Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Why is there a mouse in my running shoes?

I have suspected my running shoes need replacing for a while now. I suspected at Vineman 70.3, in particular, but then I started to hear a squeaking noise every time I ran and I knew it was time. This is the second time I've had a pair of running shoes do that and am still completely clueless as to the cause. Except that it's not a good sign, of course.

The first pair to squeak were my Newtons which I liked okay but not enough to pay another $160 for running shoes. They started this behavior only two weeks out from IMAZ and I was afraid to replace my running shoes so close to the race so I had to listen to them squeak for 26.2 miles. Not fun.

For my next pair, I went back to the Nike Vomero. My first pair didn't squeak, but I just felt like they weren't as cushiony as they used to be so I replaced them. They were a decent shoe and served me well, but I wanted to try the Newtons because I heard so much hype about PRs and mid-foot striking. As I said, I didn't hate them, but ...

This second pair of Nike's has been less satisfactory than the first. I've had more issues with blisters and also with my feet swelling and running out of room for my toes. I also didn't get the great service I got the first time I went to Running Revolution. So once they started squeaking, I went to Sports Basement to replace them. I picked a day a friend was having a shopping party to get 20% off the normal low Sports Basement prices. I didn't get any service, but I didn't expect any. (Sports Basement will give advice and have you run in the shoes but doesn't have video or computer analysis or anything fancy like the running stores do. And they were busy. So I served myself. I knew what I wanted anyway and how they were supposed to feel.)

The pair I fell in love with was Asics Cumulus. They are a neutral, cushioning shoe like the Vomero (which Sports Basement didn't have in stock). But The Cumulus were $105 and the Asics Nimbus are a step up in the product line but on sale for some reason for $90. With the 20% off,  they were only $72. Score!

So far, I like them fine. They are definitely softer to run on than my worn-out old pair. I've only run in them once though so it's probably too early to tell.

I'm having issues with my Xtenex laces being too tight for them though. I went for size 7.5 to be sure to have adequate room in the toe box and I think the laces I have are a bit short for that size. I love the Xtenex laces though. I've tried other speed laces and had settled on Yanx for a while but my last pair would not stay attached to the various hooks and the ends would constantly untuck. This drove me crazy. Xtenex laces stay where you put them and can be adjusted forever. Also, the shoes are easier to slip into in Transition than with other laces I've tried.

I will report back on my running shoe and lace situation in a few weeks when I've had more time in the new shoes.

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