One of the biggest issues we have to deal with when an existing customer comes back to the store for new pair of running shoes, is replacing the shoes he or she has fallen in love with. They have accomplished “great things” with these shoes and they have become their closest friend. What happens many times is the manufacturer has changed the shoes through the so called “update” and it is not the same shoe. Many people panic and buy every closeout they can find of their old shoe. Although the closeout purchase will solve the problem temporarily, one still must make the adjustment to a new shoe eventually. The good news is there are a lot of great new models now on the market with a style and size to fit anyone.
Over the years, one company always seems to step up and make a bunch of very good shoes. One year it may be Nike and the next it may be Asics, I think this year you have a lot of very good shoes to choose from and from several different companies.
Asics continues to make excellent shoes and has introduced the second generation SoLyte material which is a little softer than the original models. Right now you can find the new SoLyte in the Nimbus 9 and the Cumulus 9 and it will be in the new 2130 due out the first part of November. The current 2120 and the Cumulus 9 all come in full range of widths for both men and women. Brooks continues to make very good shoes and the MOGO material has been well received by almost everyone. The MOGO material is said by the vendor to give you 30% better return of energy and to maintain its durability 30% better than previous models of the same shoe from Brooks. The compounds of SoLyte and MOGO are unique to Asics and Brooks respectively. These compounds are taking running shoes to new levels beyond what the old polyurethane and EVA elements could do.
Two other companies that have improved dramatically are Nike and Saucony. I believe both companies have not focused enough on the runner in the past but both have new design teams and have stepped up with several very good shoes. Nike has developed its “Bowerman” series into a good fitting, durable and cosmetically pleasing line of shoes. Bowerman is the co-founder of Nike and was a coach at University of Oregon, so Nike named its technical running shoes after him. Look for his picture in the heel of the shoe to signify that Nike considers this shoe designed for the serious runner. I believe all Bowerman shoes are Plus Enhanced which means you can connect them to your iPod. Saucony has improved its Hurricane, Omni, Trigon and Triumph models to accommodate any runner who matches the shoe type. Their new shoes are lighter and offer more cushioning than the older models. I have mentioned the above brands because they can be found in most running specialty stores. Mizuno continues to build good shoes and Adidas is updating their shoes with some great improvements. Next time you are in a running store, try on several brands and remember to get the shoe that matches your foot type and I think you will be pleased with what the shoes can offer.