Runners love to talk about their shoes, right? I haven’t said much about my shoe choices lately, I guess since my foot has been cooperating. Last year I went back and forth quite a bit about running shoes, trying to find the perfect match.
I started running in Brooks back in 2006 or so, and have stuck with them for most of my running since then. When I started having problems with my foot in 2016 I thought I would have to break up with my Brooks. That didn’t last long before I ended up right back where I started.
So what am I wearing these days? I thought I would start by sharing a picture of my running shoe closet. It’s in the basement near our workout area, and luckily I just cleaned it out a few weeks ago!
New Balance Vazee Pace
In the back left corner I have the New Balance Vazee Pace. I wore these briefly during the summer of 2016 when I was on a hunt for different shoes. Now I mainly wear them for strength training sessions and walking.
Pure Flow 4s
Next to those are the Pure Flow 4s. I wore these from late 2016 to early 2017. They are a little snug on my feet compared to some of the other versions of the Pure Flows, so I don’t run in them anymore. I do sometimes wear them when I ride on the spin bike.
The two pairs in the back right area are Altras. I got the Intuition that I started wearing with orthotics, which gave me a blister. They don’t bother me without the orthotics, but I haven’t really been working to transition to a zero drop shoe. The other Altras are the Provisions, which have a little more stability. I wore them briefly last summer before I took a break from running. I just haven’t tried them out again since being back.
In the bottom row, the shoes all the way to the right are the Saucony Kinvaras. I also wore they briefly in the summer of 2016 when I was trying different brands. They are really light and I think they would be good for speedwork, I just get nervous to wear anything different at this point. I did run a mile in them last week though!
To the left of those are the Brooks Launch. These shoes really helped me get through my injury and get back to running. I wish there was less of a heel to toe drop, but I like that they are a bit of a wider shoe. I feel like this pair has lost their “bounce” and I have no idea how many miles are on them, so I have pretty much stopped wearing them.
Now, for the shoes that I have actually been wearing lately:
The Brooks Levitate are probably my favorite running shoes these days. I have been wearing them since October and they are really comfortable. Again, a bit more of a drop than I would like (I think these have an 8mm drop) but just the right amount of cushioning and a wider toe box.
Pure Flow 6s
I have also gone back to the Pure Flows. This version is the Pure Flow 6 and they are much better than the 4s and 5s in my opinion. I feel like the toe box is a little wider than previous versions, although still more narrow than I would like. I tend to wear these for shorter runs or any speedwork/tempo runs.
Even though I have tried so many different shoe options, I still have issues with one of my toes. Last fall I got another black toenail which is still growing out. I’ve asked about it at every running shoe store I’ve been too as well as when I was seeing a podiatrist. No one really has an answer for me considering if I go up in size any more my foot will slide around too much.
I’m just glad that for the most part I have found shoes that keep my feet (and body) happy.
What are your favorite running shoes?
Do you rotate pairs or wear the same ones?
Have you ever gotten a black toenail?