Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Feet in the Clouds

With 400+ miles on my current pair it is most definitely time to buy some new running shoes which is always a thrilling time filled with many pitfalls and difficult questions… Do I go with the New Balance 1060’s or try the Brooks Radius 6’s that are getting such good reviews… Perhaps I stick with my Asics… What’s a guy to do???

For the past couple of years I have been wearing Asics and I’ve been rather happy with them. First I ran through a couple pairs of Asics Gel Kayano’s but got a little put off by the price tag – at $135.00 a pop they ain’t cheap.

So I moved on (or down) to the Asics Gel Cumulus which is also a fine shoe but perhaps lacks some of the cushion and responsiveness of it’s more expensive counterpart – the Kayano.

Now I find myself poised to begin ramping up my training (mileage) for the NYC Marathon and flustered about which shoe I want to accompany me along the way. This is further complicated by the fact that I should probably buy 2 pair for the journey so that I have an identical pair of fresh shoes to switch to come autumn and race day.

Option One – Cumulus
Stick with the Asics Gel Cumulus. I have been wearing them for about 5 months and have been pretty happy with them. They’ve also seen me through a couple of PR’s. The Cumulus also has the added benefit of being far less expensive them the Kayano’s or even the Asics Gel Nimbus.

Option Two – Nimbus
I recently visited one of my favorite running stores, The Super Runners Shop, and tried on the most recent editions of the Kayano, Nimbus and Cumulus. I have to say that I liked the feel of the Nimbus best of all. In terms of price, the Nimbus bridges the gap between the top of the line Kayano and the more budget Cumulus. Perhaps I split the difference and go with the “non-road tested” Nimbus – they did after all feel very good.

Option Three – Kayano
Pony up and buy the Kayano’s. They’re great shoes and probably worth the cost. I am going to be doing a lot of long, hard miles in them and my arches, heels, ankles, knees and everything else will surely appreciate any additional advantages.

So now I put forth this question to you: What shoes should I buy and should I get one or two pair of them?

Which Shoes Should I Buy?
Option 1 - Cumulus (one pair)
Option 1 - Cumulus (two pair)
Option 2 - Nimbus (one pair)
Option 2 - Nimbus (two pair)
Option 3 - Kayano (one pair)
Option 3 - Kayano (two pair)
Free polls from Pollhost.com


katesun said...

Yeah !!!!!!!!!! I am the winner !

Sempre Libera said...

Just checked in from another runner's blog...

I would suggest getting two pairs of *different* shoes. Rotate those throughout your training: for example, use the Kayanos on the longer runs and one of the others on regular runs. Because your foot behaves slightly differently with each shoe, you'll end up stronger overall and less prone to the kind of injury associated with the repeated, identical stress from a single model.

Yvonne said...

if it aint broke, don't fix it, that's my rather hackneyed motto, as regards running shoes...

and you should always buy two pairs and trade them off, in my humble opinion...

nyflygirl said...

As someone who has been through more than my fair share of running shoe issues, my thoughts are best not limited to a simple poll answer :)

First off, the Nimbus/Cumulus and Kayanos are very different shoes (the former being neutral, the latter being more stability-the Nimbus is pretty much comparable to the Kayano-both are the "high-end" of each type of shoe)

Also, don't buy anything without road-testing it...or at least sidewalk-testing it!! (make sure someone watches you run in the shoe!) I made that mistake at the beginning-now I'm sorta picky about where I buy shoes...if I go to Super Runners, I only go to the one on 72nd/3rd and make sure Mike helps me-he knows his stuff. Also, a lot of my teammates are a fan of the JackRabbit Sports store in Union Square-we're all big fans of the gait analysis they offer.

Also, if a certain shoe model is close to being "upgraded" and you have the model that is being phased out-then yes, buy at least 2 of that model if you need it to last through November. Upgrades don't always mean "better."

In terms of is the expensive model always better-it really depends on each individual. I used to wear the Nimbuses before I got injured, after a brief stint with stability shoes, I'm now wearing the Cumulus 7's with my orthotics-I went with those because the Nimbuses felt like too much shoe on my feet.

Good luck. I know all too well how tough running shoe shopping can be.

Wow, this was a long comment. :)

Josh said...

Hi guys... Thanks very much for your comments. As it turns out, I got one pair of Nimbus. I've put about 15-20 miles on them and am pretty happy. However, I may get some neutral inserts for added comfort.

As for a second pair the jury is still out. The end of the month (read: payday) is near so another trip to the Super Runners Shop may be in order.

NYFLYGIRL - I agree the store on the upper east side is better than Grand Central.

Sempre Libera - Thanks for the suggestion on two different shoes. I just may do that!

Thanks for reading!

Chelle said...

It might be worth previewing Road Runner Sports' new site too...they're offering a 25% discount:


Chelle said...

Oops! Sorry, that offer already expired.