The Fast Life: A Summer Shoe Guide

By May 13, 2013 5 Comments
Spring got you itching to get out and move?

Even if you have no intention of actually running anywhere in the near future, you do walk, right?  Maybe you’re a walker, a student, a writer in a chair all day, a mom chasing after a toddler, a dishwasher, or a surgeon – it’s still a great idea to wear a good running shoe.  You never know when you’re going to just want to take off and run down that wide, open road!   

May I offer some shoe suggestions?  Because I love ya?  Okay, thanks.

Right now I’m of the opinion it’s good to have more than one pair of running shoe.  By rotating, your body doesn’t wear and tear in exactly the same place for every run.


Brooks Ghost 4.  Nice width, very cozy, stable, The Brooks Ghost is often ranked #1 by Runner’s World.  Right now they’ve got the Ghost 6 selling big.  The price is typical of a good running shoe, close to $100.  But at the end of the running season (late fall) you can usually find last year’s model for less.  I like to wear the Brooks shoe for long runs.  They are heavier than the minimalist shoe, but my feet and knees feel very good afterwards.

 Brooks Ghost 3.  My first pair of Brooks.  Loved them so much I bought a second pair, the next year.  These are now just walking shoes.  It’s always a good sign when I want to buy another shoe of the same brand.  Brooks Ghost is a winner!

 Nike Lunarlon.  Last year I decided to follow the minimalist shoe craze.  I didn’t want to feel barefoot, but I did want something a little lighter, but with some cushion.  They are more narrow than the average running shoe, but I love this shoe; it did exactly what I wanted.  Even better was the price; about $30 at the outlets.  For shorter, faster runs, I wear this shoe.

Newton Distance:  Ah!  I’m so excited about this arrival.  I’ve been drooling over this shoe for years, but the price tag was just too steep.  A gift certificate and a big sale finally helped me pull the trigger.

These are a light weight neutral performance trainer.  Good for short, mid-distance, or long-distance training.  Though I believe you should always, always try on a shoe before you buy, I just didn’t have the time to travel to the nearest store.  I did a lot of research on Newton’s running site and carefully chose one I thought was right for my foot.  

The Newton is highly breathable and very light, but with really nice support and cushion. What makes this shoe so special?

These strange-looking lugs on the bottom.  Supposedly, they help push you off and forward.  Seems to be working for my running buddy; she only wears Newtons now, and she’s getting faster every year.  Advice:  Proceed slowly to avoid achilles trouble and sore calves.  

Have to say, I love them already!

One more shoe recommendation:  Asics Kayano.  It’s pricier than other Asics models, but worth it.  I avoid cheap Asics; they wear out quickly and the sole is too hard for my foot.  I’ve tried inserts, but decided I’d rather just buy a better shoe.

When to Replace a Running Shoe?
Running coaches say it’s time for a new shoe every 500 miles.  For serious runners, that’s just a few months.  For others, it could be years.

Watch for the wear and tear on the shoe.
I always wear the shoe down on the outside heel.  

Definitely time to replace.  Running on shoes that have lost all cushion, shape, and form is a great way of saying, “Injury, come hither.”
Other Recommendations:
  • Try the shoe on before buying (even when it’s just so cute and PINK!), run around the store or down the block.  You are a runner; it’s allowed.
  • Buy a 1/2 size up.  Running pounds at the toes – you need some room
  • Don’t go cheap.  I keep having to relearn this lesson the hard way (plantar fasciitis). Think of running as one of those really good addictions that will pay itself off.
  • Real running stores have knowledgable staff who will watch you run and know what to recommend.
  • Buy a good, breathable sock.  Blisters hurt and sideline training, and make you cranky. Just ask my husband.
  • Untie your shoes after every run instead of just slipping your feet back into them.  Why?  Less chance of injury due to a too-loose/lazy shoe.  I’m um, a big offender to this rule.
Pronation is the most common foot problem.  How do you know if you pronate or supinate?  Say what?
Stand in front of a mirror.

Bend knees.  In this picture, the ankles cave in slightly, so there is slight pronation, but pretty neutral. If there is serious pronation, look for a shoe that is specifically designed for “pronation.” If there is no caving, you have a neutral gait and should look for a “neutral” shoe.  Here’s a really good and quick video on how to choose the correct shoe for your foot: HERE

People with larger 2nd toes than big toes usually pronate.  Interesting, no?  I don’t know why, that’s just what the experts at Newton say.

This is what happens when the shoe isn’t the right fit:

No, that isn’t a crooked chicken foot.  It’s my baby toe.  Waaaa!  I ran my first 1/2 marathon of the season on Saturday.  I chose to play it safe and not wear my new Newton’s as I had not run farther than 3 miles in them.  I chose my Nike Lunarlon’s because they are lightweight and I wore them to many races last fall…but apparently it was the wrong shoe.

The Lunarlon is significantly more narrow than my other running shoes and I obviously hadn’t had enough long runs in them.  At mile 11 I was hurting, but what can you do except finish?  

Come on over and we can poke some holes together.

A runner’s foot is just not pretty.  But the heart is happy!

Blood blisters are so pretty and colorful.  It made me that much more of a martyr for Mother’s Day…I couldn’t lift a finger…or a toe.
But let’s end on a good note:
Looking for more?  Try Runner’s World Shoe Guide.  I’m not the expert, but Runner’s World knows everything!

What are you wearing these days?  Is your life complete?  

Happy running, walking, living – to you from me!



  • Jackie says:

    Im surprised you haven’t crossed over to the 5 finger shoes after Chip’s salesmen tactics a few weeks ago 😉

  • Love the foot shots! No, I’m not a runner, but I do like to browse shoes for walking. I think I pronate, plus I have a big bunion,bad knees, and touchy nerve endings on my heel bones. To say finding a comfy shoe is tough would be an understatement!

  • Debbie Brown says:

    I’m, still loving Nike’s, they work for me. BUT, I’m going to have to try on some of these. I’m due for a new pair of shoes “soon.” Maybe we’ll go running shoe shopping when I’m up there this summer!

  • I’m sorry. I had to skip over pictures of your ugly toes. That looks painful 🙁 But I’m in the market for new running shoes and this is a helpful post. I like Asics a lot so maybe I’ll check out Kayano.

  • Julia Tomiak says:

    Thanks for the review. I really like your point about rotating the shoes to rotate the wear. I’ve never done that before and might try it. In my experience, Nike shoes last long but run narrow. I like Brooks and Asics and will have to check out The Ghost. Great tips!

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