Writing about running shoes is a bit different than writing about bicycle tyres because for some crazy reason shoe manufacturers insist on replacing models every year rather than just sticking with a good thing. This means that by the time I get hold of them and have had a chance to use them for a bit they are no longer available for normal retail - which makes a review a bit pointless, hence the “something” title; On the other hand though, the very fact they replace models every year means I’m able to get shoes in the first place - buying last year’s model for cheaper (and which is often reviewed better than the model it’s been replaced by).
That’s about a year of running now although starting off super gently doing Couch to 5k, with an entire month off fairly recently due to knackering my knee (now my other one is giving me grief!) and although mostly running all through winter (because it was really mild) it was with much less distance. So that’s meant one pair of shoes has lasted me all this time easily. In theory you are meant to replace every 300 to 500 miles. I haven’t kept track of the distance I’ve done (curses! I’ve only recently started recording runs), but probably am (was) only hovering around that mark because of what I’ve said above (500 miles is about 15k a week); I reckon the shoes have still got life left in them.
Nevertheless, I thought the one year mark was a good excuse as any to buy some new shoes.
For my first (old) pair of shoes I went with Nike LunarGlide 6. I can’t remember exactly how I arrived at this decision, but it was something along the lines of wanting something super soft and comfy (to encourage me to run), some stability/support because I have wonky limbs and trying to reduce the sheer amount of options by picking one brand to select from: You need to have something to start with. Oh, and of course buying last seasons shoes.
After injuring my knee though (can’t blame my shoes, probably the dog’s fault), I found I really preferred a flatter shoe, i.e. less offset/drop. Since the LunarGlides actually only have a 9.5mm offset (good shoes) I didn’t see the point in going for a 8mm offset shoe and so, still in an effort to make choosing easier, I ended up going for some Nike Free RN Distance. Which is a bit strange as it’s a completely different type of shoe to the LunarGlides (collapsible heel compared to a plastic clip for one), but so far I really like them. It’s a bit difficult to compare to the LunarGlides a year in (which are now (at least I think so) firm in the forefoot), but the Free RN Distances are like running in fluffy slippers: There is plenty of padding there, but not as much support. My achilles, arches and heels can tell the difference (I don’t think this is a bad thing though); As far as I can ascertain I’m not a heel striker and only hit my heels when really tired (this doesn’t make me a good runner, I’m terrible, it’s just the crappy baby-step way I run). Still though, goes to show that stability shoes aren’t really so important.
Next shoe though, I’m really tempted for a pair of these (once the next version is out so I can get these cheaper); The Free RN Distance 2 aren’t as good as the ones I have and so to stick with the 4mm offset I may have to look beyond Nike; Which is fair enough, as I said, you have to start somewhere.