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  1. #1
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    Which running shoes?

    Probably not the right place for this, but I don't hang out on any running forums. Looking for a new pair of running shoes and striking out at all the local running shops. My last shoe was a Brooks Pure Drift (discontinued), and I'm struggling to find something similar. I usually jog (or walk) uphill on one of those fancy Woodway cushioned treadmills, so the sole needn't have a ton of cushioning or grip.

    In order of importance, I'm looking for a shoe with:

    - wide, especially across metatarsals
    - firm cushioning (soft cushioning irritates an old ankle injury)
    - low (0-4 mm) heel-toe drop
    - low stack height

    Of the shoes I've tried:
    - Altra Escalante is nice and wide, except the cushioning is too soft and the heel cup feels too soft also.
    - Hoka Tracer 2 has cushioning that's a bit firmer, except it's way too narrow and has huge stack height, which seems to mess with my stride though I could probably adjust if they were 5-10 mm wider starting midfoot
    - Brooks Pure Drift has cushioning that's way too soft and rockered sole feels weird

    Any other ideas I should try? I spend 5-10 hours a week doing Zone 1 cardio, so I'll be in them a lot. Most important thing is that they're wide enough for my fat feet -- if my Tailor's bunion grows any more, it won't fit in my ski boots.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

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  2. #2
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    Brooks pure grit? Fits pretty much those specs. Much less padding than a pure flow, and wider.

    I’d also look at new balance’s new line. Generally less padding and wide up front.

  3. #3
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    Nov 2014
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    I'm not sure what zone 1 cardio is, but if it's anything like body-weight style crossfit WOD's, have you considered looking at a crossfit specific shoe? I probably wouldn't recommend the Nike Metcons as they're not very wide and I didn't like mine, but I workout 4 days a week in Reebok Nano's and they have a nice wide toe box and are as neutral as you can get. The older Nano 2's can still be found are one of my favorites. They're not built for long distance running, but you're asking for "not much cushion", minimal lift and a wide toe box. They check all those boxes.

  4. #4
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    I used to run in the brooks pure series until the pure 5's, which literally made the top of my feet bleed.

    If you're really looking for wide and zero drop, altra is the ticket. I know a lot more about trail shoes than road shoes, and it sounds like you're spending a lot of time on treadmills (shudder)?

    My suggestions for trail shoes would be the altra lone peak or superior, depending on how much shoe you like. The superior is closer to the old pure series in terms of stack height, but I don't find the foam particularly responsive. A surprise winner for me has been saucony - not nearly as wide in the toe box but wide enough, minimal drop, light but responsive cushioning. Running in the peregrines now. FWIW I hate rockered shoes and hokas in general

  5. #5
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    Saucony Kinvara.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebrucemac View Post
    I'm not sure what zone 1 cardio is, but if it's anything like body-weight style crossfit WOD's, have you considered looking at a crossfit specific shoe? I probably wouldn't recommend the Nike Metcons as they're not very wide and I didn't like mine, but I workout 4 days a week in Reebok Nano's and they have a nice wide toe box and are as neutral as you can get. The older Nano 2's can still be found are one of my favorites. They're not built for long distance running, but you're asking for "not much cushion", minimal lift and a wide toe box. They check all those boxes.
    Yeah, kinda polar opposites here...

    Quote Originally Posted by sruffian View Post
    I used to run in the brooks pure series until the pure 5's, which literally made the top of my feet bleed.

    If you're really looking for wide and zero drop, altra is the ticket. I know a lot more about trail shoes than road shoes, and it sounds like you're spending a lot of time on treadmills (shudder)?

    My suggestions for trail shoes would be the altra lone peak or superior, depending on how much shoe you like. The superior is closer to the old pure series in terms of stack height, but I don't find the foam particularly responsive. A surprise winner for me has been saucony - not nearly as wide in the toe box but wide enough, minimal drop, light but responsive cushioning. Running in the peregrines now. FWIW I hate rockered shoes and hokas in general
    Pure Grit is closer to the Pure 3/4 than the 5/6. Brooks pretty much admitted to me they royally fucked that up and would be going back to the older style pure.

    I wouldn’t want to run outside in Baltimore either... can’t blame him for the treadmill.

  7. #7
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    New Balance Minimus. Lots of space at the forefoot, tight in the heel and ankle, and low stack height + minimal cushioning w/ 4mm drop

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stewy30 View Post
    New Balance Minimus. Lots of space at the forefoot, tight in the heel and ankle, and low stack height + minimal cushioning w/ 4mm drop
    Seems like there's a number of shoes in the NB Minimus line. This one? https://www.amazon.com/New-Balance-M...alance+minimus
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

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  9. #9
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    Yup, thats the one!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sruffian View Post
    If you're really looking for wide and zero drop, altra is the ticket. I know a lot more about trail shoes than road shoes, and it sounds like you're spending a lot of time on treadmills (shudder)?
    Well, the soft foam Altra uses doesn't sit well with my ankle, otherwise I'd agree. Ordered the NB Minimus, as it seems promising and has free returns on Amazon.

    Xavier nailed it on the Baltimore running. Separated my shoulder last year trying to escape an attempted mugging and decided treadmill and stairmaster from that point on, especially at night. In hindsight, a separated shoulder wasn't worth it and I should have just given them my valuables, but fight or flight kicked in.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  11. #11
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    My experience is that nothing comes close in width to the Altras. But I wish they made ones with a lower stack height.

    If you want to go super low stack height try the Vivobarefoot Motus. That's only like 4mm though so you're going to get pretty much no cushion. There's also the Lems Primal which I haven't tried on and Xero shoes which I found weren't quite wide enough for me in the forefoot.

    Finally, I found this company Topo Shoes which looks promising, but I've never gotten them on my feet.

  12. #12
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    I haven't used any Minimus shoes in a while, but when I did they didn't last. Disposable crap that successfully capitalized on the barefoot running fad. Hopefully that has changed.

    I'll go ahead and say "Kinvara" again. They're light, 4mm drop and they last a long time. The shape, which matches your requirements, hasn't changed much, if any, over the years, but materials used in the forefoot change the feel. The internet will tell you which versions fit more wide/narrow.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by I've seen black diamonds! View Post
    I haven't used any Minimus shoes in a while, but when I did they didn't last. Disposable crap that successfully capitalized on the barefoot running fad. Hopefully that has changed.

    I'll go ahead and say "Kinvara" again. They're light, 4mm drop and they last a long time. The shape, which matches your requirements, hasn't changed much, if any, over the years, but materials used in the forefoot change the feel. The internet will tell you which versions fit more wide/narrow.
    I was looking at those, too. I'm nervous about the softness of the cushioning and the stack height. But I might as well order a pair from Amazon with free returns.

    Thanks to everyone for the suggestions so far.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by sruffian View Post
    Running in the peregrines now. FWIW I hate rockered shoes and hokas in general.
    Me too. Same fit/drop as Kinvaras. I like Hokas though for long flat runs. Altras I can't stand. Rockered heel is stupid and soles twist like a sponge. Completely unstable.

  15. #15
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    Oct 2014
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    Which running shoes?

    I wouldn't worry too much about stack height of the Kinvara and cushion levels. I alternate running in them, Five Finger Treksports, and Peregrines and I'm not bothered. My old Asics Nimbus were ok but when I alternated them with five fingers my running was a mess, 4mm vs 13mm drop differential did not sit well with my calves. I got mine from runningwarehouse, their search and filter tools are extremely useful to short list potential shoes, then you can look for those specific reviews.


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    Last edited by johnmtl11; 02-16-2018 at 08:10 PM.

  16. #16
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    So far, I've ordered (with free Amazon returns):

    - Kinvara
    - Minimus
    - Topo ST-2
    - Saucony Endorphin Racer2
    - Brooks Anthem
    - Brooks Puregrit 6

    Still open to more suggestions. Many thanks to everyone who provided input!
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  17. #17
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    Keep us posted on what you like best!

  18. #18
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    Iím sold on Topos. Lots of toe room, firm hold of the foot, relatively flat stance.

  19. #19
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    Oct 2014
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    Which running shoes?

    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    So far, I've ordered (with free Amazon returns):

    - Kinvara
    - Minimus
    - Topo ST-2
    - Saucony Endorphin Racer2
    - Brooks Anthem
    - Brooks Puregrit 6

    Still open to more suggestions. Many thanks to everyone who provided input!
    One more you might want to consider. Brooks PureCadence I think I was looking at as a direct competitor to the Kinvara. Ended up going Kinvara mainly because of price, I thought they were a coin flip decision. Both are 4mm drop (18 front, 22 rear)

    I would probably pass on the Puregrit. The soles are like a turf shoe or firm trail. I think they will feel squishy on firm surfaces relative to others on your list. I was looking at the puregrit when I decided on the peregrine. Peregrine I hate using on firm surfaces including firm dirt, it needs to be a rough uneven surface or gravel for me to take these out.

    I see why you might want to use the Endorphin Racer because of 0 drop and low stack, but in general this will be a faster wearing shoe especially compared to the Kinvara (I would consider more a training shoe and longer life). I also think 0mm drop vs 4mm drop is not that big of a deal. Compared to the older shoes with 13mm drops I don't think you'll notice a difference between 0-4mm.


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnmtl11 View Post
    One more you might want to consider. Brooks PureCadence I think I was looking at as a direct competitor to the Kinvara. Ended up going Kinvara mainly because of price, I thought they were a coin flip decision. Both are 4mm drop (18 front, 22 rear)
    Do you know how the purecadence compares to the pureflow6 or anthem? I tried the pureflow6, and it was way too soft and also too narrow.

    I see why you might want to use the Endorphin Racer because of 0 drop and low stack, but in general this will be a faster wearing shoe especially compared to the Kinvara (I would consider more a training shoe and longer life). I also think 0mm drop vs 4mm drop is not that big of a deal. Compared to the older shoes with 13mm drops I don't think you'll notice a difference between 0-4mm.
    I actually ordered them for the firmer cushioning. As mentioned above, soft cushioning hurts my ankle, so I'm trying to find something that's a bit firmer. And I definitely notice a difference between 0 mm and 4 mm, but I seem to adjust within about a week, provided I transition appropriately.

    I received the Brooks Anthem (which is apparently is apparently a rebranded pureflow 3-4) tonight since I ordered it a few days ago: it's okay, but still too narrow and something else about the fit feels off. So I guess the frontrunner is still the Hoka Tracer 2 that I purchased locally with big holes cut for the 5th met head. They seem to work okay, except they're still too narrow -- my bunions spill off the sole and hurt after running. Wish I would have started this thread and ordered the other options before I cut holes so I could return them. You live you learn.

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    Last edited by auvgeek; 02-16-2018 at 09:07 PM.
    "Alpine rock and steep, deep powder are what I seek, and I will always find solace there." - Bean Bowers

    photos

  21. #21
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    Oct 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by auvgeek View Post
    Do you know how the purecadence compares to the pureflow6 or anthem? I tried the pureflow6, and it was way too soft and also too narrow.

    I received the Brooks Anthem (which is apparently is apparently a rebranded pureflow 3-4) tonight since I ordered it a few days ago: it's okay, but still too narrow and something else about the fit feels off. So I guess the frontrunner is still the Hoka Tracer 2 that I purchased locally with big holes cut for the 5th met head. They seem to work okay, except they're still too narrow -- my bunions spill off the sole and hurt after running. Wish I would have started this thread and ordered the other options before I cut holes so I could return them. You live you learn.
    Sorry can't compare the Brooks shoes. Looks like your foot shape will be difficult to find a shoe I feel like most of them are about the same last width. Im guessing you're getting D width, have you tried E width? Luckily I fit in a D out of the box not sure what other tricks there are to get some space in that area. An E shoe I'm guessing would be too wide everywhere else for your foot.



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  22. #22
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    Aug 2006
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    I run in vivobarefoot. No cushioning. Very wide. Narrow heel. Their newest (primes) last doesn't fit more. For trail runners, they are known to be on the lower side of durability.

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  23. #23
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    Sep 2018
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    Anyone want to riddle me what shoes I want to buy?

    Background - I really don't like running. However, I grew up racing cross country and track. I'm older at this point, but have been playing a lot of soccer, and need to do some track workouts for endurance. Something like 60 second efforts, 40 hard 20 light, x8, x 3 sets. On a track. Also sprint work, and maybe some shorter road runs.

    I have a pair of Nike Free shoes that are trashed - not even sure the model. I need to replace those. I have a slight tendency to supinate, but not enough, I don't think, that I need the shoes to try to control that. Something that allows natural movement probably makes sense. But what do I know? The only running shoes I've bought in 10 years are the Frees which I bought on a whim.

    So mostly speed work, mostly for 30 minutes or less.

    Great ideas anyone?

  24. #24
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    Feb 2015
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    I have better experience with the Trail version of NB Minimus compared to the cross trainer. T10v1-T10v3 are very nice. Minimus T10v4 should be avoided - it's a piece of plastic junk.

    I also like the previous editions of Merrell Bare Access (3 and 4). The current version, despite being very comfortable with a lot of forefoot space, is significantly less durable.

  25. #25
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    Which running shoes?

    Quote Originally Posted by beece View Post
    Anyone want to riddle me what shoes I want to buy?

    Background - I really don't like running. However, I grew up racing cross country and track. I'm older at this point, but have been playing a lot of soccer, and need to do some track workouts for endurance. Something like 60 second efforts, 40 hard 20 light, x8, x 3 sets. On a track. Also sprint work, and maybe some shorter road runs.

    I have a pair of Nike Free shoes that are trashed - not even sure the model. I need to replace those. I have a slight tendency to supinate, but not enough, I don't think, that I need the shoes to try to control that. Something that allows natural movement probably makes sense. But what do I know? The only running shoes I've bought in 10 years are the Frees which I bought on a whim.

    So mostly speed work, mostly for 30 minutes or less.

    Great ideas anyone?
    I mean, running shoes are as personal as a ski boot, and the wrong shoe can fuck you up just as fast as a bad boot fit. So if you have running specialty near you, take advantage of it.

    That said, my sordid past includes working in a running store... I supinate on one foot and use superfeet to even things out. If you underpronate a curved last with plenty of flex/grooves should help. I currently run in Nike Pegasus because I get them for free, but they are light, medium cush and have a real outsole that wonít deform if you have a janky footstrike/push-off. Iíll admit I donít keep up with the free line anymore.

    For similar options check out the Adidas Adizero Boston or Adios (Boston will be more versatile)... I always had a lot of luck putting soccer dudes in those. Iím a huge fan of the ASICS Gel DS trainer, and the ex-boss likes the Mizuno Shadow, especially if you use any kind of insert.

    With the exception of the Pegasus, these are all pretty firm shoes thatíll play well on mondo or cinder... you might feel it on asphalt.



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