Monday, March 16, 2015

The quest for new sneakers

I recently read in the New York Times that after years of sneaker manufacturers trying to create shoes that imitate running barefoot the pendulum had swung the other way, and the new trend in running shoes was maximum cushioning, so-called maximalist shoes.  These sneakers are designed with extra cushioningthat some believe helps to prevent injuries. However, the scientific jury is still undecided.

Given the new trend, I thought I would be in good shape looking for sneakers. I deal with heal pain and tend to be hard on shoes, so I prefer cushioning and support in my sneakers.

My current sneakers are 3 years old and after being in them all day, my feet hurt. They were perfect, unfortunately, I just wore them out.

My old sneakers, the Nike Zoom Vomero +5 which after over 3 years were worn out

Five stores and dozens of pairs later, I was stumped. I had tried 3 different brands and various styles but couldn't find the right amount of cushioning and the right fit.

Despite the growing trend towards more cushioning, many brands were still focused on light weight barefoot type sneakers.

Finally, I tried a new shoe store for me, Rack Room Shoes. They had a large selection of various brand, most at a discount, and were even having a buy one get one half off (bogo) sale.

Dozens more pairs later, I had two winners.

Mizuno Wave Prophecy 3

I originally didn't want to try on Mizuno cause I was unfamiliar with the Japanese sporting good company and honestly, they did not look so nice. However, I was intrigued by the cutouts on the bottom and decided to give them a spin. I'm glad I did. From the front to the heel, they were ultra cushioned making me feel as if I was walking on pillows.

This shoe is designed for heel to toe cushioning that does not weigh you down. According to Mizuno, it is for high mileage runners with a neutral gait.

The Mizuno Wave Prophecy 3 is unfortunately discontinued but still available from many stores. It lists for $209.99, which I know is quite pricey, but you get ultra cushioning. The good news is you can also get them at a discount, like I did. Rack Room Shoes was $109 plus the bogo.

If you are having trouble finding them, the latest version, the Mizuno Wave Prophecy 4 is also now available.

Nike Air Relentless 4

As seen in my previous choices of sneakers, I tend to prefer Nike as they have the right fit for my feet. However, two trips to Nike Outlets left me unsure if they were still the right brand. The Air Relentless 4 restored my faith.

The Air Relentless 4 is a light weight running shoe with air cushioning. It is designed for neutral to an over pronated (flatter) gait.

For me, I like the cushioning and the roomier fit. They are more of a boxy than a glove fit.

I tried them today for my workout and they offered great cushioning without weighing me down.

I paid $55.99 for these sneakers in Rock Room Shoes, without figuring the bogo. They list for around $70.

I am happy to have finally found new sneakers and not even need to shell out a ton of cash. However, sneakers tend to me the most expensive shoes in my closet cause I don't think you should skimp when it comes to protecting yourself from injury while working out or being on your feet for long periods. 

What do you look for when you shop for sneakers?

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  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Great new pair of shoes for the price! How did it go in terms of usage? I owned the Relentless 4 and loved using it for brisk walking.

  3. Hi Ashton, I liked the Relentness 4 for walking but found they wore out quickly for running and other exercise. Here is an update: