Jog along Imelda Marcos! Or – Can you have too many running shoes?

Can a person ever have too many running shoes? Well maybe, but probably not. Unless you insist on hanging to the pairs that are actually worn out or falling apart. This post is mainly about my shoes. It’s also about the Shoes in the News (you know – those weird looking ones that Eliud Kipchoge wore when he went sub 2 hours in Vienna). You don’t need fancy shoes to run. But there’s no doubt that it’s nice having new shoes. And I have new shoes! Woo!

Here are (most of) my running shoes – including my brand new ones! See that shiny bright pair at the front?!

I thought I would write a little bit about shoes is because there has been a lot in the news lately about the Nike Vaporfly 4%, and its successor the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next%, and whether these shoes should be banned from competitions. The controversy is about the carbon plate in the sole, that is supposed to give an advantage of 4% in time saved. In fact that is not quite accurate – it is the angle of the carbon fibre plate, supported by a wedge of compressed foam, that provides the propulsion, not the carbon plate itself. There is a really good video here on the Athletics Weekly website explaining all about the technology of this type of shoe. Paul Freary also points out that carbon fibre plates are nothing new in running shoes, and that this type of innovation is always under review and development, driven by competition between manufacturers as much as anything.

There is another interesting article in Runners World that also discusses how the Vaporfly actually works. Allison Goldstein explains how the 4% energy saving happens, and how many variables can affect the outcome.

In the Observer today there is a thought provoking article about the Vaporfly shoe, questioning whether using them can be seen as ‘cheating’. I cannot believe that they will ban the shoes. However Paul Freary (above) does say that what could be controlled is the height of the foam wedge. There is already a limit on the height of high jump shoes, so that would seem to be a logical step.

These are the next generation Vaporfly. Image from the Nike website.
£240! Wow!

I am almost certainly never going to be wearing a pair of those shoes, because I am pretty stingy when it comes to my running shoes, and they are very expensive! So what do I wear? Well, I do have several pairs of running trainers which I alternate depending on what I am doing, and where I am going, and what the weather is like.

The ones that seem to fit my feet the best have always been Adidas. I have run in New Balance, Asics and Brooks as well which have been ok in their way, but the most consistent fit and comfort – for me – have been Adidas. However I never recommend any particular brand or style to other people because everyone is different. One of the best bits of advice I ever heard was that you should try on lots of different shoes walk and jog around in them and whatever feels the most comfortable is the pair to go for. For the most part I think that is good advice. I have tried on some shoes and immediately known that I could not get on with them, even though the person in the shop (a proper running shop 😉 ) recommended them. The one thing I would advise is to get shoes at least half a size bigger than your regular shoe size. Mine are a whole size bigger. This is because feet tend to swell when you are running, and also push forward to the front of the shoe. If you continually bash the toes on the end of the shoe – your nails will go black and fall off. It’s a fact 🙂

The day to day collection…
Plus another newer pair of everyday ones from Decathlon- really good on pavements.
(Sometimes I do clean my shoes.)

I have several shoes for regular everyday running. At the moment I change between a lovely cushiony pair from Decathlon (these are similar) and various older ones from Adidas. Which ones depend on weather and whether I am going to be encountering a lot of mud!

Trail shoes. The Salomons are waterproof. The Adidas Terrex aren’t, but are more comfortable for actual running.

If it’s a LOT of mud, or I am going cross country then I would go for the Adidas Terrex. The Goretex Salomons are for my winter sessions with Quit the Gym on wet and muddy Ealing Common.

Adizero Boston – good fit, and light.

I have a pair of Adidas Adizero Boston shoes that are very lightweight and good for summer, but they don’t have loads of cushioning so I don’t wear them too often for long runs on pavements.

All the shoes!
Have you noticed that all the laces are undone? Another very important piece of advice is – Always tie your laces properly and snugly every time you put on your shoes! You will get better arch support, and the heels won’t get squashed down and broken.

Sometimes I think I have a lot of running shoes but I’m sure compared to some people I don’t! It’s hard to part with old ones, even when you know the cushioning has gone and the soles are losing their grip. But it is always exciting to get a new pair, especially when they are less than half the original price. Like my new Adidas Pulse Boost! This time of year is a good time to find a bargain. I love the colour, although perhaps it’s not the most practical for winter.

New Shoes! I don’t want to get them dirty though ….

So – what are your favourite shoes? Do you have lots of pairs, with some designated for certain runs? And what do you think of the controversy over the Nike Vaporfly? Please do comment! I would love to hear what you think.

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