The Hulks vs. The Gazelles

I’d like you to meet my running shoes.  They, along with determination and a good pair of shorts, make running  possible.

First, let’s meet my trail running shoes

Meet The Hulks

Meet The Hulks

Technical Name: Brooks New Cascadias

Nickname: The Hulks

Details: Named after the Incredible Hulk, these shoes are mean, green and ready to rumble. A few months ago, not long after I started flirting with trail running, I decided that a pair of lightweight Mizunos just weren’t doing the job on my 3+ hour trail runs. I’d slip, I’d stumble and I was coming home with way too many stone bruises. Switching to a pair of trail running shoes changed everything. The Hullks have a flat base and agressive traction. The upper shoe maintains a low profile like a street shoe and doesn’t impede my heel and ankle movement. The Hulks are pretty heavy, but their heft and traction give me confidence as I negotiate tight turns and downhill sections. I’m a clumsy runner, but with The Hulks on my feet I feel like a hardcore badass (a feeling essential to any runner).

Then there are my street running shoes.

Meet The Gazelles

Meet The Gazelles

Technical Name: Saucony Pro-Grid Tangents

Nickname: The Gazelles

Details: I love my Mizuno Elixirs, but I decided there wasn’t any harm in doing a little test driving at the run shop – you know, just to see…I wouldn’t buy anything. Ha! Famous last words. I tried on everything in my category. From a pair of Asics that can only be described as the Cadillacs of performance running shoes, to Adidas, Brooks, Nike and back to Mizunos . Then I tried the Tangents. Oh! My! God! Taking them for a spin down the block felt… FAST! Incredibly fast. These babies are light, low-profile and clearly made out of the essence of many fast-paced animals. I was smitten, purchased  the shoes and only then contemplated how I’d break the news to my Mizunos. It felt like I was cheating on a boyfriend. Would my Mizunos find out? Would they understand that maybe it was just time for me to move on to a different shoe?  Would my time with the Sauncony Tangents turn out to be a fling? These thoughts immediately vanished when I took The Gazelles for our first run.

Whooooosh! That is how the run went. I felt furiously fast. My turnover was light and the shoes seemed to throw me just slightly more on the balls of my feet. I tend to run “behind,” and The Gazelles provide just enough correction. I try to keep my Gazelles fresh for track practice, races and tempo runs so that feeling of fast and furious stays with me. But who am I kidding, The Gazelles are on my feet at least every other day.

Thoughts: The Hulks are big and badass, while The Gazelles are lean and fast. Maybe it’s time I find a mid-sized, mid-category shoe? Something that can get me through some solid training and runs that fall somewhere inbetween hardcore trail running and fast-paced street running? D’yall out there have any suggestions what shoe would complete my running-shoe trifecta?


About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
This entry was posted in nerd alert, running and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The Hulks vs. The Gazelles

  1. Gary says:

    Hi Heather,

    You know, I dream about trail running. This part of Scotland has some amazing countryside. Of course, at the moment, my burly frame requires a set of shoes that a cart-horse would struggle to run in.

    But one day…oh yes, one day…

  2. pinkcowgirl says:

    I so need to get some trail running shoes and stop abusing my “gazelles” Lol. Awesome.

  3. tom says:

    You might get a whole lot of suggestions.

    I still love the Nike Zoom Air Elite and the Adidas Adizero Tempo. They both make me feel gazellish…

  4. kingofpots says:

    heather, hi, i am basically an ASICS loyalist and i am recommending you to try ASICS Gel Kayano 14 or ASICS Gel Cumulus 10 for your training. they are light, comfortable and offer maximum stability and support. good luck on your trail & street runs!

  5. I also have a pair of Elixirs which I dig. Did you try on the New Balance 903? I had a pair of 902’s last year, probably one of my favorite running shoes ever.

    I plan on picking up a pair of the NB 903’s rather soon, they didn’t chance much.

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