If you have been following me for a bit, you may know that I have been an avid wearer of the Brook’s Pure line for quite some time now. I started wearing the Pure Flows in 2013, but my history with Brooks goes back much farther than that.
I am pretty sure the first time I got fitted for a pair of running shoes was in 2006 at Falls Road Running. I had started to run more and had been having some problems with my foot (uh, sound familiar? It was the left one too).
The girl in the store had me try on a few different pairs, one of which was Brooks. I have no idea what the model was, but she spoke very highly of them. I was mostly concerned about price and appearance, but I did end up purchasing the Brooks because they felt good.
I may have cheated on my Brooks for a short period of time around 2008 or so, when I ended up in Asics somehow. That didn’t last long, though. For quite a few years I wore the Brooks Adrenalines. Part of that time involved orthotics. I also ordered a pair of Altras about two years ago with the intention of transition to a zero drop shoe but never got around to that (maybe one day?)
I guess it was around 2012 when I started to think that maybe I was overdoing it was such a heavy, cushioned shoe. I decided to try the Ravennas, which were still supportive but a little lighter and a less of a heel to toe drop. I ended up transitioning out of my orthotics at that time too.
Then, in 2013 I read “Anatomy for Runners” and wanted to transition into a more minimal shoe. I did some research and wanted to stick with the same brand that I knew and loved. I slowly transitioned into the Pure Flows over the course of about a month or two and have been wearing those ever since.
I also have rotated the Flows with the Cadences and Connects. I loved how light the Connects were for speed work and races. I thought the Cadences were good for long runs because they would give me more support, but I learned recently that it doesn’t really work that way.
While I loved the feel of running in the Pure line shoes, I constantly had issues with several of my toes. I would get a black toenail on the same toe repeatedly, and blisters after long races. Sometimes other toenails would randomly give me problems too. I have gone up almost 2 sizes from my regular shoe size and had plenty of room, so I didn’t know what the problem was.
Last month when my foot started hurting and I was doing some research, I learned that shoes that are too narrow can cause all sorts of foot problems. Our feet need to spread out to work optimally. So that was my goal when trying on new shoes a few weeks ago.
However, the Launches that I chose have too much of a drop for what I am used to. So I was out of options for Brooks.
So after a 10 year relationship, I had to break up with my Brooks. Once I bit the bullet and ordered the Saucony Kinvaras it was kind of freeing, and I started to think about all the other brands I could now try. It’s weird because we have always been Brooks household. Rob has only ever worn the Ravennas and Pure Flows since he started running about 6 year ago. But there are so many other options available that I need to explore to figure out what works for me. I feel like I have learned so much about my needs and preferences through this process that I had never thought about before.
The nice thing is, we don’t need to commit to wearing just one brand of running shoes. In fact, it’s probably better to get familiar with several brands so we have more options if new models don’t work for us!
Have you ever had to break up with your favorite running shoe brand?
Do you stick to one brand or have a few different kinds in the rotation?
When was the first time you were fitted for running shoes?