They say running is a cheap sport, but all runners know that isn’t true. (Who is “they,” by the way?) We’re always buying gadgets, running belts, clothes, gels, new tunes, and all the other random items that make running easier or more enjoyable.

I was reading a post by Melissa, that inspired this post, about her quest to find the right pair of running shoes. That reminded me of the pain in the ass it was to find the right pair of shoes for me. I was buying sneakers left and right to the point where Michelle told me that if I wanted to buy another pair of shoes, I had to call and ask her permission.

Since I shared all my race medals with you the other week, I thought I would share my journey to the right pair of running shoes.

Nike Shox with Nike ID

I used to use only my Nike ID to track my miles before I saw my Garmin across a crowded room and decided to ask it for its number. The Nike Shox were my main running shoe before I started running races. These shoes a great – just not for running. I got so many blisters that I thought were from the mileage and not the shoe, that I would be limping afterwards.

Oh, I had these custom desgined on the Nike Website too. They have my initials on the back because I’m a nerd like that. I only use these for non-running workouts now.

Nike Shox with Nike ID

I really wanted a pair of black sneakers, was still using my Nike ID, so I picked these up. Because if the white Nike Shox don’t work for distance, the black ones certainly will. < —– clueless

I wore these during my first half marathon (the link is the race review). Mistake. I couldn’t get these shoes off fast enough at the end. I literally could not walk another step in them because my whole foot ached so badly. I love the look of these shoes, so that was a bummer. These have also been demoted to non-running workouts. So, in essence, I went black but still went back. (Terrible joke. It’s Monday, gimme a break.)

Sketchers D’Lites

Sketchers were my first sneaker purchase out of the Nike family. I saw pink and got all googly over them. They have no support and rub in weird places. They put all kinds of hurt on my feet after a run. Never, ever buy a pair of Sketchers for running. The picture below is right before Warrior Dash. I donated them at the on-site donation pile before I left the race.



Sketchers didn’t work, so I tried Adidas. I bought these online, so I didn’t know how they fit. Mistake. Everytime I ran in these, I felt like they were trying to take off my baby toe. Not comfortable. Also, they make my feet look like a size 14, instead of the size 10 they are. I tried wearing these a few times for a cardio class, but they are so big they made me trip a few times. I’m talking full on face-plant trip. These sit in my closet for no reason waiting for the day I shall give them love again.

Keep waiting.

Asics Gel Cumulus 12

This is the first brand of running shoes I bought that everyone else seems to love. I bought these because they felt the best at the running store and they were recommended by the salesman who determined this was the type of shoe I needed. They are also a half size bigger than my normal shoe size, but still felt like they fit well.

I did a couple long runs in these and they were great. I ran one half marathon in these and that was it. These shoes can make it till about mile 7 or 8 and then my feet start to ache and my left knee hurts. I still wear these for other workouts, but it’s a shame they didn’t work out because they were $100 and they’re butt ugly.

Saucony Prestige TR

These were on sale at TJ Maxx and I had heard good things about Saucony. I went with the theory that I’ve already tried the expensive $100 shoes, so I might as well try the cheap $40 shoes. Plus, I figured trail shoes would be more sturdy.

These worked well in a few long runs and they also worked really well in my second half marathon (the link is the race review). I ran a few more long runs in these and they started hurting my feet. WTH? I really thought I had hit the jackpot at first with such cheap, cute, and comfortable shoes. Now, they are demoted to regular workout shoes, but I wear these the most because I like their look the best.

Saucony Prestige

Again, these were on sale at TJ Maxx and since I liked my first pair, I bought another. I wore these for a few cardio classes and could tell I wouldn’t like them for running, so I haven’t even tried running in them. They don’t have much support on the sides, which was my indicator. I really need to stop buying things because they are pink.

Mizuno Wave Creation 11

These Mizunos were my second choice to the Asics Gel Cumulus 12. They didn’t feel as good in the store, so I left these behind. Big mistake. But it worked out, because Michelle had just bought the same pair and they didn’t work for her at all. So, I bought these off of her. (Friend score!)

They are a full size bigger than what I normally wear, but that turned out to be perfect for me since my feel swell while running. Toward the end of a run, the shoe isn’t tight as hell and suffocating my feet, which I think may have been the problem with the Sauconys. Mizunos were a little weird for me to get used to because all the cushion is in the heel, but after 2 or 3 short runs I was sold. What I hate is that they are $130. Why must my feet have champagne taste and caviar dreams? I need another pair soon because they have about 350 miles on them. Oh, and I might go black…


These aren’t for working out. These are for looking pimpy.


I got these on sale at Nordstrom Rack and this was the day Michelle told me I needed her permission to buy more. 🙂

Group shot!

Totally normal to make all your shoes pose together in a photo.


I think the main thing I learned through this is that I need a shoe a size larger than what I normally wear. It allows for swelling and I can still walk in them after a long run or race without wanting to throw them into the flames of hell.

What’s your favorite pair of running shoes? (Mizuno for sure, but I’m tempted to try New Balance. I just hate wasting money and have a million sneakers already.)  What’s your least favorite? (Sketchers, I’m lookin’ at you.)


Filed under Running Shoes

30 responses to “Sneaky

  1. I would say that’s a lot of shoes, but my pile of workout shoes is slowly building up more and more. Yikes! Soon, I’ll have more athletic shoes in my closet than anything else.

  2. You are the Imelda Marcos of running shoes.

  3. Obviously you know the jury is still out on my favorite running shoes. I’m REALLY hoping those Asics work out for me bc if not – I’m headed towards the the Brooks Ariel. Also known in my book as “the senior citizens running shoe”

    My least favorite is definitely Nike. They have NOT been kind to me.

  4. Great minds think alike! I am totally about to log in and talk about running shoes!

    I have been wearing the Asics Kayano 16’s. Feel great, but I think they are tearing up my knees!

    And woman…you have a serious shoe addiction! 🙂

  5. Lisa

    Too funny! I thought I was bad with sneakers! (I have a pair for the gym, cardio classes, walking, running, and well- mowing the grass…because you must have a pair for everything!) 🙂 It’s interesting about the sizing up, I had read that on a website once when I was ordering online- so I did, and lo and behold it made a huge difference! The next time I convinced myself I needed my regular size (and they didn’t have an 11 in stock, so rather than just not buy them, I bought the 10 anyways) and SHOCKER- my toes were aching. That said, I overpronate so I have found Saucony’s followed by Asics to be my running shoe of choice.

    • Yes! I have the lawn mowing shoes too! Unfortunately those didn’t make the cut on this post. 🙂 I’m tempted to try another pair of Sauconys with a size up now because they were fine at first.

  6. 2blu2btru

    So far in my shoe buying journey, my favorite shoes are a pair of Avias I picked up from Kohl’s (I’m hoping they continue to feel OK through my first timed 5K, or I’ll be looking again). A close second (which should probably be a first) is the more expensive Asic’s 2150s (?). I had the 11-somethings in the wrong size for running, and the clerk at a running shoe store gave me these as a choice. I picked a pair of Adidas instead. BIG MISTAKE. I may get the 2150s when I have more money.

    Of the many shoes that didn’t work, my least favorite are New Balances. Having a “high volume foot”, I couldn’t stand the way they were cut. They hurt when my foot is at rest in them. I have a brand new pair in my closet that I can’t wear because they hurt so bad.

  7. I always buy my running shoes half a size big since my feet spread out when I run.

    Adidas have always been my favorite, but I think it’s mostly because I’m used to the way they fit my feet. I tried to get “fitted” for running shoes last spring, but the Asics, Mizunos, and NBs all felt funny. Nikes squeeze my feet. I am just really picky about the fit.

    One thing I have learned, though, is that if I find a pair of shoes I like, I will get 2 of the same pair and rotate them so that the cushioning holds up longer. That actually does work well. It really extends the life of my shoes!

  8. My favorites are my Mizunos. I just bought a new pair before I broke my foot so I’m anxious to get back in them! My least favorites were Nikes. HATED THEM.

  9. This post killed me. And, I went back and read the 1/2 recap. Ouch, is al I have to say. You’re a rock star for finishing.

    I have Asics. They are okay, but I think I need to get fitted at a running store & find out what will really work for me.

  10. Susan Cooley

    Hey Paula!
    I currently run in Asics 2150, but I also like Saucony (especially their trail shoes).
    HOWEVER, I’m reading the book “Born to Run”, and I am considering trying Vibram Five Fingers. I’m ALMOST convinced that I should be a barefoot runner. 🙂
    If you have found a shoe that you like and want to order it by phone, there is a store called “Sports N More” in Foley, AL that will send you last years model for 1/2 price, free shipping, and no tax. I normally stock up in December for the whole year, but you have to know what you like unless you actually can go to the store.
    Oh, and I have to ask, why do all your shoes look brand new?

    • ha! Because I keep buying new ones! Although, the white Nikes and the Miznunos have been through the washing machine recently, so that’s why those look new.
      I might get with you on that phone number!

  11. GOOD. LORD. this is ridiculous, paula! but i DO understand the need to just get the fit PERFECT.

    definitely check with michelle before you buy any more. that’s a good friend.

  12. I’ve worn Nike Shox for my last 3 running shoes and absolutely love them. They’re the only one that’ll support my foot the way it needs to be..but to each her own. 🙂

  13. Wow, this was quite the shoe journey! I love the photo with all of them in there, but I love even more the fact that you finally found a pair that you (and your feet) love.

  14. Ro

    My favs are my Brooks Adrenaline. I love them. Whenever I see them on sale (hardly ever), I stock up! I also get them in wide to let my feet breathe even though I feel I have a narrow foot. You have A LOT of shoes! LOL

    • I’ve tried on Brooks and they were too narrow for my big man feet, but I’ve heard good things. Oh, and this is just the sneakers. Definitely be glad I spared you of all my boots, heels, and sandals. 🙂

  15. Silly girl, imagine if you had just gone into a running store, got properly fitted and sure paid $100 bucks, but you would’nt have had to go through all those other department store one 🙂

    This is what I have learned: the fact that other people like a pair of shoes doesn’t mean anything to ME. The ones I run around in and notice least on my feet are the ones I get. The great thing about running stores are, most of them let you return the shoes if they give you issues even AFTER you run in them. (very cool)


  16. Dang those are a lot of sneakers! At least you’ve learned a lot lol.

  17. I love the Asics gel cumulus 12’s! I bought my first pair and then tried a pair of Saucony’s and they killed my legs! So I went back to Asics and I’m not going back 🙂

  18. I’m a Mizuno girl, too (Mizuno Wave Inspire or Wave Nirvana, to be specific). I tried to go Asics after one of those fancy running store “fits” where they film your stride, etc., but I came back to Mizunos. What I would suggest is getting shoes from somewhere like RoadRunner Sports. They have a 60 day guarantee policy, where if you don’t like the shoes, you can exchange them for a different pair even after putting mileage on them. I exchanged the Asics for a pair of Mizunos after putting about 50 miles on them and finally deciding Asics and I weren’t meant to be lovahs. Sure the shoes were pricey, but one pair of $100 shoes is a lot cheaper than a few pairs of $40 shoes that don’t work!

  19. Mz. Teri

    Paula – check this out:
    A brit friend of mine works for this company. He and I were talking a bit about running shoes on YIM, and he sent me this link. You might find it useful and/or informative.

  20. Pam

    I am a true creature of habit, and I have been running in Asics 2100 series for the past 5 pairs or so. There are a couple of things I don’t love about them, but they work decently, so I’m not about to change. I’ve had some similar shoe disasters in the past, and an ill-fitting shoe can really make you hate your life.

  21. I flirt back and forth between Brooks and Asics. Brooks feel the best on my legs and hips, but Asics feel the best on my feet. I thought I had way too many sneakers, but your collection makes me feel way better cause I’m not the only one with multiple pairs, some of which didn’t work out.

  22. I’ve run in Saucony, Asics, Nike, New Balance, Mizunos and Brooks. I think my faves so far are the Saucony and Asics.

    Though, if I have to be honest, I really am tempted to try the Vibram 5 Fingers 🙂

  23. I went through some issues finding the correct shoe also. I was bound and determined to run in Nike shoes. But alas I have settled on the Adidas Supernove Sequence3. I have two pair which I rotate and they are great. No pain in my shin or knee like with all the Nikes I tried. Let’s just say I now have a collection of Nike shoes for everyday wear that will last me for quite some time unless I start hating purple. Unlikely. Loved reading about your shoe saga!

  24. Pingback: Running Gear | Eat:Watch:Run

  25. Kit

    Still love your blog. Stick with the Mizunos.. It’s what I always return to, but I do like the new Altra if you can find them!

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