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Shoe Story



A little background, when I first started running consistently, training to run my first marathon I ran in Asics Cumulus shoes which have quite a bit of cushioning.  Back then I was a heel striker and since I am somewhat bowlegged and supinate as well I ended up always wearing out my shoes on the outside of the heals.  It turned out back then the Cumulus cushioning would eventually not bounce back after repeated outside heel strikes making the supination even more pronounced.    I believe this was a one cause for my repeated bouts with the dreaded PF (plantar fasciitis), sometimes in both feet a the same time.  So  I decided to switch to running shoes with a lower heal drop and less cushioning which coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally) happened about the same time when the book "Born to Run" came out and the ensuing minimalist running shoe movement.  So I switched to shoes with a low heel to toe drop, and with not much cushioning.   These changes resulted in me changing from having a heel strike to a having forefoot running strike.  Now since I have wide feet I sometimes wear holes in my shoes on the outside of my forefoot which is due to a combination of my supination, my wide feet and not always being able to find a particular running shoe in a wide width.   Although I still sometimes get PF, I feel my running stride is more comfortable and efficient.
I have replaced my 2 pairs of running shoes; Topo Athletic Flylite 3 and Saucony ISO 2 Freedom in the beginning of this February.  I have heard that it is better to alternate running in at least two different types of shoes to reduce wear and tear on your shoes and feet.  My two new pairs of shoes are the Topo Athletic Flylite 3 (3rd pair) and the Altra Torin 4.5 Plush (first pair).   The Flylite shoes  have 3mm heal to toe drop, are fairly light,  have a wide toe box, and some but not a lot of cushioning.  I like the Flylite's but on some of my longer (>6mi), faster (tempo pace) runs my feet become sore.  Now that cushioning is all the rage I decided to try the Torin Plush which like all Altra's have 0mm of heal drop, are a little heavier than the Flylite's, also have a wide toe box, but have a lot more cushioning than the Flylite's. 
I have been running a little over month in Torin Plush's which I typically run in 2 days a week for about 5 and 12 miles.  They have been a pleasure to run in as they seem to conform to my feet, my feet stay comfortable during my longer runs, and my legs also seem to stay fresh.  I also run 2 days a week in the Flylite's;  5 miles each day which definitely feel harsher to my feet on impact with the road.  Well I am really like running in the Torin Plush's, but I will have to see how they hold up over time.  Since I have been putting a greater percentage of my weekly miles on the Plush's I would end up replacing them long before the Flylite's so I am going to alternate my weekly long run between the Plush's and Flylite's to better balance out the mileage.  I will have to see how my feet and legs hold up.
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I ran in the Cumulus for years. My last two have been HOKA's, but I recently bought another pair of Cumulus. Either ASICS changed this shoe or I got a real lemon. They are stiff and hard as bricks. After 60 miles on them I came up lame with a bad Achilles tendon. Coincidence? Maybe.

Good luck with your shoe adventure.

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