Every year I buy a new pair of running shoes. I always need a new pair in the spring. I find my knees feel my runs a bit more and I get a few extra tingles and that is my sign to get a new pair. For my entire running career I have been wearing New Balance runners. I LOVE them. I just go in and buy the newest model every year. Here is what last year’s pair looks like after a year of running.
This year I decided to go to The Running Room to check out their selection and see if I could find something new. You know, just for fun ;). I tried on about 20 pairs of shoes and none of them fit, they were all too narrow or very uncomfortable. There ended up being two pairs in the whole store that fit me. Both were by Brooks, the Ravenna 5 and the Adrenaline GTS 14. They were both the same price, but I liked the fit of the Adrenaline a little bit better…and they were black and purple and looked so cute! These are my priorities, people :).
I wore them inside on the treadmill for my first few runs to make sure I was happy with them. The first run was a 3km run and it was awful. The shoes were slipping off my ankle, and one of my feet fell asleep. (the foot falling asleep thing is something that happens to me every now and then so I am not solely blaming it on the shoe). I tightened the laces up a bit and tried them again for a 4km run. This run was even worse. I had to actually stop mid-run to tie them tighter as I was having issues keeping them on. My foot fell asleep again. I was miserable and thinking about returning them.
I took a break from the new shoes and pulled out my trusty New Balance ones for my long run that weekend, which although pretty beat up still worked well and caused less problems than the shiny new shoes. For my next new shoe run trial, I retied the laces using my favourite manoeuvre, the heel lock, which essentially allows the shoe to stay on the foot, while the laces are pretty loose, so there is no slippage and your foot can move. I am sure there is a much more technical explanation for this – google it :).
I wore the new shoes again on the treadmill for a 6km run, and finally they felt pretty good. They were still a bit loose, so on my last treadmill run I tightened them a bit more and then ran another 6km and this time they were perfect. I have now worn them out on the pavement for a couple of weeks and they feel very comfortable…no problems at all so far. I wish the laces were a bit longer as with the heel lock it doesn’t leave much to tie a bow. Ask me after the half marathon if I will go with Brooks again next time, or if I will go back to New Balance.