N1’s would be a better choice. The Kazan 2’s are also about 1/2 to a full size too large, but when I start wearing my wool socks, this weekend, I will be glad for the extra room.
Pearl Izumi EM/N1 Tri v2 (first run) – I don’t know why I even got this shoe, it was my Pearl Izumi Run Champions choice and I should have stuck with the N0’s that I originally wanted – stoopid me. They were too heavy for racing and didn’t feel fast or all that comfortable for me, from the day I got them.
I fought to like them and like the N1 Roads they were a tweener shoe that I didn’t feel comfortable running faster in (I had better choices) and were not enough shoe (for me) to run longer or recovery runs in. I worked hard to like them, but never really fell in love with them and they found a different home.
Under Armour Bandit 2 – 63.51 (first run) – Initially, I really liked the ride and how comfortable the Bandit 2’s were right out of the box.
Unfortunately, the lack of support in the upper was a deal breaker and when I started coming over the sole with my foot when cornering as they broke in, I was happy that the store took them back.
*Adidas Adios Boost 3 – 50.44 (on sale) – My new favorite shoes. I got them for running faster and the treadmill this winter and they have impressed me so much that I wouldn’t hesitate to do more than that in them. I run well in them and the Boost material seems to make a huge difference in the feel and what I would use them for.
Although I was a bit disappointed in the quality of the workmanship on the upper and while it was only cosmetic flaws this time, based on other reports, it doesn’t make me warm and fuzzy going forward.
Under 50 Miles
Under Armour Apollo 2 – 28.25 (first run) – Initially, I really, really liked them…unfortunately, the more that I ran in them, I started to have problems with my left plantar fascia – only when I ran in the Apollo’s.
I have had 3 other pair of shoes do this and when I forced myself to keep running in them, they did nothing but cause me PF problems, so back they went to Running Warehouse.
Nike Streak LT3 – 33.85 (on sale) – Probably the cause of all the issues I had with my left leg/Achilles this year. I had been running well, injury-free and I got them on 5/3 and by 5/17 I was on the IR. I had this bright idea that I wanted to run a fast mile and needed a pair of racing flats to run the time that I wanted, somewhere south of 6:00.
The LT3’s were perfect for running fast, my problem was that I liked to run in them for other things as well…like an 6 & 7 milers at a faster than I was used to pace, just to see if I could – I shouldn’t have and then a few days later running at a sub 6:00 minute pace – on purpose. They are a shoe that I cannot wear without injuring myself in them. The LT3’s are a shoe I would have loved 30 years ago, but as much I love them now, they have gone to someone who will be able to use them the way they are supposed to be used – to run fast in them.
*Puma Mobium Swiftstrike – 15.27 (closeout) – So far so good. These are shoes that I have wanted to try for a couple of years and due to several reasons never got around to doing so.
I have done 2 runs of 4.0 miles and a 7.0 miler in them, without any problems and they just feel very comfortable. Time will tell, but I do kind of wish I had tried them out a couple of years ago.
*Mizuno Hitogami 2 – 15.19 (closeout) – They are supposed to be Christmas presents that I used for a little while, when I wasn’t supposed to. The right foot seemed to bother a little too much (too snug in the forefoot where my bunionette is). So I will put these away for next spring/summer to see how it goes then.
I do like them a lot otherwise. Sometimes what doesn’t work on the treadmill works fine outside and what works great outside ain’t worth a damn on the treadmill. I still say it is a slightly different way of running, just enough different to make shoes work or not work sometimes.
Nike Lunar Tempo 2 – 0.00 (closeout) – I didn’t even try to run in them. The flexi-film on the toe box immediately bothered my big toe, so I sent them back the next day.
Shoe of the Year
After all that hot air, what was my shoe of the year for 2016?
Before I started writing this post, there wasn’t a lot of doubt in my mind, even though they only had 50 miles on them the adidas Adios Boost 3, but the more I thought about it, 50 miles is not enough to declare a shoe my shoe of the year.
So what is my shoe of the year?
Drumroll please….the Mizuno Inspire 11’s.
They did everything and more than I expected of my running shoes while I have run in them. The only knock is that recently my left knee has been bothering when I run or walk in them. Before this started, I loved running in them and believe that they were part of the reason that my left leg was supported enough for it actually start to heal properly.
They check-off all the boxes for what I want in a pair of running shoes, higher drop, good cushioning, a firmer ride, under 10 oz, a little bit of stability and I enjoyed running in them.
Those are my running shoes of 2016 – all 16 of them.
I have hope that there will be fewer shoes in 2017, but with more miles on them. I know that I will probably always run in more shoes than many runners – I love to tinker and experiment, but at the same time I have gone away from the first run shoes and back buying hold-overs that are on discount or on sale (11 out of 16).
So it isn’t as bad on the wallet as it could have been and I still get to try out a few more shoes than I would otherwise. After all, last year’s models were at one time the “next great thing” and a top-notch shoe.
A pretty good year with my running shoes. 🙂