New Balance Vazee Rush V2 – 50+ Mile Review

Okay, I got a bit behind and my New Balance Vazee Rush V2’s have over 70 miles on them. However, I did make a change to them at around 50 miles and wanted to see if the change made a difference in how the shoes felt/performed.

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First of all, they are last year’s model and I bought them on Amazon for a wicked good sale price. So they met one of the big requirements that I have they were reasonably priced. Continue reading

New Balance 860 v6 – 50 Mile Review and more

The New Balance 860 v6 EE’s is yet another older running shoe, but I got them for a specific purpose and didn’t want to spend a fortune on them – in case things didn’t work out. I bought them at the New Balance Factory Outlet in Skowhegan, ME.

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One of the many definitions of insanity, is continuing to do the same thing over and over, without changing anything and then wonder why nothing changes.

I have gone through over 70 pair of running shoes since 2012 and during that time only 1 pair made it over 400 miles.

Something had to change.

A few weeks ago I had an epiphany about all the problems I have had with my right foot in running shoes, well all shoes. I thought that I might have finally figured out why how so many different brands, styles and models just have not worked for me. Continue reading

Saucony Peregrines – After 200 Miles Review

Over the course of the past three months, I have steadily increased my running, both the distance and the speed. Part of this story is the shoes that I have worn – Saucony Peregrines.

I did a lot of research last fall, both on the Internet and in my running logs to figure out what type of shoes that would best fit my personal running style, as well as what I ran in when I wasn’t injured.

What it finally came down to for me at least, was that I didn’t get injured as often in low heel height, light weight shoes that help promote forefoot striking.

I may be all wet, but I strongly believe that when a runner is mismatched to a shoe style that is at least part of the reason that running injuries happen.

There were several shoes that fit that description, but I also run in Maine during the winter, run a few trail runs, as well as running on the roads and dirt roads. I have used trail shoes in the past for winter running with very good success, so I was looking for a lightweight trail shoe with somewhere between a zero and 8mm drop.

After looking at and trying on different styles and other trail shoes, I settled on the Saucony Peregrines. They felt the best in the store (they didn’t let me run outside in them) and I have had good luck with Saucony’s in the past, so I bought them.

How have they done?

They are a great shoe! They have done everything that I have asked of them and below is a quick video review of my Saucony Peregrines:

Sometimes a video and pictures give a better idea of how these shoes look after the 200 miles than me writing and rambling on and on about them.

For a pair of running shoes with over 200 miles on them the Peregrines have held up extremely well. I am not easy on shoes, the soles tend to wear out rather quickly and the uppers tend to get ratty as well. In all of my other Saucony running shoes, my left foot wears the fabric/cushioning inside of the heel down to the cup and makes it so I can’t wear them for running anymore (blisters). This has not happened with the Peregrines, which means I can keep running in them :-).

From what I can see now (unless they have an auto-destruct sequence built-in at a set amount of miles), my Peregrines should be able to go another 200-300 miles, before they are retired to less strenuous duty.

Now is the time to start researching, to figure out what my next pair of running shoes will be.  Especially since they have to be put in the budget and planned for. After all I am starting to put more miles on my shoes and should have another pair to rotate in when these have 300 miles on them.

I do know that I will start with the Saucony Peregrines at the top of the new running shoe list. For me to choose something different, I will have to have my socks blown off.  There are the newer zero drop or 4MM drop shoes that have piqued my interest from Altra, Skora, New Balance and Brooks. Even the Vibram Five Fingers are a possibility.

However, if I had to choose one pair of shoes today, a new pair Saucony Peregrines would be back for round 2. They have done everything I want from a running shoe on roads, trails, dirt roads, snow and slush. Plus they are a nice looking shoe.

FTC Disclaimer:  I have not received any sort of compensation for doing this review. These running shoes were a pair that I purchased and have personally used.  The views posted in this blog are my thoughts on a product that I have used and liked.

In Search of the Perfect Running Shoe

from Amazon.com

Like most runners, I have shoes stuffed in the closet, under my bureau (dresser), in boxes out in the garage and have given away shoes to the neighbor, Goodwill and found other creative ways to get rid of perfectly good shoes, because they just didn’t feel right to me after I had run in them for a while.

Why?

Just so I could continue my search for that perfect running shoe.

TheWife thinks I am crazy and have a running shoe obsession (fetish) and you know something she might be right.

I do know that like many runners, I have spent a small fortune while trying to find that mythical and illusive perfect shoe.

Although I may have come close a few times.Different Shoe Companies

I have tried running shoes from:

Adidas, Avia, Asics, Brooks Running, Converse, Earth Shoe, Etonic, Mizuno, New Balance, Nike, North Face, Pony, Puma, Skaja, Saucony and Teva at least once and some several times for some of these brands.

Looking back I haven’t shown much brand loyalty, but I keep trying.

My All-Time Favorite Shoes

Out of all the shoes that I have run in, which shoes came closest to approaching that mythical perfect running shoe for me?

  1. Blue Adidas Marathon Trainer with the Dellinger Web
  2. Brooks Villanova
  3. Saucony Hurricane 5
  4. Asics Gel Kayano 11
  5. Nike Air Presto

Adidas

Adidas had one of those near mythical perfect shoes as far as I am concerned – the Adidas Marathon Trainers with the Dillinger Web. They were a low profile, a lightweight shoe with just enough cushioning for me – a lot like today shoes that are considered transitional minimalist shoes.

I learned that you had to take out the board last and put a different insert into the shoe to make them more flexible and comfortable, but once I made those changes, these were my favorite shoes of all time. Yes those running shoes on the cover of Jim Fixx’s “Second Complete Book of Running” are the Adidas Marathon Trainers that I covet.

I have had three pair of these shoes and each pair lasted well past the 500 mile mark and literally fell apart when I stopped wearing them. I have looked for another pair for several years and have yet to find a pair and unfortunately probably won’t – they don’t make them anymore.

Hey Adidas do you have any Blue Marathon Trainers with the Dillinger web size 8, hidden in a warehouse someplace?

Brooks Running

Disclaimer Alert:  I was selected to be a Brooks Wear Tester in October 2011, however, I have not received any Brooks product to evaluate or wear test at the time of this post.

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I bought a pair of Villanova in 1977 and ran in them until 1979. They were relatively simple, very light and I didn’t stop running in them until my foot came out through the side of one them. I am not sure how many miles they had on them when I finally replaced them, but have a feeling it was probably a lot, lot more than they now recommend for running shoes.

Saucony

In the early 2000’s I ran almost exclusively in Saucony Hurricanes and was very happy with them. However, the prices began to creep up and eventually were costing $120 plus for a pair of shoes, which was too much for me at that time,

When I decided to start running more again in October of this year and needed new shoes. I did a lot of research on the type of shoes that I thought would be best for me and my personal running style and after the research and trying on a few pair of shoes, I decided on Saucony Peregrines, see my post on them and they are rapidly becoming a favorite shoe.

Saucony Peregrines 2011

Even though the Saucony Hurricane are on my list of favorite shoes, I chose to put the Peregrines picture here – that is how much this first shoe is impressing me.

Asics

Asics were my second pair of running shoes, the old Blue Tigers were a great shoe and I wore them for Cross Country and Track in high school, when I wasn’t wearing spikes.

Screen shot from http://www.racedaynutrition.com/?p=341

I wore the Kayano 11 for almost two years and really loved the shoe. While it is considered a motion control shoe, it felt lighter and more responsive than most of them and I put a ton of miles on this model of shoes (4 of them) over a two-year period.

I found a special deal where I was able to pick up 3 pair of them for $50 each (the Kayano 13 was on the shelves), so I have had a total of 4 pair of the Kayano. The shoes changed and I didn’t have access to those great deals and this shoe was priced out of my price range.

Nike

I have probably run in more Nike running shoes than any other shoe company. My Nike running shoes include the Waffle trainers, Yankees, Equators, Pegasus (4 times), Odyssey (gets an Honorable Mention – I finish the Marine Corps Marathon in those shoes), Nike Sock Racer (yes the Yellow BumbleBee shoe), Air Flo (which I still have and ran in for a while this fall), and Air Presto (3 times), which I also ran in this fall for a while, until I got some new shoes (I am saving them).

Nike Air Presto

The Nike running shoes that were my favorites were the Air Presto model.  I really liked fit and feel of the Air Presto enough so that I purchased 3 pair of them before I couldn’t find them anymore. I liked the no laces design, I have been slowed down more than a couple of times from shoe laces untying. I used them for tempo runs, treadmill and track speed workouts. They were light, encouraged forefoot striking and I still have these red ones (they are my last pair). However, they are not my perfect running shoe, just a very good pair of shoes.

The reality is that

I have run in literally hundreds of running shoes and have learned a lot about straight lasts, curved lasts, semi-curved lasts, uppers, insoles, midsoles, outsoles, blown rubber, hard rubber, velcro, laces/no laces, BOA lacing, pronation, supination, flat feet, high arches, motion control, dual density, EVA, Dillinger Web, racing flat, light weight trainers, track shoes and all so many other “techno buzz words” that have been used to describe running shoes over the last 40 years.

It seemed that as the shoes kept getting more technically improved, more cushioning, higher heel heights and with these new designs, that I was getting injured more often in spite of the claims of the companies of how much better the shoes were at preventing injuries. While I take responsibility for all of my injuries, I wonder how often the wrong shoe contributed to the injury or making the injury worse?

Finding Pot of Gold

The problem with running shoes to me, is that finding that perfect one for you is like trying to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It is elusive and most of us never find it.

What works great for someone else, doesn’t always work at all for you. That means while you read great shoe reviews by other runners, it does not mean that you have the same good or bad experience they had with those shoes. Therefore, we keep searching and chasing, always looking for that magic shoe that is going to let us run injury free for big mileage training.

My question to you is?

  • Which running shoe is your favorite running shoe of all-time?
  • Why did you stop running in them?

Now wear (I know where) is that damn new shoe review for the 2012 running shoes!!!!!  I just know that my perfect shoe is in there 😉 See you outside running.