Category Archives: Shoe Reviews

Two More Shoe Reviews: Trail Workhorse and Road Workhorse

Here are two more quick reviews of shoes in my arsenal. Who is running the Cross Country race at The Rock trails tomorrow?

Brooks Pure Flow

The Brooks Pure Project is one of the best examples of the new “almost minimalist” style being talked about in every running publication. The Flow is neutral, has a 4 mm drop and split outsole feature to let your big toe flex independently. The Pure Flow has plenty of cushioning for a road shoe and has a nice stable feel to it. It’s a good every-day mileage type of workhorse. I’ve had a pair of the Flow I and the Flow II. I actually liked the upper on the first version better but the change to the upper wasn’t enough to scare me off. Much has been said about the split toe design but I can barely tell the difference running in it. Cushioned, neutral, high mileage shoe!

Innov8 Terrafly Trail

Inov8 trail

I bought these because I had a 50K trail race coming up and none of my trail shoes had what I wanted for a 31 mile run. The Terrafly is fairly light at 9.1 oz, has enough cushioning that running on pavement is comfortable and the outsole is stiff enough to offer protection from rocks and roots. I only did a few training runs in them before the Sweet H2O 50K in Georgia but I did get two runs of over 20 miles in them and they worked great. I couldn’t have been happier with them at the race. We were on mountains, through creeks and over very tough terrain and I had no foot soreness or blisters after the race. My hamstrings and quads…..NEVER have they hurt so bad! I still use these for trail runs at San Felasco regularly and I’d bet on these to last at least 500 miles for me.

Sweet H2O

Jim Burgasser, Me and Steve Wilcox at the Sweet H2O 50K in Lithia Georgia.

Advertisements

The BEST Running Shoes

What shoes are the best to run in? Has anyone ever asked you that? My answer is usually, “Lloyd Clarke shoes.”

Lloyd Clarke Sports has their own BRAND of shoes now? No, but as my very small bit of research shows, there is a reason Lloyd Clarke Sports carries so many brands and styles of shoes. I took a quick survey of the runners at our Sunday Run Day training run yesterday. I asked them what shoes they were wearing for the run, why they like them and how many pairs of running shoes they wear during the week.

Altra pic saucony pic

Runners at the Sunday Run Day Group run=             14  [6 women and 8 men]

Most popular Brands:

Saucony                              5

Brooks                                3

Altra                                    1

Asics                                    1

Inov8                                   1

Mizuno                                1

Nike                                     1

Topos                                  1

topos

Most popular style:

Saucony Kinvara               3

Brooks Ghost                     2

Most common reasons they like their shoes

Light                     4

Good Fit               2

Cushioning          2

Color                    2 (notably the 2 who said color was an important factor were both men)

Total pairs of running shoes owned by the group:                39

Average pairs per person:                                                           2.78

Most pairs used by one runner:                                                 5

So what does this tell you as a runner hunting for the best running shoe for your foot? We had 14 runners, 8 different brands and 10 different styles. I think that means your best bet for finding your perfect shoe is a place where they offer a large variety of brands and styles. Try them on. Get professional help in fitting them. Run on a treadmill for a while in them.

shoe-wall

Closing notes

I am one of two people with 5 pairs of shoes in my weekly rotation. Partly because I want different shoes for different surfaces or types of training and partly because my shoes are always wet and it is hard to have a dry pair unless I cycle through a few.

My shoes:

Saucony Kinvara               Used for daily mileage, tempo runs or a Marathon race

Inov8 Terrafly                    Trail shoe for long runs in San Felasco

NewBalance 1400            Daily mileage or tempo runs. Very light shoe.

Saucony A5                        Racing flat used for track work or racing

Newton Momentum        Trail shoe for shorter trail runs

Other shoes I’ve owned recently but that are not in my current rotation:

Brooks Pure Flow

Brooks T7 Racer

Saucony Viratta

All stats in case you’re a real geek!

Gender Brand Style Reason

# of pairs

F Altra Torin Comfort, zero drop

3

M Asics 1160 color

1

F Brooks Ghost heel support, wide toe box

5

F Brooks Ghost wide toe box

2

F Brooks Pure Flow light, comfort

4

M Inov8 x233 color

1

M Mizuno Wave Rider good fit, cushioning

1

F Nike Structure supportive & flexible

1

F Saucony Kinvara light

2

M Saucony Kinvara light

4

M Saucony Triumph Cushion

4

M Saucony Kinvara light, neutral

5

M Saucony Ride good fit

3

M Topos RR Recommended by LC staff

3

A Quick Review of My Shoes: Part I- Saucony

This quick post will give you a little information about some shoe styles available at Lloyd Clarke Sports, some ideas for track / tempo workouts and a little insight into my running life.

shoes

Saucony Kinvara 3

I love these shoes. I’ve had 5 or 6 pairs of Kinvaras through the various model revisions and the feel has not changed. Kinvaras are light weight, neutral, with moderate cushioning and a nice fit. I use these as a daily training shoe but also for tempo runs. During marathon training a tempo runs alternate between steady state runs of 5- 8 miles at goal marathon pace or a bit faster or cut-down runs. The cut-down runs are usually 5 miles and start at 5 seconds per mile slower than marathon goal pace. So I might start at 6:15 the first mile. The I cut 5 seconds off each mile: 6:10, 6:05, 6:00, 5:55.

I can put in long miles with these shoes and the cushioning is adequate. Kinvaras have also been my choice for marathon racing shoes. Typical racing flats simply don’t have enough cushioning for me to cover 26.2 miles on pavement and not get injured. Kinvaras have carried me under three hours in five marathons time with a Masters PR of 2:42:20 at Chicago.

Saucony Viratta

The Viratta is a new one in the lineup for Saucony that is very similar to the Kinvara. It is a touch lighter (6.7 oz) and I found the cushioning similar to the Kinvara. It is a neutral shoe like the Kinvara but is more flexible. It really lets your foot move naturally. I’ve only had one pair of these and I’ve probably logged 300 miles in them. I will consider a pair of Virattas for my next marathon because they are well cushioned and lightweight.

Saucony A5 Racing Flat

If you want a light, fast shoe for 5Ks and 10Ks, this is a fantastic choice. I frequently use these for track sessions also. My A5s have done everything from 11 X 400 to 2 X 2 mile on the track. Whether burning fast 400s or settling into 10K goal pace; these feel great. I had the A4 version of this shoe as well and the A5 is quite similar with no major changes. Racing? Yes, these shoes can race! I dropped Masters PRs in the 10K with a 33:44, a 15K PR of 52:42 and Half Marathon PR of 1:16:24. The Half Marathon is a little bit long for these shoes and I felt pretty beat up after the race. So that’s the line for me! Over Half Marathon, I need more cushioning!

Saucony Type A5 racing flat
Saucony Type A5 racing flat

That’s it for the Saucony report. I also have reports to share on the Brooks Pure Flow, Inov8 Terrafly, and others but that will wait for another day.