This post was written for and first appeared on One Foot In Reality.
Over the past few months, it seems almost as if my running has come full circle when it comes to my running shoes.
I am looking for my running shoes to be:
- to be comfortable
- not bother my tailor's bunionette - a nice toe box
- have a multi-purpose outsole (good for tar, dirt roads, groomed trails, wet roads and some snow)
- have 8-12 mm drop, with stack heights in the 20's
- weigh close to 10.0 oz
- a little motion control
- last 400-500 miles without falling apart or become racing slicks on parts of the outsole
- under $70 - yeah I have gone through too many shoes lately to pay this year's prices.
After narrowing it down to a few different ones, I decided to go back to Mizuno running shoes and today ran a mile in my brand spanking new Mizuno Inspire 11's. Yeah, last year's model.
They did fine for a first run and were comfortable for me to wear the whole day at work, without adjusting anything.
What Mizuno shoes have I run in:
- Alchemy (2007) they lasted 6 months when I was doing 3-5 miles a day
- Elixir 7 - still have them
- Ronin 4 - too small, but got over 200 miles on them
- Rider 16 - expectations were way out of wack, my problem not the shoes
- Hitogami 2 - toe box too tight
So I am not looking at the Inspire's with rose colored glasses or unrealistic expectations. I have a pretty good idea of what to expect. Mizuno running shoes will be a bit noisier when I land than I have become accustomed to, the shoes will need 40-50 miles to break in (no running 10 miles out of the box-not that I could right now anyway) and with the sew through upper socks are mandatory.
The biggest surprises that I had initially with the Inspire 11's are that the toe box is the first Mizuno brand toe box that my toes didn't feel cramped and how much they didn't weigh.
The Inspire 11's are a more "traditional" running shoe and do have a different feel from the lower drop/rockered, softer ride style of running shoes that I have primarily run in for the past 3-4 years. However, I have a very strong feeling that this is the direction that is right for me at this point in my running life.
The reality is that
I have to accept, as hard as that is for me, that my body is not ready or able to run injury free in 5-6 oz., low drop racing flats and may not ever be again (facing reality sucks).
Until this Achilles/Left leg crap is healed, I need to stay away from the faster running and running in shoes that encourage me to run faster. As much as I want to run faster and really want this fall to be a great racing season - it is not gonna happen. I just need to focus on getting back running pain-free and work on my base.
Now I am not going to get fired up and say the Inspire 12's are the greatest thing...been down the road too often to anoint them as the next great shoe. Unfortunately, the Inspires 12's gained almost an ounce and according to the pre-order on Running Warehouse another extra 4 ounces of weight gain on the 13's and are listed at 11.4 oz, which is not what I am looking for. I suppose there are more changes and is designed to differentiate them from the new Catalyst.
So the Inspire 11's will probably be a one-time buy and if the Mizuno's are working as well as I hope they will, move over to the Riders or Catalyst. Actually, the Catalyst seems to be the replacement for the Inspire 11.
Time will tell, but for now it is simply important to keep putting one foot in front of the other and try to keep smiling.
For now it is nice to take the pressure off of needing to run faster and instead just focus on running in another pair of Mizuno's