A few weeks ago when I made an attempt on Nolan's 14 I tossed all my running shoes in a trash bag so if I needed an old pair I would have them all in one place. I picked up the bag and realized that I had a lot of old running shoes! Every time I need a new running shoe I go out and try something new. I figure after awhile I'll settle on the shoe or the brand I like the best but right now I'm still looking.
In an effort to not forget what I liked and didn't like. I've written up little personal reviews for all these shoes.
La Sportiva - Wildcats
The wildcats were not my favorite shoe. Probably because I bought them in a size too small. They have a large heel to toe drop and a plastic piece on the bottom. I would not recommend them for any substantial amount of running. But made great approach shoes after the fact. My advice also with La Sportiva shoes is you can never go too big. My foot size is 7.5 but in every shoe I’ve owned of theres I would easily go 9.
Best memory: loosing my toenails in the Tetons
Retired As: Approach Shoes
Brook's - Pure Grit
The PureGrit are a phenomenal shoe! A nice cross over to a slightly minimalist shoe. I wouldn’t recommend these shoes for rocky technical terrain because the tread wears off quickly and the all around minimalist feel to them can cause foot bruising. But for running beautiful dirt trails for hours this is a perfect fit.
Best memory: 3rd Female finisher of the La Sportiva mountain 10k
Retired As: Backup Trail Running Shoes
Altra - Lone Pine
The Lone Pine is another great shoe. This shoe offers a large toe box and 0 drop for a real minimalist shoe with a little extra cushion. One of the lightest shoes I own and pretty much 100% mesh. This is it’s only fault, not a shoe to run on granite because the mesh will wear through very quickly. My advice when running with these shoes is to start short and build it up if you’re not use to a minimalist shoe. I always feel just a little bit more tired after running long distances in these shoes the first few times. Just takes a lot of miles to get everything strong again.
Best memory: run from my front door to the top of Mt. Tam
Current trail shoe
Brook's - ghost
The Ghosts are the first real running shoe I owned. I didn’t know anything about serious running at the time and had just grown my toenails back after loosing them in the Tetons to my old running shoes (the Wildcats). Mainly a road running shoe I spent many cold CO nights running the slick sidewalks. When I moved to California I continued the trend and also wore them for my 3 mile walk to work everyday. Lets just say they wore out really fast. It is true. Don’t walk in the same shoe you run in. Thats why I retire all my old running shoes to walking shoes. Brooks makes fantastic shoes though. If you have no plans to run ultras or you are just getting started into running. I can’t recommend Brooks enough!
Best memory: first run in SF
Retired As: First Shoe to cut up in emergency
Salomon - X-Wind Pro
The X-Wind Pro left a bad taste in my mouth for Salomon products. They claim to be a “city trail shoe” which to me means a road running shoe. I felt like they forced my foot into a weird position. And I only ended up running in them for a few months. However, I will say these are the most durable shoes I’ve ever owned. I walk to work 3 miles everyday in them and love them to death. The speed lacing makes them convenient to slip on and off and the sides are not made out of mesh which means after 500+ miles of walking and running they still have little to no signs of wear on the sides. When it comes to Salomon they know mountain running shoes probably the best in the industry but not really road shoes.
Best memory: the ledge trail Yosemite
Retired As: Walking Shoe because the are the most durable shoe I own
Hoka One One - Clifton's
The Cliftons are the shoe that changed road running for me. I hate cities and I hate running on the road. But lets face it sometimes you don’t have a choice but to run on the road. These shoes opened up a world of commuting for me. I could seemingly run forever on the roads and not feel the pain of the constant pounding of concrete and asphalt. Though I’ll never be a road runner I can’t imagine running in any other shoe when it comes to those days in the city.
Best memory: run commuting around the city
Current road shoe
Salomon - Speed Cross GTX
The SpeedCross GTX are some of the best mountains shoes I’ve run in. Salomon really disappointed me initially in there “road” shoe but made me believe again when I picked up a pair of there mountain shoes. These shoes keep your feet warm and dry but are also durable enough to not rip apart after hours of running on granite. The tread stuck well during technical running and didn’t wear down too fast. I have run in these shoes in the tall mountains of Colorado and California and hopefully soon Alaska too.
Best memory: Nolan's 14 attempt on a fractured foot
Retired As: Hiking shoes
Hoka One One - Speedgoats
The SpeedGoats are a new shoe for me and I haven’t really put them to the long days in the mountains test. The high profile makes me a little nervous of twisting an ankle but on my short technical runs around Yosemite it seems to be an irrational fear. What I have noticed is they actually have pretty good traction and control. More so than any of my trail shoes which is why I want to test them more on the spicy rocky runs. If they are anything like there road shoes I know I’ll be hooked. I will write more about them soon.
Best memory: running through the wet marsh around Bishop
Current mountain shoe
So in conclusion I’d currently recommend:
Road Shoe: Hoka One One
Trail Shoe: Altra
Mountain Shoe: Salomon
Just getting started running anything/ all around best in the show: Brooks