My running shoes (so far) – December 2014 update

I’ve used a lot of running shoes over the years, 43 to be exact. I have around 6 – 7 pairs in daily rotation that I cycle through depending on workout type. Currently they are:

  • Trainers for longer runs: Mizuno Rider 17, Saucony Kinvara 4
  • Tempo or quicker runs: Mizuno Hitogami
  • Speedwork: Saucony Gridtype A5
  • Barefoot: Vivobarefoot evo (on roads), Vivobarefoot Trail Freak (for trails)
  • Offroad and snow: Merrell Mix Master Aeroblock (wet conditions), Brooks Pure Grit 2 (dry conditions)

As you can see, nowadays I run mainly in low drop and flexible shoes, as I believe that extra heel cushioning and pronation control affect the stride style and hence running economy in negative way. As a result, my foot strike has become more and more fore footed over the years and I believe that this was mainly the consequence of using lighter shoes with lower heel-to-toe difference. The graph bellow presents the average weight of shoes that I ran with over the years. My progression to lighter shoes was slow, where I managed to drop the weight of shoes for about 100 grams (-30%) over the span of 5 years. As studies have shown, a 100 g reduction in running shoe weight presents approx. 1% improvement in running economy (~ 2 minutes at 3h marathon).

B00600 Average weight of shoesOtherwise, I started running in more conventional shoes in 2004. There were no “barefoot “or “minimalist” running shoes back then, so I was of course heavily influenced by marketing and “pronation control” dogma. So my early shoes were mainly pronation controlled Asics shoes, from 1000 to 2000 series and then finally to Kayano. Being overly cushioned shoes with pronation control, really heavy with large heel to toe height difference, I then started using 2 running shoes simultaneously. The second pair was usually a lighter trainer (i.e. Nike Elite) for races and speed work. In 2009 I made my first foray into minimalist running shoes with Nike Free shoes. I barely managed to run 5 km in them once per week, as I got sore calf muscles after every run in them. The next stepping stone in my transition to more minimalist running shoes were Saucony Mirage with their 4mm heel to toe drop. I really needed a couple of months to get used to running in them, but then I was hooked. Especially when I later progressed to Kinvara (4 mm drop) and now to Virrata (0 mm drop).

Nowadays I ran mainly in low drop shoes with occasional runs with barefoot and traditional drop shoes in-between. I really like rotating through various shoes as they alter my gait and foot-placement pattern. Instead of having my foot hit the ground the same way on every stride on every run, I’m mixing things up enough to build the micromuscles in my feet, ankles, lower legs and even hips just a twinge more. And hopefully that’s something that contributes to becoming a stronger and more agile runner in the long run.

I am also quite nostalgic, as I took pictures of all my running shoes so far. Below is the collection of every running shoe I ever ran in. Brings back a lot of memories, when I look through the pictures. Hopefully you will recognize a model you ran in too!

 B00643 Vivobarefoot Trail Freak waterproof  #43 Vivobarefoot Trail Freak waterproof (2014) I bought them mainly for hiking, but they are excellent for trail running as well. The outsole grips fantastically in dry and wet conditions, but the upper is quite bulky due to waterproof membrane.  Nonetheless, excellent shoes for barefoot trail adventures, where your legs move in a manner they were designed to!
 Weight: 345 g
 (still in rotation)
 B00642 Mizuno Rider 17  #42 Mizuno Rider 17 (2014) Long distance go-to shoes with 13 mm drop and very generous padding in a reasonably light package. I like them a lot despite a more traditional heel to toe drop. I found that I like rotating through different drop shoes, especially with Kinvara. Although similarly cushioned, I land just a bit differently in both shoes and hence stress the muscles and joints in varying manners.
 Weight: 292 g
 (still in rotation) 449 km
 B00641 Brooks Pure Grit 2  #41 Brooks Pure Grit 2 (2014) Excellent long distance trail shoes, sufficient cushioning with low drop and roomy forefoot. Outsole more suited for dry conditions but can easily handle even prolonged stretches of asphalt. I have also grown to like “burrito” style tongue, though the asymmetric lacing hasn’t worked that well for my foot shape.
Weight: 318 g 

Notable races: Ljubljana-Triglav-Ljubljana (178 km in two days)

 (still in rotation) 609 km
 B00640 Mizuno Hitogami  #40 Mizuno Hitogami (2014) My current go to shoes for faster workouts or tempo runs. Excellent for Ironman marathons as they offer more cushioning that Grid Type A5, where the speed of the bike just isn’t the same as in the standalone marathons.
Weight: 240 g 

Notable races: IM Nice (run split 3:01:43)

 (still in rotation) 206 km
 Mizuno Sayona #39 Mizuno Sayonara (2014)
Weight: 270 g
603 km
 B00638 Saucony Kinvara 4 Kona #38 Saucony Kinvara 4 Kona (2013)
Weight: 250 g
(still in rotation) 592 km
 B00637 Saucony Virrata #37 Saucony Virrata (2013)  0 mm drop shoes, excellent for road speed work.
Weight: 220 g
518 km
 B00636 Asics Lyte33 v2 #36 Asics Gel Lyte33 2 (2013)  Asics approximation to Kinvara, bot not nearly there.
Weight: 264 g
706 km
 B00635 Saucony Grid Type A5 #35 Saucony Grid Type A5 (2013)  Excellent racing flats, for me even better than Asics Hyperspeed.
Weight: 183 g
Notable races: IM Hawaii 2013 (run split 2:57:04)
(still in rotation) 550 km
 B00634 Saucony Kinvara 2 #34 Saucony Kinvara 2  (2012)
Weight: 246 g
554 km
 B00633 Merrell Mix Master Aeroblock II #33 Merrell Mix Master Aeroblock (2012)  Trail running shoes for winter running.
Weight: 275 g
(still in rotation) 363 km
 B00632 Saucony Kinvara 2 #32 Saucony Kinvara 2  (2012)  Legendary shoes, really love them!
Weight: 246 g
Notable races: IM Lanzarote 2013 (run split 2:56:15)
615 km
 B00630 Vivobarefoot evo #30 Vivobarefoot evo (2012)  For barefoot style running, only 3 mm protection sole.
Weight: 226 g
(still in rotation) 197 km
 B00629 Mizuno Precision 12 #29 Mizuno Precision 12 (2012)
Weight: 308 g
945 km
 B00628 Saucony Mirage #28 Saucony Mirage (2012)  My first low-drop running shoes, excellent!
Weight: 306 g
797 km
 B00627 Saucony Fastwitch 5 #27 Saucony Fastwitch 5 (2011)
Weight: 269 g
Notable races: IM Florida 2011 (run split: 3:03:01)
476 km
 B00626 Asics DS Trainer 15 #26 Asics DS Trainer 15 (2011)
Weight: 335 g
671 km
 B00625 Brooks Racer ST4 #25 Brooks Racer ST4  (2011)
Weight: 271 g
656 km
 B00624 Asics 2150 #24 Asics 2150  (2011)
Weight: 366 g
700 km
 B00623 Nike LunarGlide 2+ #23 Nike LunarGlide2 + (2010)
Weight: 340 g
814 km
 B00622 Asics 2150 #22 Asics 2150 (2010)
Weight: 368 g
750 km
 B00621 Asics 2140 #21 Asics 2140 (2010)
Weight: 360 g
720 km
 B00620 Asics Hyperspeed 3 #20 Asics Hyperspeed 3 (2010)  Legendary racing flats!
Weight: 206 g
Notable races: New York marathon 2010 (2:40:13)
Rotterdam marathon 2011(2:37:45)
IM Austria 2012 (run split 3:12:38)
IM Hawaii 2012 (run split: 3:02:50)
(still in rotation) 530 km
 B00619 Brooks Racer ST4 #19 Brooks Racer ST4  (2010)
Weight: 285 g
Notable races: IM Frankfurt 2011 (run split: 3:05:04)
730 km
 B00618 Salomon XT Wings GTX #18 Salomon XT Wings GTX (2009)  Gore Tex trail running shoes for winter running, now used only for hiking due to high weight.
Weight: 434 g
308 km
 B00617 Nike Free 5.0 V4 #17 Nike Free 5.0 V4 (2009)  My first foray into minimalist running shoes.
Weight: 255 g
(still in rotation) 513 km
 B00616 Asics Kayano 15 #16 Asics Kayano 15 (2009)
Weight: 396,5 g
904 km
 B00615 Nike Zoom Elite 4 #15 Nike Zoom Elite+ 4 (2009)
Weight: 326 g
Notable races: Boston marathon 2009 (2:50:46)
1009 km
 B00614 Asics GT2130 #14 Asics GT2130 (2009)
Weight: 360 g
1052 km
 B00613 Asics Kayano 14 #13 Asics Kayano 14  (2009)
Weight: 397 g
1010 km
 B00612 Asics Kayano 13 #12 Asics Kayano 13  (2008)
Weight: 397 g
803 km
 B00611 Nike Zoom Elite 4 #11 Nike Zoom Elite+ 4  (2008)
Weight: 326 g
631 km
 B00610 Asics Kayano 14 #10 Asics Kayano 14 (2008)
Weight: approx 397 g
934 km
 B00609 Asics Racer #9 Asics Racer VII (2008)  My first racing flats!
Weight: 233 g
Notable races: Ljubljana marathon 2008 (2:55:32)
Berlin marathon 2009 (2:38:34)
(still in rotation) 833  km
 B00608 Asics Kayano 13 #8 Asics Kayano 13 (2008)
Weight: approx 397 g
1078 km
 B00607 Adidas Supernova Control 10 GTX #7 Adidas Supernova Control 10 GTX (2007)Gore Tex trail running shoes for winter running.
Weight: 400 g
681 km
 B00606 Nike Zoom Elite 3 #6 Nike Zoom Elite 3 (2007)  My first »faster« running shoes.
Weight: approx 326 g
Notable races: first marathon under 3 hr – Ljubljana marathon 2007 (2:59:08)
870 km
 B00605 Asics GT2120 #5 Asics GT2120 (2007)
Weight: approx 360 g
936 km
 B00604 Asics GT2110 #4 Asics GT2110 (2007)
Weight: approx 360 g
919 km
 B00603 Asics GT1110 #3 Asics GT1110 (2006)
937 km
 B00601 Nike Perseus 02 Nike Pegasus #2 Nike Pegasus (2005) and #1 Nike Perseus (2004)
986 km (Pegasus), 1056 km (Perseus)
Notable races: first marathon – Ljubljana marathon 2004 (3:46:36)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *