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
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.
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?