Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New Kicks

I have mixed feelings about new shoes. Call me sentimental but I have a hard time benching my old kicks that have helped me cross so many finish lines. After I had Mackenzie I was desperate to lose weight. I had hatched a plan to start training for a half-marathon, my first half-marathon. Justin surprised me one date night and took me to Portland Running Co to have my stride analyzed. With their help, I picked Saucony ProGrid Guide 3. They felt like heaven. I was excited to run. I had never felt so comfortable in a running shoe. I ran injury free my first half-marathon. 

my running pals

I got pregnant again. I stopped running. I fantasized about that first run back out there. Three weeks post baby #2, I wobbled down the block in my Sauconys. A few weeks later, I fist pumped at the 2 miles mark. I started training for a 10k. I ran the Cinco de Mayo 10k on Mother's day. Of course that led to training for a second half-marathon. I decided it was time to replace the Saucony. But being a girl of habit I called PRC to order the exact pair I had before. The same color would be fine too. Sadly, Saucony ProGrid Guide3 were no longer being made. WHAT??? Heartbreak. It wasn't that I looked so awesome in these shoes, it was that I knew they did the job. I knew they felt great on my feet. The sales lady sent me a pair of the newest Saucony ProGrid Guide4, that were supposed to feel similar to the 3s. They didn't. I tried to love them. I started training in them. Almost immediately a hole formed in the toe of the left shoe. I went back to wearing my original Saucony. I ran my second half in them. 
The second pair, that never quite cut it.
Last week, during my 8th week of training for my third half-marathon I knew it was time. My original-dear-to-me Saucony were toast. I have started to get minor aches and pains on my long runs, which is why I chose not to wear them for the Shamrock 15k. I made my way to PRC again. I brought my old shoes (both pairs) and running socks. I had done some research so I had an idea what I wanted. They brought out the style I was after (a slightly lighter shoe) and I hit the track. They told me my form had changed since I first began and I didn't need quite so much support from my shoe. I decided on Brooks Ravenna 3. Sadly, I didn't support our local business because I had a gift card to use at REI, so I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of these beauties. They should be at my doorstep today! And my ol' girls are now retired.
The new kicks

Advice for buying new shoes:
  • Go some place local (not the big box store) where they're trained to help find the right shoe for you. 
  • Bring what you have been running into the store
  • Don't feel pressured to buy something on the spot
  • Be honest about how things are feeling
  • If you are training for distance, do not buy simply on how something looks or what it matches...seriously.
  • If you buy them and don't love them (learn from me) bring them back!
  • If you've amped up the training, lost weight, or worked at changing your form, you probably need to upgrade your shoes. 


  1. I run in the Ravenna 3 too and love them! Jess, do you live in the Portland area? You need to come to a track workout with Team Athena. It will take your running to the next level, you'll meet lots of awesome running moms AND you get a 40% off discount to Brooks online. It's Tuesday nigths at Lincoln HS at 5:45pm. You are welcome to try it out a few times before joining. ($100/yr fee but it includes coaching).

    1. Oh that sounds great. I'll have to check it out in May when I'm done w/ my weekly class. Thanks for the invite!

  2. New to your blog, and love it! Such great advice!!

  3. I have a really hard time getting new shoes, especially once I've found a pair that I love and then they "improve" them. Hope the Brooks work for you!