I wanted a great winter running shoe, not just another trail shoe that would do triple duty as a walking shoe, winter road running shoe, and trail shoe. Something that could:
- Handle some snow, slush, and nasty weather, but still, be good on dry tar or dirt. A multi-purpose outsole
- Breathability is not a big deal. Keeping the feet warmish and mostly dry was more important
- Being wide enough in the toebox not to bother my abused toes or Tailor’s Bunionette
- The midsole did not feel like a brick in sub-freezing temps. It needs to maintain its ability to cushion my odd running style
- Lots of cushioning, I wasn’t looking for a speed shoe, more a daily trainer in the 10 ounces or less range
- Something in the 8-10mm drop area, which now seems to be my sweet spot for daily trainers
- A moderate forefoot rocker that transitions from heel-to-toe nicely
- If possible, be Harold colors, bright, loud, and brassy
Yeah, I was asking a lot.
It came down to a couple of shoes after doing my research over 3-4 days.
- ASICS Evoride
- Nike React Miler
I have run in the Odyssey React and React Flyknit in the past, so I was familiar with how the React midsole felt underfoot but hated the lack of a cushioned tongue to deal with lace bite on the top of the foot, which ended up being the reason I got rid of both those shoes. The Miler (which I believe should have been called Miles) has a real tongue and still had a front rocker, which I wanted.
With the ASICS, I had the Glideride, and while I loved the fit, the forefoot rocker was too aggressive for my ankles, and I ended up getting rid of them. While the Evoride’s front rocker didn’t seem as aggresive as the Glideride, it still seemed very aggressive.
I was grousing and complaining about my running shoes and The Wife, said “Every time you seem to have problems, you end up going back to Nike. Why don’t you stop messing around, and go back to using Nike and then stick with them?”
Yeah, I do listen to her, and as you can guess from the post’s title, I got the Nike React Milers.
Not in Harold colors, though. It came down to either this blue/gray or some base of white or black. All the colorways for the Miler are pretty lame and boring. I didn’t want anything to do with white shoes in Winter again.
I got the Milers in an 8.5 to accommodate thicker socks for Winter running. It was the correct choice. My Darn Tough Merino wool socks fit nicely in the shoes, and the three times that I have worn them (two walks and one run) in temps in the teens, my feet have not felt cold. This lack of breathability might be more of an issue when it gets warmer, but I think I will enjoy the warmer upper for the next three months.
As for weight, I was pleasantly surprised that the 8.5s came in at 9.8 ounces. I didn’t expect them to come in at under 10 ounces from all the reviews I read. This is where I wanted to be. It might not be a big deal to many, but it is a psychological benefit when my shoe are sub 10 ounces.
This morning’s run was a good test of how they would be for Winter running. Temps were in the low teens to start. The roads were snow-covered, and as the temperature climbed, the roads began to melt, making the snow a combination of slush, wet snow, wet tar, and a bit of wet ice.
On the packed snow, the outsole did quite well, although there was a bit of spin-out on toe-off most of the time. The lugs are not trail lugs, so I expect that of road shoes in the snow. It is mostly because of how I run.
While in the slush, they did just okay and were on par with other road shoes I have used in the Winter, but a heckuva lot better than my Beacon 2’s or even the 361 Meraki v1’s that I have been running in lately.
Even though my feet got a little wet, they never felt cold running on the snow or slush, even with the temps in the teens. It was one less thing to worry about, and when running outside in Winter, I want to keep things as worry-free as possible.
The other part that I was pleasantly surprised about was how well I did pace-wise for the first 4.0 miles of the run: 9:18, 9:19, 9:17, and 9:18. Very consistent in some harsh conditions. At 10 ounces, they are not light-weights, but it will be interesting to see how they do on dry pavement.
When I first tried them on, I thought I could feel a little looseness in the left heel cup, so I played with different lacing patterns after each walk and made a runner’s loop, which solved the loose feeling. Other than that, they have felt very comfortable.
Today’s 5.0 mile first run in the React Milers was an excellent introduction to the shoes, and they made a favorable impression. Now to get more miles on them to see how they do going forward.