Why You Should Never Ever Cheat on Your Running Shoes

by - Monday, April 14, 2014

Some people bounce between running shoes like someone hot on the dating scene bounces between men. One day they wear their Brooks. The next day it's their Sauconys and for long runs, it's their Asics or Mizunos. A new day, a new shoe. Or a new dude - to keep my analogy going here.

I mean why commit to one, when you can constantly mix it up?

But I've never been that person. (In running or in dating)

In fact, I'm very much a running shoe monogamist.

House tour
Rows of Mizunos

For the past eight years, I've had a very steady and happy relationship with my Mizuno Wave Inpsires. They take care of my feet through rigorous training. They've crossed the finish line with me at every major (and nonmajor) race I've run. They are good and loyal.

mile 25.5ish
Mile 25.5 of MCM in 2012

Baltimore finish
Baltimore half in 2012

And in return, I've been loyal to them, buying nothing else at the running store and ignoring people when they say I should try something new -- you know, add some spice and variety to life.

Running in shorts in November. No complaints here. @mizunorunning #fitfluentialBeautiful night to break in my new @mizunorunning wave inspire 9s <3 #fitfluential #brilliantrun
Look what just arrived from my friends @MizunoRunning. Absolutely love the color combo! #runchat #fitfluentialTwo totally pain free miles in my brand new @MizunoRunning Wave Inspires! #proof #fitfluential
Spice and variety just means a new color

But ever since I started having my myriad of foot problems a little over a year ago, my orthopedic doctor has been telling me to go get re-fitted, to try a different shoe, to try inserts.

Let the bone stimulation treatments begin!
Remember that bone stimulator...

For nearly a year, I blew off his suggestion. I loved my shoes. The shoes were not the problem. I didn't need to stray from a relationship I was very, very happy in.

But after my plantar fasciitis diagnosis in January, doubts starting creeping in. I was wondering if my perfectly happy monogamous relationship was growing stale, and if I really did need to get myself back out on the running shoe dating scene.


So I went to Road Runner Sports to get fitted for orthotics and get some new shoes.

They did the whole gait analysis -- video taped me while I ran on a treadmill, analyzed my balance and how I distributed weight over the length of my foot. So I knew if I was going to cheat, I'd at least have some data backing it up and saying that I should do it. Something to assuage my guilt.

Eventually they printed out a reading that said I should be in a Stability Plus shoe.

My Wave Inspires are just a regular stability shoe.

So they brought me out a ton of different shoes to try. A pair of Nikes (didn't even try them), two pairs of Mizunos (the Wave Inspire and a new model) and a pair of Asics (the Kayano 20).

I tried them all on, jogged back and forth in the store, and realized that the Asics actually felt really, really good on my sore feet. I told the salesguy I felt like I was running on a cloud.

So I left the Wave Inspires at the store and took home my new pair of Asics.

Even when they're slow early morning runs are the perfect way to start the day #running #fitsnap

And holy crap did I feel guilty.

I mean, seriously, for weeks I made no mention of the new shoes on social media, I refused to take pictures of them (which as you know is weird because I tend to take a lot of pictures in my shoes), heck I even kept them in their box in the my closet so my other Mizunos wouldn't have to see them.

Those shoes were my dirty little secret.

Note how I sort of cropped them out in this picture

I rationalized that if the Asics helped with my foot problems, then I had made the right decision, even though it felt pretty wrong.

But it turns out, the Asics -- like any dating fling -- just caused a whole bunch of problems of their own. My first run in them, an easy 5 miler, left me with a massive blister on my big toe.

My second run in them - the Shamrock half marathon - left me with an even bigger and nastier blister.


Then there was the heel sliding, the shin splints and the horrible, horrible calf tightness every time I took a step in a run over a half mile.

As of this weekend, I had enough. My dalliance with the Asics was over. The luster and shine of their newness had worn off, and I just wanted my faithful Wave Inspires back.

Thank God Road Runner Sports has an amazing return policy (90 days no matter how many miles you've put on the shoes). I took the Asics back, dropped them on the counter and asked for the Wave Inpires.

The guy brought out some other shoes too, but I didn't even bother. I knew exactly which shoes I wanted.


I went on a run yesterday in my new Wave Inspires, and everything felt right in the world again.

So the moral of the story here is don't cheat (on your running shoes or in life). If you have something that works, stick with it -- no matter who is telling you otherwise.

Cheating gets you nowhere and causes a lot of pain and heartache (and shin splints).

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  1. The only problem I have with this is that Mizuno changes something about the shoes every year. drives me insane. The Wave Rider 14's were some of the most comfortable and longest lasting shoe I've ever had. The 15's were really comfortable, and still just as long-lasting. The 16's shredded some tendons in my right foot and caused tendonitis (inflammation in other tendons) so I'm scared shitless to try the 17's. I did find another mizuno with multiple customer reviews saying that it ran "just like the wave rider 15's" so I'm going with that.

    But when they can fix the insole problem and actually make a comfortable shoe again then I'll consider going back. Until then, I ran in some Under Armor shoes that gave a blister, and some asics that caused a different blister. Still beats tendonitis.

  2. I've run in Brooks since I was 17 years old...the Adrenaline and now the Ravenna. I bought a pair of Saucony shoes in January-ish and felt so guilty and horrible about it! I bought them because they have a lower drop (8mm which is down from 12mm but not 4mm which many shoes tend to drop to) to mix up the impact on my back. They've been working out so far but I still feel really guilty every time I put them on instead of my Ravennas!

  3. I used to run in the Wave Riders until they changed them this winter. I ended up getting a crazy calf injury due to the changes. My sports med doctor recommended getting refitted, so I went back to Brooks. We shall see what happens. Glad you're having success with the Mizunos though!

  4. Samantha6:31 AM

    I too used to be a devoted wearer of the Mizuno Wave Inspires. Then they made the rear of the shoe narrower and less flexible, causing me a host of ankle and lower-leg problems. I jumped ship to another brand which I have been happily wearing since.

  5. I really used to enjoy running on the beach barefooted. Unfortunately I stepped into a small whole dug by some kids that were building sand castles and this lead to a sharp pain in my foot. I was later told that this is as a result of the stretching of the plantar fascia. I was told to take a couple of weeks rest before I start running again. Man those your blisters look hellish. Good luck with your new shoes

  6. I have had the best luck with Asics over the last 5 years or so, but normally use my own orthotics in them as well. Also had good luck with New Balance when I had a stubborn plantar fasciitis case. Agree that you need to stay with what works.....good luck!

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  8. I'm a new runner and I've narrowed down my search for new shoes to Asics or Mizunos, and this post really helps. I'm inclined to go with Wave Riders but some friends vouched for Asics. I guess I'll just have to go to the store and see/feel which one would be better for me. Great (and funny) post!

  9. I need to know what planter fasciitis is and How to get relief from it by choosing the best shoes for plantar fasciitis? Buy Best Shoes 2016 today

  10. I loved reading this! I try to just do my own thing on my blog, but it's nice to have people who inspire you when you're just starting out!

  11. This is really nice that you have found the right running shoes for your foot! I am really scared of running with normal shoes after watching your condition! How to find the best running shoes for flat feet? Is the shoes pair perfect for flat feet too?

  12. Great article. I am planning to create an awesome infographic on picking the best running shoes especially for people with flat feet. I'll pass it forward when I am done. Thanks.