After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

If you are looking for my new posts, please go to www.haroldlshaw.com .

Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Shoes I Ran In - 2015 - Not the Direction I Expected to End Up

I know that there are more than two months left in 2015 and that knowing me just a little that I will probably end up with a few more shoes this year.

Yeah, more than likely anyway.

So why in the hell are you doing this now, instead sometime in late December...you know Harold when most people in their right mind start doing the end of year crap that us bloggers love to do?

I am tired...

I am tired of always feeling like I have to look for something different in my running shoes or the ones that seem to work well at first, end up having some fatal flaw for me that causes me to get rid of them.

When I step out the door in the morning to run in my new Pearl Izumi EM/H3 Roads, they will be the 20th pair of running shoes I have gone out that door in during 2015.

Which is just too damn many.

The Quest

The running shoe industry has always been a moving target to first find and then keep running in shoes that work for me. One that I have been trying to hit since the early 80's.

For some runners and I include myself in this list, running has been, sort of the side light in my quest for the holy grail of running shoes. You know that "one" pair of running shoes, that will allow you to run faster, further and without injury as often as you want. At times, the search for the "right" shoe has taken precedence over running well.

Especially since it has to be the running shoe's fault that I am: injured, not running well, not running as fast as I believe I should or all those other things we tend to blame on our running shoes, instead of where it belongs - on us.

So we have mounds and mounds of "failed" running shoes laying around the house.

While I am sure that the wrong running shoe for how you run will hinder and might even get you injured...how many "good enough" pairs of running shoes do we set to the side in our hopes and dreams that the next pair will make us an even better runner?

Isn't that what the running shoe brand's show us each year and plant that seed of frustration or doubt, with our current running shoes. Even if we are running fairly well in them, that we could be running even better in their newest offerings.

Marketing Works

The marketing hype does work.

I know it has and does for me and after reading posts the Running Shoe Geek's Facebook Group for the past few years, I know that I am not the only runner out there on this quest and who is or can be influenced by the search for the next great running shoes that will cure all the evils in our running.

While I will probably never completely turn in my running shoe geek card, at some point and I am pretty sure I am getting to this point that how much of my running is about the shoes and how much of my running is about running?

When you look at the piles of running shoes or how you have to hide buying the next pair, maybe your priorities are a bit skewed - mine are.

Shoe of the Year

Unless something phenomenal happens over the next couple of months, there will be no "shoe of the year" from me.

Especially, when I had to go back to a pair of running shoes, my old Pearl Izumi EM/N2 V1's, that that I retired back in 2014, put in the backseat of the truck, as just in case shoes and then brought them out of retirement this week to be my primary rotation shoes.

Honestly, having to do this (use an old retired pair of shoes and then run really well in them), puts my year in running shoes in perspective. Especially, since if I had to choose a shoe for that dubious honour, it would be the N2's.

Scary isn't it.

While some older shoes like the Brooks Cascadia 8, Skechers GoRun2, Mizuno Ronin 4, or Skechers GoMeb2 didn't really have that many miles on them in 2015, I did run more than a few times in them. Even so, it means I could probably take them off the list and not feel too guilty about it.

The remainder needs to be here.

Looking back

Looking back I thought that I had found my perfect shoes in April. The Hoka Clifton v1's were everything that I wanted in a running shoe: light, cushioned, rockered, seamless upper, super comfortable and let me run with my stride.

Unfortunately, it turned out that the other Clifton models did not share the same fit. I had become enamoured with how great the old Blue versions felt and, as a result, overlooked my foot being scrunched to the point of it causing other problems, in the two pair of Lime models I got (yes, I did try on some other blue one's but they felt much more narrow too). Sometimes I want a shoe to work so bad that I will just deal with something that ain't quite right when I should have moved on.

That was the case with the Hoka Clifton v1 (I didn't even buy the v2 since it felt even more narrow than the V1). If they ever make the Clifton in an E or EE, I will give them a go again, otherwise I will not bother to waste my money - again.

My biggest disappointment this year surprisingly was not the Hoka Clifton's, while I was disappointed with how it ended up, they did have a 3 shoe run, which means they reached a decent level of success in my mind.

Nope, my biggest disappointment in running shoes this year was the Under Armour Gemini.

The Gemini's had their moment in the sun and came so highly recommended from everyone around me that I just had to have a pair. At first I loved them - a lot, but the more I ran in them the less I liked them, finally it became a struggle for me to put them on and I put them in the closet. I did not enjoy or like the ride or how the toe box felt.

Which was not what I expected after all the hype. They should have been a great shoe for me, great upper, decent width, nice multi-purpose tread, cushioned, but after the initial flush of "how great" they were, I quickly found out they were not the shoes for me.

Unfortunately, they had a "dead" feel, despite the brand's claim of "charged" foam - it didn't work for me. Eventually, I gave/traded them to another runner who had wanted to try them and who ended up agreeing with my assessment. The hype didn't match the reality - for me at least.

The reality is that

It is funny how things work sometimes...here I am going back in time to a style of running shoe that worked well for me in 2014, they certainly are not the newest and not even the greatest running shoes, but I am running well in them.

Isn't that all that matters.

So I have gone back to what worked well for me.

Pearl Izumi.

Yeah, it is funny how things work sometimes - going back to Pearl Izumi is not the direction and definitely not what I expected to be running in at any point this year, especially when I was refusing to even look seriously at the Pearl Izumi line when Granite City Running was open and carried them. If I had only known what I know now...

Well, tomorrow will be another chapter...in my story. When I do my first run in the:

Pearl Izumi EM/H3 - a new start.

Maybe I did learn something this year.

How many failed pair of running shoes do you have laying around the house, in the car/truck, locker, garage or wherever you hide them?

Have you ever gone back to running in those old failed running shoes, figured out how well those one's worked for you and then put them back into your regular rotation once more?

Finally, which is more important - your running shoe choices or your running...stop before you answer that question and think for a minute which do you put more time into:

  1. researching and shopping for your next running shoes 
  2. planning for your next training cycle? 

Something to think about isn't it?

This post originally appeared on One Foot In Reality if you see it elsewhere, it has been used without permission, please go to my site to see the original post.


  1. I may have found my ideal shoe in the Kinvara 6 (looking forward to the 7) but I'm still on a never ending shoe quest that will make me run that little bit faster or at least that's the excuse I give my wife when I want to get new shoes ... LOL!

    1. Nick as long as she keeps buying, you will be fine and will get faster. I loved the K5's, but they did somethin funky with my right knee, so I am leery of going back to the Kinvara lineup. Oh I probably will at some point, but for now, I have a feeling that PI and I are going to give it a go again.


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