There many running shoes out there, and most runners claim that they know what is good based on their experiences. However, no matter who advise you about shoes, getting your right fit is a soul searching experience.
In my case when I started running in preparation for my first 5k race in 2008, I didn’t know much about running shoes. I remember running in New Balance sneakers, and soccer attire. I never thought I needed to spend a lot on running gear.
This notion changed when I first went to a group workout with a group called Namban Rengo. I learned a lot about running gear from this group. Since then I owned a number of running shoes and would like to talk about what I am using now and what works for me.
So far the best running shoes I have ever owned is Nike ZM Speed cage, the earliest version I guess.
These shoes are just a perfect fit for me. They are wide enough, almost like runners flat but with a decent Dyuraron cushioning. The sole is rubber with BRS 1000(meaning: The BRS 1000 Outsole is the Nike brand rubber constructed with a high content of carbon making it durable and able to provide additional traction for the wearer).
I have used this pair of shoes since 2009, and I don’t want to part with them. I tried to find a similar pair in the market, but Nike stopped making the earlier version with clothing. The new version Speed cage 3 is made of plastic covering instead of clothing. I tried them on, but as I bend my toes in the forward movement, the foot get pinched by the folding plastic.
This is ZM speed cage 3. Don’t be fooled by it’s colorful looks, it’s all plastic meshed.
After failing to get the earlier ZM speed cage , I tried my luck with Nike ZM speed lite.
Speed Lite looks good, and the LT cushioning makes them so comfortable, but there is lack of strong foot support leading to a lot of injuries over prolonged use. I remember getting Plantar fasciitis with these shoes that kept recurring every time I use them on my way to recovery. However when I stopped using them and switched back to my favorite speed cage, I got rid of the problem.
On the track and grass, I like using cross country spikes from Asics, called Effort. They are really good for speed work, but they make my heel a little sore due to friction as I can hardly use the heal step when using spikes. Anyway, that’s due to my lack of regular spike use.
In my hunt to find a pair of shoes to replace my favorite ZM speed cage earlier version, I looked at Adi Zero from Adidas, but the wide versions colors were so boring, so I went to check out FAAS from Puma.
The good thing about FAAS, they are so colorful and come in different sole cushioning varieties. The bad thing is they have no wide versions, but the material used is quite elastic and can easily expand with time. After trying various categories, I picked up FAAS 300. I was actually interested in FAAS 200, but not yet available in Japan.
I haven’t broke into this pair yet, so I am not sure if they would really replace the ZM speed cage. I will start training with them after my half Marathon in the hope that I can use them for Tokyo Marathon.