The Year in Running Shoes – 2018

This has been a really strange year for me with regard to running shoes. After saying at the start of it that I would reduce the number of shoes that I would run in to around ten, I have run in closer to thirty.

Yeah, quite a lot closer to thirty pair of running shoes, actually twenty-eight and this doesn’t include the VF 4% or a couple of pair of Torin 3.5s that I got to play around with one day for short distances thanks to Sam at Road, Trail, Run. Plus all the ones that I tried on and either didn’t get or didn’t keep.

  • Green – Still in Rotation
  • Yellow – Not sure of their place yet
  • Red – Not in current rotation. Either gone, going to be gone or are legacy shoes that I will put into storage and keep the memories.

As you can see from my running log screen shot that the mileages varied considerably. Some shoes I found out pretty quickly they were not going to work that well for me and others even though they made it to the 50 mile review – they were not really what I was looking for.

Current Rotation

However, as the year went on, I was able to narrow down what works for me and have mostly settled pretty much the following running shoe rotation by December 2018:

  1. Adidas Tempo 9

  1. Reebok RunFast

  1. Adidas Adios 3

  1. Adidas Response Boost 2

  1. Nike WildHorse v1

I spent most of the year searching for a daily trainer that I could run comfortably in and while I have been able to find three to four “go faster” shoes over the course of 2018, finding that daily trainer has been an elusive beast. Well it is has been an elusive beast for several years now, so what else is new.

What kind of running shoe am I looking for as a daily trainer? Continue reading “The Year in Running Shoes – 2018”

Adidas Tempo 9 – 50 Mile Review

Every once in a while there is a shoe style that you have been looking at for several model versions. You have picked them up and looked at the style and the changes more than a few times over the years, read multiple reviews and even thought about getting a pair when the previous models have been on closeout, but never got around to doing it.

For me that is the Adidas Adizero Tempo line of running shoes. Unfortunately, since the late 80’s adidas running shoes and my feet were not a match made in heaven. The pointy, narrow toe box and often heavier than I like running shoes were not what I wanted on my feet. Plus there is nowhere locally that sells the adidas performance line of shoes, so I usually looked at other brands.

That being said, I have run in a 3-4 of adidas’ Boost based running shoes over the past 5-6 years and while I have been impressed with the Boost part of the shoes, but typically disliked the way the uppers fit my weird feet, with the exception of the Adios 3, but the performance fit was a bit too snug in the past for me.

Although I have to admit that when I read Sam’s review of them over at Road, Trail, Run, Sole Review’s words of wisdom and Dr. Klein’s review last year, I was much more intrigued by them. A stability shoe that didn’t weigh a ton, comfortable (wider toe box, narrow heel), decent outsole and best of all featuring the Boost midsole which I really like how it feels under foot.

However, I had other shoes that I wanted to try when those reviews came out.

Earlier this month I had hit a weird spot in my running shoe rotation where nothing in the house seemed to be really what I was looking for and one night while wandering around the Internet, I read a review on the Tempo 9s again and clicked the link. When I got there I found a sweet deal for a pair of Tempo 9s on Amazon and thought why not get them. Continue reading “Adidas Tempo 9 – 50 Mile Review”

Adidas Response Boost 2 – 50 Mile Review

Okay, let’s get back to the running shoes I usually write about – those older ones that are on the closeout, clearance racks or found on eBay for really cheap prices. Like how I found the adidas Response Boost 2 TechFit back in September.

The price was more than right, they appeared to be nearly new from the lack of wear on the outsole and the real reason was that I really wanted to try running in adidas Boost running shoes again. Running shoes with the Boost midsole have always intrigued me, but the ones that I have run in the past just didn’t fit correctly, were WAY too heavy or I have been sticker shocked out of wanting or being able to buy them.

Also I was wondering if there are any differences between the Boost midsoles of the “serious” Boost shoes found in run specialty versus the those lower priced offerings found in the big box stores. Just one of those things I have always wondered about. If I figure out anything that might be its own post down the road, but for now let’s just say – it depends and leave it at that. Continue reading “Adidas Response Boost 2 – 50 Mile Review”

Saucony Breakthru 4 – 50 Mile Review

An almost current running shoe in the Saucony Breakthru 4s, what’s going on Harold?

A helluva deal on eBay and having some pretty good success running in some other Saucony models lately, gave me hope that the Breakthru 4s would be more in line with what would work even better for me, especially since they do not have the ISO Fit lacing.

I guess that is question I need to answer – did the Saucony Breakthru 4s work better for me? Continue reading “Saucony Breakthru 4 – 50 Mile Review”

How to Screw Up a Perfectly Good Shoe Line – adidas

I recently got in a pair of adidas Response Boost 3s and the changes from the v2s make them a completely different style of running shoe. So I was fairly disappointed when I got to looking closely at them.

Let’s back up a little.

I really, really like the way adidas Boost midsoles feel underfoot and have run in a few of the Boosted models. The biggest issue I tend to have with the adidas brand running shoes was always the narrow, tapered toe boxes that they seemed to have.

Due to a couple of things I have been able to run more in narrower shoes and lately have gone back to running in more in adidas running shoes recently. Plus it seems that some of adidas’ running shoe lines have relaxed the forefoot fit – in my opinion a very good thing.

One of the shoes that I have liked for the most part is the adidas Response 2 TechFit. Yeah another one of those older models that you can find fairly cheap, but still have some life left in them.

While I had some issues with them initially, they do fit well, are very comfortable and now that they have broken in a bit, have become my preferred shoes. No they are not the top of the adidas line of running shoes, but they were a reasonably priced model that seems to work well for me.

Since I like the Response 2s as well as I do, when I had a chance to get a pair of the Response 3s for a great price on eBay, I decided why not go for it.

I sort of wish that I hadn’t bought them now that I have them in my hands.

They are quite simply a different shoe.

The Response Boost 3s gained way too much weight and went from having a fairly simple upper to something where I had to scratch my head and ask why?

They went from a running shoe that could compete pretty nicely and be in a similar price range with the Nike Pegasus, Saucony Ride, Mizuno Wave Rider, Reebok Sweet Road or Grasse Road and others in this light-weight/lower cost daily trainer category to a WTF is going on.

Yeah they still have the Boost midsole and with the changes to that design I expected a bit of weight gain, but damn the upper sucks in the Response Boost 3s compared to the 2s.

When I got to looking close at them, I decided that a pair of scissors would cut down the weight a little without any structural changes.

The green Xs are what is now gone (fabric adidas tag on the tongues and pull tabs on the heels), half an ounce doesn’t sound like much, but I can feel the difference.

After I run in them a few times I will decide on those seemingly useless lace strips that I circled in yellow and just punch a lace hole in the normal place. There is a plastic overlay under that strip to give some support to the upper, so unless this strip actually does something it probably needs to go away too.

Also adidas choice of laces seems to be a bit overkill.

So with a few more changes I might be able to lighten up the shoe a bit more. I don’t think they will be sub 10 ounce shoes like the 2s, but it would be nice to get them down a little more.

Sometimes, I think that brands screw-up decent shoes by attempting to make them into something they are not. For me the Response Boost 2s were a basic light-weight trainer without too many frills.

I am not sure of the direction adidas meant to move with the Response Boost 3s, but they were redesigned and no longer are a pair of basic light-weight daily trainers in my opinion. The pull-tabs in back are not really necessary, the side lacing strip is of questionable use/value and the fabric adidas label on the tongue makes me scratch my head and wonder why all these extras were even necessary.

All they do is add unnecessary weight to a running shoe that was going to gain a bit of extra weight from the design change to the midsole.

The other part is just from a looks department, the Response Boost 2s look like a decently styled shoe, while the 3s seem busy and the components don’t work well together and the fabric label made them look cheap.

I know that both of these shoes are long in the tooth and not really current models, but it shows how a brand can screw up a perfectly runnable running shoe and make it something quite different and not as good as what it supposedly replaces.

In this case the Response Boost line took a big step backwards in my opinion. Not that my opinion matters to anyone but me. 🙂

We will see how the adidas Response Boost 3s do as running shoes with the changes I have made so far.

Nike Rival 6 – 50 Mile Review

This is the story of a pair of running shoes that deserve more run time from me than they have gotten. The Nike Rival 6s are shoe that I run very well in (a 22:33 treadmill 5K today) and don’t have anything really bad to say about them other than they are fugly when you look down at them in my opinion.

The truth of it is that their place in my running shoe rotation was taken over by the shoes that are more than likely going to be my running shoe of the year and probably one of the best pair of running shoes that I have ever run in over the 40 plus years I have been a runner.

It was just bad timing for the Rival 6s. Continue reading “Nike Rival 6 – 50 Mile Review”

Saucony Liberty ISO OG – 50 Mile Review

The Saucony Liberty ISO OG after 50 miles. Yeah, another shoe that version 2 has been released already. However, this is also a post that back in May I never thought that I would write, but here it is October and they finally made it to that magical 50 mile mark.

This review is too long for most readers, so if you don’t want to read a small book, here is the executive summary:

After about 25 miles of less than impressive runs in the Liberty ISO OGs back in May, I retired them to the closet and figured that I wouldn’t be running again in them anytime soon. After sitting in the closet for about 4 months, I decided that I would try the same operation on the inner bootie that I did on my Zealot 3s and it seemed to help a lot. I also changed the lacing pattern to get a more consistent fit each time I put them on and changed out the stock insole to an Ortholite one. These changes made a huge difference in how comfortable the Liberty ISOs were for me to run in and I have added them back into my regular running rotation.

Back to the long version. Continue reading “Saucony Liberty ISO OG – 50 Mile Review”

Friday’s 5.0 Miler – A Day Late

I started this last night, but I was just too damn drained to keep writing. So this is actually Friday’s RunLog post.

After taking yesterday (Thursday) off, I knew that I was going to get a few miles in today. It was just a question of when and where. We had to put new tires on Clifford (our van), do doggie day care, and grocery shop this morning. I got the doggie day care (referee duty) and everyone else got out of the house.

Lucky dogs, they got to spend time with me. I will have you know all three dogs and four cats survived the morning. 🙂 Oh yeah, I did as well.

Once we got settled again and someone else could referee, I headed out with a small difference. I decided to run in the Saucony Liberty v1 for the first time since May 19th. I liked the Liberty’s, but they didn’t seem to work with my feet, so I had decided to take a break from them for a few days.

Well that few days turned into a few months and since I have been resurrecting my Saucony rotation recently, it was appropriate to add back the Liberty’s.

I stopped running in them back in May for a couple of reasons:

1. They felt too damn firm and bothered my metatarsals when I ran more than 3-4 miles in them. I guess that is two reasons right there, but they were sort of related, so I put them together.

2. I had too many shoes going and not enough miles to go around.

So while I loved many things about the Liberty, there was not enough great stuff to keep me running in them with so many other options to choose from. Lately I have reduced the shoes that actually work for me down to a pretty reasonable number and decided to give some of the Saucony shoes another look.

I did a little relacing and cut about an inch incision into the front of the ISO Fit bootie to see if that alleviated the problems with the metatarsaglia that plagued me before with the Liberty’s. If that works, I will probably find a pair of white LockLaces to put in them.

During the run itself, the shoes were borderline very comfortable. They still feel too firm, but at the same time the Liberty’s didn’t cause that painful tingling sensation in my forefoot that had been the big issue in May. So there is cause for some optimism regarding keeping them in my current rotation.

However, I am pretty sure that after re-reading my RunLog entries from May, that I will have to replace the insole with something a little more forgiving (thicker) again, to combat the firmness in the forefoot. Otherwise I was very happy with the feel of the shoe while running.

It was a pretty perfect Fall day for nice run and the 5.0 miles went by pretty quickly. No serious pushing the pace, but a nice consistent effort throughout. I run fairly well in the Liberty’s, so it is worth the effort I am making to get them to work for me. The quality of the shoes and how long they should last if I can get them to fit properly would be nice.

Yeah, now to get the bill for fixing the Cherokee, it got towed down to the repair shop yesterday afternoon, it ain’t gonna be pretty.

A Surprise 10K After a Busy Day – RunLog 9-10-18

Another one of those busy days, that delays running until later in the day. The temps were in the low 40’s for Bennie’s first walk and during the second walk, it was still in the low 50’s. I don’t know about anyone else, but I am still acclimated to warmer weather and as much as I enjoy the cooler stuff, for now I am dressing a bit warmer than I would otherwise.

The busy day was running errands that needed to get done. We paid for the new kitchen sink and stuff, then started the process for getting the master bathroom updated/fixed – it needs it badly. Then stopped for some banking stuff. While it doesn’t seem like a whole lot, all this took a couple of hours to get things done. Then this afternoon, I was going to cut up an old blow down in the back yard, but I couldn’t get my 10 year-old chainsaw to keep running and ended up delimbing and cutting up the upper half of the up tree with my axe. I seriously thought about going ahead and running out to buy a new chainsaw, but we will see.

All I know is that if I had to use an axe very often, my upper body would look a lot different. No more of the Pillsbury Doughboy paunch that is for sure.

Finally, I got to get my run in. I was planning to do 5.0 down to Notta Road and the weather was really great. Overcast, low 60’s, a light breeze – in other words just what I like to run in, which played into my decision making later in the run.

I am still on a self-imposed speed restriction with the hamstring, so I was going to just run comfortably today. I planned on something in the 9:00 minute range.

I accomplished everything that I wanted. Of course I had a couple of pick-up and slow my arse down pretty quickly. The hamstring doesn’t mind the easy stuff, but when I started to stretch the leg out a little, it let me know without any question it was not ready for that stuff yet. So I got it through my thick head and slowed down, then kept it slow until the last part.

At about the 5.0 mile mark, my right forefoot, started that discomfort thing that happens when I run in my RunFasts. I am pretty sure it isn’t the shoes, because it would bother a long time before that point if it was. There must be something going on with my right foot. I will see when I try some other shoes tomorrow.

Oh yeah, I kept going when I got to Notta Road and did an extra mile or so to do the 10K versus 5.0 miles. Between the weather and how good I was feeling at that point, I just felt like I needed to keep going a little further.

I was very happy with the consistency of the pacing and how well I felt during the run. However, that right foot thing does have me perplexed.