Pearl Izumi Road EM Road M3 v2 – I like these shoes so much more than I thought I would and I’m actually on my second pair! They’re a bit heavier than my others, but that doesn’t bother me all that much. I like to try all different kinds of shoes, so it should mean something when I say I plan on getting a second pair of these. Very durable and I’ve used these for training runs anywhere from 3-24 miles. And on trails. Plus, this fall I finally gave in and used these for the full 26.2 distance. My feet have never felt better after a Full.
Pearl Izumi Road EM N2 v2 – When I found a pair of cheap M3 shoes, I splurged for the N2s as well, mostly because with Pearl Izumi discontinuing their running products, I felt I needed to get as many as I can. These neutral shoes aren’t as nice as the M3 version, but I don’t complain. They’re lighter and seem to ride higher than a lot of my other shoes. I wore them in one race, and won, so you could say I have confidence in them
Pearl Izumi Road EM N1 – Recently, I purchased a pair of the lightweight N1 shoes, with a 1mm drop. I’ve only run one race in these bad boys, but they wore very well. I could notice my feet using different muscles with the lower drop, but overall a good fit. These will become my go to 5k shoes, and I could probably get by in a 10k in these as well.
Saucony Kinvara 7 – I bought these to be my Twin Cities Marathon shoe, and they did not disappoint. The Kinvaras are light and cushioned. Basically, they’re everything that I hoped the Hoka Claytons would be. Excellent shoe. I’m trying to not wear these out as much in the winter so that they can be ready for my Spring Marathon as well.
Brooks Pureflow 5 – I bought these bad boys on sale, and they became the first pair of Brooks shoes I have ever owned. Not coincidentally, they were also the first pair that felt good on my feet. I probably could have gone a half size smaller, but oh well. They’re light and minimal, much like my LunarRacers from Nike. I wore them on a 15 mile jaunt and that was a bit much. Probably best used at 10 miles or less.
Pearl Izumi Trail M2 – After my first 50k adventure in the Xodus, I knew I needed a shoe that drained water for my next 50k. Enter Pearl Izumi again. The M2 shoes were comfortable, and drained water extremely well. My first run in these was actually the 50k, and I had no issues with my feet, even with all the stream crossings. They’re caked in mud now (and have remained so after a few more trail runs) but these are excellent shoes.
Saucony Xodus 6.0 – When looking for trail shoes, I may have over compensated just a bit. These things are beasts. Huge lugs, and waterproofing makes me feel like I can run through just about anything. And really, I probably can. I’ve only found two cons to these shoes. One is that they are a bit heavier than anything else I own, and the other is that they don’t breathe at all, so on longer runs my socks get a bit mushy.
Adidas Ultra Boost ST – I knew I would be getting a new pair of shoes, but I didn’t plan on buying the Ultra Boost. However, they were the one Adidas pair that is less than a 10mm drop, so I decided to try them on. Adidas shoes have always felt great on my feet, and these are no exception.
Nike Pegasus 31 – Since I referenced them above, I’ll start this section with the Pegasus 31. I surprisingly really liked this shoe. The fit was great, and it was a very light shoe for me. I think I used it for all of my races when I had the pair. The soles didn’t wear great, but they were still a good shoe. I thought lots better than the 32.
Nike Pegasus 32 – I got these because I loved the Pegasus 31. The new model is similar, but a little different. The fit seems a little more snug and the toe box hangs a little lower than it did on the 31. Not bad shoes by any means, and I blasted out a marathon in them as well. Just not quite as good as the old model, or as good as my other shoes.
Nike LunarRacer – Lightweight race shoes. These are my go to race shoes for anything less than a Half. While I’ve worn these for two 13.1 races as well, I always have to think about it more due to lack of…well anything on these shoes. Still, I’ve PR’d in two different distances in these bad boys. These are not winter shoes, which made using them between January and now a bit tough in the middle of Iowa.
Adidas Energy Boost 2.0 – Probably the best shoes I’ve ever worn. I had three pairs of these bad boys. All I took well over 500 miles, and still break out my last pair for sloppy running days. Great great shoe. I really can’t say enough good things about these. I’ll be opting in for the newer 3.0 model fairly soon.
Hoka One One Huaka – Probably the worst shoe I’ve had. The shoes were Hoka’s first answer to a lightweight but cushioned shoe. Everything that the Clayton is, these were not. Throw in the 1 mm drop in these, and I had lots of problems. I ended up giving these to a friend, who also hated them.
Hoka One One Clayton – After loathing the Hoka Huaka, it took a while for me to gravitate back to the brand. The Clayton provides me with essentially a lighter version of the Pearl Izumi shoes. Less support on top, but similar cushioning. I’ve also gutted out a marathon in these shoes. The only negative is that I did need to replace the insoles. Once I did that, these shoes have been great. Another negative was that these shoes ended up wearing quickly I only notched about 350 miles on them.
Asics Gel Racer – I got these on an amazing sale and couldn’t say no. Truthfully, these weren’t bad shoes. Built for speed and nothing else. They were fairly hard and not too cushioned, which I noticed more or less depending on the surface. The biggest con I had for these was the sole of the shoe. I really noticed the surface I was on. If I ran through a puddle, the water soaked into the shoe from the bottom, since there were holes in the sole. By design.