Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Testing New Running Shoes

I'm cautiously testing new running shoes. I have worn Asics and Brooks for the last 8 years. Prior to that I wore Saucony.

As a new runner, I loved the cushion and stability of Saucony, but as my lower legs got stronger, the shoes started to feel a little bulky.

Asics and Brooks are good for neutral and high arches (I'm the latter). They have cushion without a lot of bulk and they hold up well - many of my friends who run 100+ miles a month like them.

The new shoes are Puma. I've been falling in like with Puma gear over the last year - very functional with good-looking details - so when I had an opportunity to try the Ventis, I was excited.

The Ventis are more in the vein of Saucony - lots of cushion and stability. They feel a little bulky on flat runs, but are great for hills - the toe bed provides a nice surface to push off of when going up and the heal provides a soft landing for my prematurely old joints when running down.

I'm still testing them, but my early report is that this is a great shoe for runners who:
  • Have wide feet (nice & roomy toe box)
  • Have neutral arches
  • Are new and want extra support
  • Have bad ankles or knees (more cushion for the pushin')
My biggest complaint is the sizing. I ALWAYS wear a 7.5 regular shoe and an 8 running shoe. Even my old-school Puma Flippers are a 7.5 and comfy. I received an 8 in the Ventis and my toes were cramped. I've never lost a toenail and don't want to now, so I exchanged them for size 8.5, which are a little big. However, the extra padding around the Achilles holds the shoes in place nicely. Interested to see how that plays out...
The Puma Flipper. I love them so much, I had to include a picture of my magenta girls.