It’s already February. I’m glad to report that I have not made any shoe purchase in 2017 yet. Last time I bought a shoe was Nike Zoom Streak 6 on 29th July 2016. That was 6 months ago.
I was a firm believer of one shoe do it all. I used to run in whatever rode best until it wore out like New Balance 1400v2, Nike Zoom Streak 5, and adidas adizero adios Boost 2. Trainers, racers were just marketing gimmicks by shoe makers to persuade people to buy more shoes. But as I am running more, I start to appreciate different kinds of shoes.
I expect to run around 3,000 kilometres (300 done in January already) this year with majority of the runs are easy runs, as well as long runs, speedwork and marathon races. I ran close to 3,000 kilometres last year with a 7-shoe (5 new, 2 carried forward from 2015) rotation, so I’ll survive with the same number of shoes, or maybe 8. Below are my shoe wish list according to its intended purposes:
Easy & Long Runs
I run easy most of the time and I like shoes that offer decent cushioning but not too soft. My current go-to easy runs shoe is Nike Lunartempo 2. Some say it is not that cushioned but to me, it is spot on. A tad more cushioning than that may be too much.
Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33
This is probably longest-standing running shoe model in Nike’s armoury. It is already in its 33th iteration. This shoe is out for quite a while already. I have tested the shoes on a treadmill at The Marathon Shop and from the 1-minute test, I like how it rides. It is lightweight for a trainer, comfortable, and soft especially at the forefoot where the zoom unit is (zoom unit at heel too). It is probably a bit too soft than I am used to, but may do myself good, to minimise fatigue in the legs.
Nike Air Zoom Speed Rival 5
This has been around for quite a while too. I actually stumbled upon it when I was in Tokyo but it was foreign to me then that I did not even bat an eyelash. Nike produce this for Japan market only. But it is available on Rakuten for cheap. The 6th iteration is actually coming out soon somewhere this year. I became interested in this shoe when people say it is similar to Nike Zoom Streak 6 which I love, only a tad bit softer. I love Streak 6 so much that I find myself wearing it for easy, speedwork, long runs. So Speed Rival 5 is going to be the best substitute as a trainer if it is true that it is similar to Streak 6. I have run a marathon in Nike Zoom Streak 6 and I find it packs decent cushioning to last the distance but perhaps a bit more cushioning will do me good. Thus, this can be a marathon shoe too.
New Balance Zante v2/v3
I have a pair Zante v1 that I have retired. It is a little bit firm for everyday’s run but I like the snappy feeling that it provides. Zante v2 has seen some minor tweaks. If it is anything like v1, I will be happy for it to be in my rotation. Its 3rd iteration is coming out this year too.
Skechers GoRun 5
Skechers? What do you associate with the brand? Running shoes? Perhaps, not. They make very comfortable casual shoes though. That’s what synonymous to the brand. But since they acquire Meb Keflezighi their reputation as a performance (running) shoe maker has been rosy. I hear good things about GoRun 4 but I am put off by its pod-like outsole. It does not look durable. But for GoRun 5, Skechers has redesigned its outsole. It looks a lot more durable now. It comes with GoKnit upper too which makes it more comfortable. If anything that I read on the internet is to be believed, this is one phenomenal shoe.
Speedwork & 10k Races
I mainly do one speedwork session per week (sometimes two) which includes tempo. I almost wear down my only shoe for speedworks, asics Hyper Speed 7. It is now time to find a replacement. Over the course of the year, I am planning to run few tune up races too, probably 10k races as well as some half marathons. If my ultimate goal is to be realised, I should be able to run sub-40 10k, so I definitely need one fine shoe to do it.
New Balance Hanzo S
Hanzo S is a replacement to 1600 line. I have not actually run in 1600v1/v2 before but the way it feels on my feet when I put it on, the lack of weight, the racy look, I am sold. It is one fine shoe. Unfortunately, I did not see the need to add it in my rotation, then. Now, I am in need of a fast shoe for speedwork and/or 10k races. Hanzo S is an ideal shoe, I think.
Nike Zoom Streak LT3
I am still smarting from my decision not to buy Streak LT2 when it was still on sale. To add salt to the wound, it was on sale for cheap before disappearing from Malaysia’s market. I have friends who love their Streak LT3. I cannot wait for it to be available in Malaysia.
Four marathons this year, that is the plan. There is not enough time to try a new shoe for my first marathon of the year in March so I am saving my much-loved Nike Zoom Streak 6 for it. I am going to have to retire the Streak 6 after. That leaves me with three marathons and I think I am going to need two pairs for the three.
New Balance 1400v4
New Balance 1400v2 is the shoe that reignites my love with running. I have fond memories with it. I may have worn better shoes since, but 1400v2 remains special. It is just like first love. You cannot simply forget it. I was waiting for 1400v3 to be available in Malaysia but for unknown reasons, New Balance Malaysia did not bring it in. Good news though, 1400v4 is now available in Malaysia in two colourways. 1400v4 has gained a bit of weight compared to v2 and v3, but reports say that it has a bit more cushioning that its predecessors due to the weight gain.
Nike Air Zoom Elite 9
A lot of marketing was put in when Zoom Elite 8 was launched. I had the opportunity to try it during Nike 1 mile challenge. I did not like it. It is heavy and stiff.I find it weird because Nike market it as lightweight. Then comes Zoom Elite 9. A completely different design than Zoom Elite 8. A lot of reviews say that it is lightweight and fast. It is a love child of Zoom Streak 6 and Pegasus 33, marrying the last of Streak 6 with forefoot zoom unit of Pegasus 33. It is now available on Nike Malaysia online store.