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I'm a big fan of Brooks running shoes and have been running in them injury-free for a long time (50 miles/week).  They seem to wear well, too.  I used to run in Asics, but switched to Brooks and like them better.  

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I would recommend going to a specialist running shop and getting yourself fitted and tested on a treadmill.  I love my Brooks.  I bought the first pair full price and am now replacing with the same model on discount as new versions are introduced and the old ones are remaindered.

 

No experience of minimalist.

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Chiming in to say it is well worth the money to go to a place that will watch your gait and evaluate what kind of shoe is best for you. Brooks also works really well for me. I love love love their Glycerin for the street and their Cascadia for trails. 

 

And get new ones when you're supposed to! (About every 6 months or when you notice any signs of wear on the soles.) 

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I love my Brooks Adrenalines (for pronators) but every person has their own unique foot shape and stride. I agree with the others who recommend getting fitted at a running specialty shop.

 

My tips:

 

1.Buy the best running shoes you can afford. Don't buy at a discount place because the quality often suffers.

 

2. Replace running shoes sooner than you think you should. There's a mileage recommendation (350-500 miles per pair) for running shoes, and I replace well before that time.

Edited by trulycrabby
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I've had Brooks and Saucony and have liked them both. My second pair of Brooks hurt my feet, and I ended up taking them back.

 

Definitely go get fitted. It's free and worth the time.

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I've become a big fan of going to a running store where they have people on hand who watch you walk and run and specialize in knowing what you need.  Three of my dd's have done that now and are so pleased with the shoes they ended up with!

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I tend to switch brands about every 5 years. I started in Nikes way back in high school when they were just about the only game. I've had Addidas, and New Balance too. Most recently I'm a Brooks girl. I have Hoka Ones that I wear hiking but I know a lot of people like Altras, the zero drop is apparently a little weird to get used to.

 

Definitely go to a specialty running store, every foot is different so different brands and styles work for different people. There are several newer brands out too that are nice shoes but just not as well known as the big companies yet.

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My son's XC coach got Brooks for the whole team. A few kids are using something else they personally prefer, but most seem happy with the Brooks.  My ds's first school supplied pair were stolen, and I replaced them with identical ones. So far ds seems to have gotten fewer sprains in his Brooks than in Adidas that he wore last year--and I think also less trouble with plantar fasciitis–though we'll see as winter running and then spring track and field progress.

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It’s best to go to a running shop and get fitted. I have Brooks but I know a lot of runners like ASICS too. I’m not sure why but it seems like those two brands are the most popular with runners.

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I’ll be the lone dissenter. Dh and I have both found that the best running shoes are the ones we picked out ourselves. There is some evidence amongst those who study such things to support that, too. I’ve even had the fancy gait analysis with cameras and pressure plate sensors. More running shoes than I can count and a couple thousand miles later, I’ve found that the shoe that works best is still the one I picked out on my own at my local discount shoe store chain. I just keep buying the next model up.

 

There is some benefit to buying from your local running shoe store in that they usually have a generous return policy that will let you return shoes even after you’ve run outside in them. It might be wise to buy from one just to start so you can return them if you find they don’t work.

 

As for running on the treadmill in the shoes? Eh. I thought that would be a helpful thing, but experience hasn’t born that out. Now I just try them on. Does it feel good on my foot? If I want, I can jog a bit in the aisle, but mostly I don’t. At most local running shoe stores they let you go outside and run up and down the sidewalk in front of the store.

 

Dh and I both ended up with Nikes. I disliked all of the Brooks, Saucony, and Hoka shoes I’ve tried. I am not thrilled with the changes Nike made to my shoe with the new model, but I still like it better than everything else. Most running shoe uppers made by the other brands are way too bulky and padded. I like that Nike doesn’t add a lot of padding in their uppers.

 

I run 5-6 days a week and put a lot of miles on each week so I have two pairs of running shoes that I alternate between. I also track the miles on each shoe in my running app. I’m on pairs four and five (?) for this calendar year. I sometimes put off replacing them longer than I should (I shoot for 300 miles a pair), and it is pretty much always a mistake.

 

I’ve also had to go up a full size bigger than my normal shoe because I have Morton’s toe and I need the extra length to keep from losing toenails. I also buy men’s shoes because I have big feet and I like the way men’s shoes are wider.

 

What’s the best shoe for you? It’s the one that feels right on your foot. Only you will know which shoe that should be. Don’t go in with an idea that x type shoe is the best. What works for someone here may not work for you.

Edited by mamaraby
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I like my Brooks, and my dh likes his Hokas. We are bigger people, and we need the support.

 

My light, fit 11 year old that runs likes Nikes best

Edited by Zinnia

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I "liked" about every post that said, "Go get fitted and in a place where you run on a treadmill."

 

It will save you a lot of money and pain in the long run.  

 

I have an odd shaped foot (middle toes longer than big toes) and so it is more than just a matter of sizing to find a shoe that works *in action*.  I just sent a pair of shoes I used ONE TIME to my sister because after running 10 minutes on the treadmill, I thought my middle toe would break.  Sad face.

 

 

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Shoes vary so much, even just from one year's model to the next. I currently favor the Brooks Glycerin 14 -- but who knows if the 15 will be a good a fit for me. Before this, I wore Brooks Launch but I didn't like a newer model. I also have a pair of Asics and Saucony that I like.

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Shoes vary so much, even just from one year's model to the next. I currently favor the Brooks Glycerin 14 -- but who knows if the 15 will be a good a fit for me. Before this, I wore Brooks Launch but I didn't like a newer model. I also have a pair of Asics and Saucony that I like.

So true! I think that's why I end up switching styles every few years.

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Definitely go to a running store if you can. I had to drive over an hour to go. That said- I LOVE my Brooks Ghosts. I always go up a half size to allow for my feet to swell a bit running "long distances".

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What do you like?

 

Pros and cons of minimalist style?

Look for low drop shoes, as close to zero as possible. I prefer a little cushion rather than strictly minimalist shoes because running on concrete can be rough on the knees.

 

I like Mizuno. I also like to alternate between my wave ekidens, wave riders, and wave sayonara. They all have slightly different drops and each one works different muscle groups. I overpronate, one leg is worse than the other, and the one thing I never buy is stability shoes. I made that mistake 4-5 years ago and wound up with plantar fasciitis and a messed up knee. Once I switched to neutral low drop shoes, I learned to work with my natural gait and haven't suffered any injuries.

 

Forgot to say, I like Mizuno in particular because the toe box on their low drop shoes tends to be wider than most runners. I barefoot or wear flip flops and open sandles 95% of the time so my forefoot is ground grippy and wider than my heel.

Edited by Barb_
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I didn't realize that so many people love Brooks. Both dd and I love them. And, echoing others -- go to a good running store, one where the salespeople really know the characteristics of each shoe. We each have Brooks glycerin -- nice cushioning for plantar fasciitis.

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When dd had Sever's disease (heel pain at growth plate due to overuse while growing), her sports med guy and PT recommended shoes with a 10mm drop from heel to toe. That actually seems to be pretty standard for a lot of shoes. We went to the high-end running shoe store for expert fit, and after trying on many brands, the ones that worked best for her skinny feet were the same Nike Pegasus she had already been wearing! Personally Nikes don't fit my feet right and I'm back in New Balance after a few years in Saucony.

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I’ll be the lone dissenter. Dh and I have both found that the best running shoes are the ones we picked out ourselves. There is some evidence amongst those who study such things to support that, too. I’ve even had the fancy gait analysis with cameras and pressure plate sensors. More running shoes than I can count and a couple thousand miles later, I’ve found that the shoe that works best is still the one I picked out on my own at my local discount shoe store chain. I just keep buying the next model up.

 

There is some benefit to buying from your local running shoe store in that they usually have a generous return policy that will let you return shoes even after you’ve run outside in them. It might be wise to buy from one just to start so you can return them if you find they don’t work.

 

As for running on the treadmill in the shoes? Eh. I thought that would be a helpful thing, but experience hasn’t born that out. Now I just try them on. Does it feel good on my foot? If I want, I can jog a bit in the aisle, but mostly I don’t. At most local running shoe stores they let you go outside and run up and down the sidewalk in front of the store.

 

Dh and I both ended up with Nikes. I disliked all of the Brooks, Saucony, and Hoka shoes I’ve tried. I am not thrilled with the changes Nike made to my shoe with the new model, but I still like it better than everything else. Most running shoe uppers made by the other brands are way too bulky and padded. I like that Nike doesn’t add a lot of padding in their uppers.

 

I run 5-6 days a week and put a lot of miles on each week so I have two pairs of running shoes that I alternate between. I also track the miles on each shoe in my running app. I’m on pairs four and five (?) for this calendar year. I sometimes put off replacing them longer than I should (I shoot for 300 miles a pair), and it is pretty much always a mistake.

 

I’ve also had to go up a full size bigger than my normal shoe because I have Morton’s toe and I need the extra length to keep from losing toenails. I also buy men’s shoes because I have big feet and I like the way men’s shoes are wider.

 

What’s the best shoe for you? It’s the one that feels right on your foot. Only you will know which shoe that should be. Don’t go in with an idea that x type shoe is the best. What works for someone here may not work for you.

 

 

 

This has worked well for me too.  I did go to a good shoe store and get analyzed.  I supinate slightly.  He put me in lots of various shoes and I ran around.  Then he asked what shoe I'd been running in, which was a lightweight Aasics trainer with almost no stability.  So he put me in the newer model of that instead of the stability shoes, and my gait was much, much better.  And they felt right.  Ever since, I've just gone to the discount shoe store and tried on shoes and ran around.  I buy what feels comfy.  I continued to wear running shoes exclusively even when I stopped running because... once you've had comfortable shoes, it's really hard to go back!

 

Then I had a long run hiatus (15 years).  During that time, I continued to sofa run, i.e., read about other people running.  :-D  I got pretty inspired by the barefoot/minimalist concept.  

 

When I decided to take up running again this summer, I bought a pair of minimalist Merrells, can't remember which one exactly.  I really really like them.  Now when I wear my aasics for walking, they feel pretty clunky.  But, I can't walk for long in my merrells as they hurt my feet a bit to walk, but not to run.  Go figure!  

 

I'm planning to try on Altras next time I'm in the US.  As mentnmioed upthread, they have the zero drop aspect which is good, but you can get models with various levels of padding.  I also hope to incorporate SHORT segments of running in truly bare feet as a gait tune-up.  I'm currently reading The Cool Impossible, which is an interesting book about foot strength/running/etc.

 

I don't think there's anything wrong with a good, structured running shoe.  But I also think if you are otherwise healthy and want to experiment a bit with barefoot, either real or minimalist shoes... go for it and just remember to take it really easy.  

 

One thing holding me back from being fully minimalist is my pace.  I am running a 10-12m/mile for most of my runs.  Generally, I do some fartlek training 1-2x a week and when I hit about 8m/mi, my gait feels totally different, smooth and comfortable and efficient.  But I don't have the capacity yet to maintain that.  My gait at 12m/mile is a lot less efficient feeling.  I think I could get away with a lot less shoe, a lot more often, if I were running at my body's naturally more efficient/smooth pace, but I'm not at that level of fitness yet.   

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I have been running in Saucony for over a decade. I was fitted years ago at a great running store in the pro grid omni, and have been running in that ever since. I like the wide toe box and the stability and the cushioning. I am 50 years old and have been running since I was 12, so no minimalist shoes here. My older joints appreciate a little cushioning. I also buy a size larger than my street shoe size. I am a 7 1/2 to 8 in street shoes and I buy an 8 1/2 wide in running and hiking shoes.

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My adult son is an athlete, and believes in the minimalist shoe for running. When conditions are possible, he runs barefoot. He's the only kid in our extended family (the boys are all athletes) who hasn't needed knee surgery before hitting 25 years old.

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