running shoe review

I’ve been through a number of different brands of running shoe over the years, so I thought I’d share my experience and assess their worth.

Guy Leech Running Shoes: ★☆☆☆☆
I ran in these shoes for a couple of years. They’re cheap (around $30.00 at the time I got them). They did cause me some problems and eventually I decided to spend a little more money on shoes and have never looked back. They get one star for value.
Brooks Glycerin 8: ★★★★☆
Coming from the previous shoes, these were absolutely fantastic. No more sore legs, my average speed increased by around 1km/h, I felt as though I was running on springs! Two pairs of these probably covered about 2,000km (which, I admit, was probably a little too long to keep them going). The main problems were (1) the local Australian price was about twice the price when purchased from overseas even after including shipping, and (2) they became increasingly difficult to obtain from overseas retailers who would no longer ship Brooks shoes to Aus, thus forcing me to move on to other shoes.
Saucony Triumph 9: ★★☆☆☆
From Brooks I moved to Saucony. Initially they were great—bouncy, light, comfortable. However, it didn’t take too long to uncover the shoe’s fatal flaw: they had insufficient padding around the top-rear end meaning they scraped the skin off the back side of my ankles above the heel. For a while I worked around this by putting pieces of sponge inside my socks to protect me, but this problem really made the shoes quite useless to me.
Adidas Adistar Boost: ★★★☆☆
These looked promising and were certainly more comfortable than the Saucony. They were, however, insufficiently cushioned for me and left me with sore leg muscles after every run, and rather more tired than I ought to have been. They’ve now entered retirement as a nice pair of walking shoes. One thing to note, Adidas seem to use a different sizing scale to everyone else, so if you’re ordering without trying them on, choose a slightly larger size than you normally would.
Mizuno Wave Rider 15: ★★★★☆
After the disappointing Saucony and Adidas shoes, I was relieved to find the Mizunos to be well cushioned, comfortable, and easy to run in at a very reasonable price. If you run on gravel, be aware that there’s a hollow in the sole under the heel which has, for me, occasionally trapped a stone which consequently interrupts my run!
Adidas Energy Boost: ★★★★★
There’s been lots of hype about these shoes and, so far (I’ve run just over 100km in them thus far), I think it’s largely borne out by my experience with them. They’re light, very bouncy, and fit well (subject to the following observation). As with the Adistar above, they’re sizes seem slightly off compared to other brands, so I’d advise going for a slightly larger size in Adidas than I would in another brand. The other thing to watch is that these look quite similar to the Adistar Boost shoes, but they run very differently, so make sure you get the right one. The Adistar has solid rubber from the inside of the heel down to the ground which accounts (in part) for the comparatively low level of cushioning. The sole is flat so there’s no space for stones or other items to get jammed while you’re running.
Hoka One One Clifton 2: ★★★★★
Yes, a strange name and a bit of a mouthful. These are pretty new to the market and their distinctive feature seems to be that they have exceptionally high levels of cushioning. They’re also considerably lighter than the Adidas Energy Boost. I’ve found them to be very comfortable. You ride high in these due to the comparatively thick sole, but they are quite stable. I’ve been alternating between these and the Adidas Energy Boost. I prefer the Cliftons on short runs or long walks because of the comfort, but I think they dissipate more energy than the Adidas Energy Boost, so I prefer the Adidas for longer distance runs.

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