Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Shoes Weigh In

If I could have one wish as a runner, (other than whirled peas) it would possibly be eating whatever I want without adversely affecting my race.  Or maybe, no one ever again slamming on the brakes and stopping in the middle of a water stop creating a log jamb.  Or no more black toe nails.  Or maybe even a world where gnomes were also runners ... but their short little legs and wooden shoes made them really bad runners ... and as we passed them in a marathon we would try to encourage them and say, "Awe, look it's a little gnome ... come on little fairy tale gnome, you can do it" ... but then he found that patronizing and tried to bite your ankle ... but he couldn't catch up because he was a slow gnome.

(all of the shoes are size 12 or 12.5 U.S. sizes) Top left - lightweight Skechers GoRun2 without insole ... 7.2oz, Top right - GoRun Ride 2 with insole ... 9.3oz, Bottom left - Brooks Pure Flow2 size 12 ... 9.7oz, Bottom right - Brooks Pure Flow2 size 12.5 with supplemental insole ... 11.9oz 
Or maybe, it would just be a shoe that was super light weight, felt great on my foot, kept my 180+ lb frame from beating up feet, that also could withstand the mileage of a marathon ... and looked good.  But sadly, I think that shoe is non-existent.  Sometimes, I find a shoe that comes close in all of the specifications, but they all seem to have their limitations.

So in trying to choose the appropriate shoe for my marathon this weekend - yes, I literally still don't know what shoe I'm going to wear - I decided to throw all of my current shoes on a scale, just to see how they stacked up.  Not surprisingly, the minimalist shoes were much lighter than their thick-heeled counterparts.  Typically I wear a size 12.5 for running,  and I've found that those are about an ounce heavier than the published shoe weights, which are usually based off of a size 9 for most manufacturers.  For example, my Brooks Pure Flows are sold with a published weight of 8.8oz, and as you can see above, my size 12's without a supplemental insert tips the scale at 9.7oz, which is obviously to be expected with more material in the shoe.

Top left - Brooks Adrenaline GTS ... 13.1oz, Top right - Brooks Ghost Trail with supplemental insert ... 15.6oz, Bottom - Brooks Glycerin with supplemental insert ... 15.7oz
Typically I only use the extremely light shoes, like the Skechers, for short races or speed drills.  The heavier shoes, like the bulky Brooks, I'll add a supplemental insert for additional cushioning and use them for trails and recovery runs.   There is a huge difference between strapping on the heavy Brooks, that weigh in at almost a pound per shoe, and the light weight Skechers, which are less than half a pound per shoe.  8 oz doesn't seem like a lot, but after training with the heavy Brooks for a while, the light weight shoes feel like my feet are naked.

For this race, as with the past couple, I'll  most likely use the size 12 Brooks Pure Flows.  They're fairly light weight and seem to handle 26 miles fairly well.  I'm not in love with them, but they seem to be the best alternative I've found.  I used to run in the thick-heeled shoes for a marathon, but sweat-soaked trail-type shoes become very heavy to lift in the late stages of a race.  With the lighter shoes, I never really notice the weight, but after about 22 miles, I seem to become aware of the pounding on the soles of my feet.  But I would rather sacrifice a little comfort, as opposed to carrying extra weight at the end of my ankles.

So anyway, there's my little shoe study.  Fascinating, I know.  Yes, I am a nerd.  But hopefully choosing the right shoe will help get me to the finish line a little quicker.  I'm gonna need all the help I can get.  Have a great day!
... be great today!

19 comments:

  1. Yes, you are a nerd. But I guess it's all the 1 percenters - those little things that you can do which might make a difference. And I guess those ounces all add up over 42.2 kilometres.

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  2. Does the name Imelda Marcos mean anything to you, Jim?

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    1. I think her collection was all cowboy boots

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  3. I must confess. I have dragged out my postal scale and weighed my shoes before. And you own a lot of shoes.

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    1. I'm a little embarrassed about the quantity

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  4. I don't even own a postal scale! Crud, now i need to get one.
    Well, actually, it won't make much of a difference if I want to keep my ambassador job. It will be whichever works the best of brand A.
    Having worn brand B, I could not have worn the PF2 for a marathon. They just felt too weird. With all those steps or a long paved course, I am more concerned about coming away without injury and have worn the heavier shoe. That said, it would be nice to go with the lighter pair if you can rebound well from it. Very interesting how your different brands stack up!

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    1. That's exactly what thd conflict is about each race, Raina - go faster/painful with lighter shoes ... or slower/more cushioned with heavier ones

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  5. I've been running for ever and I've gone through many many shoes, but I have never weighed them. I must admit I never think about the weight of my shoes. As long as the fit is right I am happy. Being slow as I am I might need a lighter pair to stay ahead of the gnomes :)

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    1. You're right Johann, the fit is the most important thing ... Gnomes happen!

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  6. I don't even want to know what my Hoka One One Bondi 3 shoes weigh, but I'm happy the ankle ache is gone.

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    1. Those things look incredibly cushiony and comfortable

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  7. Yeah, my Hoka One One are weighty but I love them.

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  8. I have totally weighed my shoes! My current shoe is the Mizuno EVO Cursoris and I think it does a wonderful job of cushioning while being super light. I'm definitely not a fan of running in a bulky shoe - that extra weight really tires your legs out. Best of luck to you this weekend!!

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  9. Thanks Pahla, yeah - it's amazing how that extra weight feels like several pounds in the late stages of a marathon

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  10. Ugh, I feel your pain.....I have many shoes that I'm reasonably in "like" with & that are *almost* exactly what I want, but I'm still looking for one that I really *love*.

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    1. Yeah, if I could find the perfect one, I think I'd buy a hundred of them!

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  11. I have worn the Pure Flows. After a half, they certainly made my feet cramp! I cant explain it any other way. I bought them a week before my half. Never cramped before! I think I may need to start using a heavier, cushioned shoe :(

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