A Tale of Two Shoes

Every time I go to a race, I can’t help marveling at the wide variety of running shoes that the runners wear. I’ve seen shoes of all shapes, colors, and shades. I’ve seen pairs of shoes where both shoes were different colors. At the San Antonio marathon, I even remember seeing a runner with no shoes!

Champion C9 shoes


Some runners recommend alternating shoes between runs since it gives more time for the cushion to get back to normal. Therefore, I decided to buy two pairs of shoes. The first place I went was Target. I found Champion C9 shoes for only $20!   At that time, I didn’t think there was a big of a difference between a $100 shoes and $20 shoes. Comparing the Champion C9 shoes to my existing shoes I could instantly see and feel the difference. My old Asics Gel Equation 5 shoes felt lighter, more comfortable, flexible, and not as tight. I didn’t want to sacrifice quality for price, so I moved on.

Asics Gel Equation 7 shoes


The next place I went to was Nordstrom Rack by Southpoint Mall in Durham, NC. There, I found Asics Gel Equation 7 shoes for around $60, which was a good deal since they usually sell for between $80 and $100 on-line. Buying the shoes was a no-brainer for me. The shoes are amazingly durable, which is a testament to their quality.   My previous pair of shoes lasted about 18 months. In the past 7 months, I’ve logged almost 480 miles, and the shoes don’t show too much wear and tear.   Even with the removable sock liner, the shoes have a lot of room. As a result, I’ve generally been wearing thicker socks when I go running. It feels like there is more cushion on the forefoot than on the heel. Also, I slipped a few times while wearing these shoes. Maybe it’s because the traction on the soles is not as strong.  On the other hand, the shoes have some good qualities. The mesh on the top of the shoe allows for good breathability.

Many serious runners whom I’ve spoken to have consistently relied on Asics shoes. More higher-end Asics shoes include the Asics Gel Kayano-19 and the Asics Gel Cumulus 15.   I think comparing the Champion C9 shoes to the Asics is like comparing a Honda to a Volvo. They’ll both get you to the same place, except the latter will give you a much smoother ride.

Saucony Progrid Kinvara 3 Shoes


Hands down my favorite pair of shoes is the Saucony Progrid Kinvara 3. These have been my racing shoes since I ran the Midtown Race Series 10K last September. I’ve also worn these shoes on several other runs, but my mileage on them has been very low with under 50 miles. What I like most about these shoes is their light weight. They are some of the lightest shoes on the market weighing less than 8 ounces (1/2 pound). That weight makes a significant difference when running over long distances. I noticed that my 5K time has been a minute faster when I wear my Kinvara 3 shoes compared to the Asics Gel Shoes. The shoes are very comfortable, but they are a little tight, so I wear thinner socks while running in these shoes. Stylistically, these shoes stand out with very bright overlays on top of the shoes. The shoes do not have much arch, but they have a good deal of cushioning, which is ideal for shock absorption and support. These shoes are the most expensive running shoes I’ve ever bought.    

Below, is a summary of my two shoes:


Miles From Last Week
Monday: 5 miles
Wednesday: 4.5 miles
Friday: 7.5 miles
Total: 17 miles
Miles Ran in March: 87 (Personal Record)

Ideas for Future Posts
Time for Cross-Training
Running in Parque Central
Time for New Shoes
Running Rhymes
Running in Different Cultures
Best Running Movie Scenes Ever
How Running relates to Other Sports
Let’s Stretch
What do I think about while I’m running?
How I Started Running
Old School vs. New School Runners



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