The Marcos Legacy
For the younger readers Imelda Marcos is the widow of the former president of the Philippines. He was thrown out of government in the 1980’s with allegations of corruption and went into exile. She is now remembered more than her husband due to her legendary collection of 3,000 pairs of shoes.
Now my running shoe collection is nowhere near the realms of the Marcos shoe collection. I do however have a hierarchy of shoes. I have a mixture of road and trail shoes. The trail shoes get worn until they cannot be worn at all my road shoes though go through phases and end up being worn as kick around shoes before they go to the legendary graveyard of shoes.
Now Mrs ROE wonders why I need so many shoes. It’s not just because I like shoes (though I do). A variety of different shoes has been shown to help reduce injury. I know people who always go for the same shoe every time. I however am a big believer that your running style and needs change over time. Yes you may be best in the same shoes as last time but it’s always worth considering other options in my opinion. I do hear the cry often of ‘go to a specialist running store and get your gait measured so they can recommend something’. The major issue I have with this idea is for starters we don’t have one and it is not practical for me to spend hours on a ferry to go to one. Also the analysis would only be as good as the person doing it and I have heard many stories of people getting recommended a highly inappropriate shoe. As a lifelong sceptic about many things running stores are there to sell you stuff they are a business and are unlikely to recommend a shoe they don’t sell.
What I find interesting is no one ever tells you do do this for trail shoes. Normally people just experiment and find ones that fit with their running style and the sort of terrain/running they are doing. Due to my lack of running stores etc I take the same theory through to my road shoes. Now specialist shops have there place but are not correct for everyone and for someone who has a limited running budget even if I did have a specialist store I could not justify the cost when I can get the same shoes normally at a reduced cost from an online retailer.
I have had a few people ask what shoes I recommend. My stock answer is that what shoes suit me may not suit you, however this is what I wear and like. I think you need to put that proviso on any recommendations because there are so many variables in shoes. I now like slightly more minimal trail shoes than I did 18 months ago. My personal taste is also a variable.
My favourite trail shoes at present are my INOV8-Race Ultra 290s for longer distances I am finding these fantastic. I have however just received some INOV8-Trailroc 255’s . I’ve not run them yet but these could be my next favourite. Road shoes at the moment I don’t have a favourite my Puma FAAS 600s have left this world after a hard winter on the roads and I am now running some FAAS 1000’s and some Adidas road shoes. As I’m not running much on the roads at present the FAAS 1000s I’m mainly running in using them for easy road recovery runs.
So in answer to the question what are the best running shoes? There is no such thing. There is only the best at the time for that run or that runner in that weather. So I don’t know. What shoes will I run in next year? I don’t know though I have a feeling INOV8 will be there though.