Ever since I found out about my "rigid feet" I have been googling a ton, trying to figure out what shoes are well cushioned and made for neutral runners. On Monday I went to my local running store, armed with a groupon, hoping they might have something perfect for me in stock. Nope. Nada. My size 11 1/2 (in running shoes) feet are admittedly hard to fit, but there wasn't even a pair of men's shoes in the store that would work for me! Not to be dismayed, I took note of the shoes he recommended for me, cross-referenced it with some suggestions I got online and voila! next thing I knew I was sitting down with my ipad and ordering shoes off of zappos.com like a mad woman.
In all I ordered six pairs:
From left to right the shoes are: Mizuno Wave Rider, Brooks Glycerin, Saucony Triumph 10, Nike Pegasus 29, Asics Nimbus 14 and in the front are the Saucony Progrid Ride 5s.
Immediately I fell in love with Brooks, mostly because I sort of consider myself a "Brooks Girl". They were also my favorite looking shoe of the bunch. I pretty quickly dismissed the Nikes because they didn't feel as good on my feet as some of the others. The Asics felt like the heel was higher than the rest (a quick check revealed the stack height of the heel was indeed the highest of all of them).
I was then left with the Mizunos, the Brooks and both Sauconys. What to do?! I ran back and forth in my house, a different shoe on each foot, over and over. I loved them all. The Mizunos were the next to go, however, as they had a higher heel to toe offset and part of my "thing" is keeping it as close to zero as possible. The Brooks were crossed off next. As much as I loved them, and decided they were like wearing SUVs on my feet, they were indeed the heaviest and didn't feel a whole lot different from the Adrenalines I was trying to move away from. The forefoot also felt the stiffest of the the group.
I was left with the Sauconys. There is very, very little difference to me between the Ride 5s and the Triumph 10s. I walked around with one kind of shoe on each foot and couldn't even tell I was wearing different shoes. One shoe is overall 1 mm higher but both weigh the same. Ack! I didn't like the white color I chose for the Triumph 10s, so that certainly swayed me away from those.
In the end I chose the Ride 5s, the blue ones in the center of the half-circle of the photo above. They definitely felt the most minimal of all of these clunkers (so, not "minimal" at all) and were very nice looking, too. They were also the second to cheapest of the shoes at $110. The Nike's were $89.99 and the most expensive were the Asics and Brooks at $140. I didn't double-check the price until I decided on the shoes, but I am definitely glad I didn't pick the priciest!
All in all, I absolutely loved my experience buying shoes from Zappos.com. I ordered the shoes Monday night and they were on porch Wednesday before 11:00 am. Wowsa. Zappos always has the best customer service, too. I wouldn't have ordered shoes through them if I didn't know what I needed, but since I did, I was glad I could use them. My refund will come quickly, as it always does, when I return the five pairs I won't be keeping.
So there you go! I will update more on the shoes after I get a few runs in them. I am hoping to run a local 5K race this weekend, that would be a great time to see what these shoes are made of!