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New Shoe Shopping

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

With my 6-pair string of K-Swiss K-Ona shoes coming to the end of it's lifecycle, I've started to ponder whether or not to move on to a new model or continue finding and hoarding the K-Ona, which I have loved...especially since I've bought all 6 pair either on clearance or off of eBay, with none costing more than $40/pair. Hard to beat that...except for the $2 pair of Newtons I found at a garage sale.

For fun, I thought I'd list out those I'm considering. I'm not going truly "minimal," but I do prefer less shoe with less heel and almost no motion control, despite my moderate pronation. I'd like a shoe that I won't be searching for in a year because it's been discontinued. And surprisingly, I don't want a boring-looking shoe. Running in the Newtons has kind of made me appreciate a little gaudy boldness.

So, for my own edification and just for some window-shopping fun...


Saucony Cortana

- neutral
- 11.1 ozs.
- 4mm heel-to-toe differential
- durable, high mileage trainer
- $145
- Comment: probably not, due to the sticker price. They are supposed to be outstanding in the mileage wear department, meaning they'd last longer and could probably pull duty like two less durable pair used in rotation. But I'm inclined toward something lighter that I can also use in race events. I think I'd rather have two pairs of something else than one pair of these.
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Saucony Kinvara 2

- neutral
- 7.3 ozs.
- 4mm heel-to-toe differential
- light weight racing/training flat
- $90
Comment: Tried these on on a lark at Sports Chalet and loved the way they felt. Very light and I felt connected to the ground rather than up on a platform like I do with most running shoes. Reviews indicate that durability is an issue, which is supposedly addressed in the soon-to-be released Kinvara 3.
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Saucony Kinvara 3

- neutral
- 7.3 ozs.
- 4mm heel-to-toe differential
- light weight racing/training flat
- $100
- Comment: If these feel the same as the Kinvara 2, but will last longer, these are likely to be the ones.
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Saucony Fastwitch 5

- mild stability
- 8.0 ozs.
- 4mm heel-to-toe differential
- racing flat or low-mileage trainer
- $90
- Comment: I loved the look of the yellow, tiger-striped men's Fastwitch 4 and they felt very similar to the K-Onas I'd been wearing. They're discontinued now. The Fastwitch 5 is supposed to be an improvement. I haven't tried them yet, but if I got them, I admit I'd rather have the gaudy Denver Broncos colors rather than the boring white/greens.
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Brooks Racer ST 5

- mild stability
- 8.6 ozs.
- 12mm heel-to-toe differential
- racing flat or low-mileage trainer
- $90
- If the Fastwitch 5 blue/orange was gaudy, the Brooks Racer St 5 originally came in an orange/blue that was downright obnoxious. More muted versions have since been released, but these are almost too plain. I'm not keen on the higher heel either, so even though I've had multiple recommendations for these, they're low on the totem pole.
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Brooks Launch

- neutral
- 9.1 ozs.
- 10mm heel-to-toe differential
- multi-purpose trainer
- $90
- Comment: not sure. Highly recommended, but haven't checked them out yet. Could be a contender.
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ASICS GEL Neo33
-
- mild stability
- 11.5 ozs.
- 9mm heel-to-toe differential
- multi-purpose trainer
- $105
- Comment: Another in the blue/lime color category, and I thought I was going to like these. They are what drew me in to Sports Chalet to check them out, but I wound up being seduced by the Kinvara 2s instead. Even though I used to be an ASICS fan and I like their new 33 campaign, they're probably not going to make the cut.
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Adidas adiZero Adios 2

- neutral
- 7.8 ozs.
- 9mm heel-to-toe differential
- racing flat or low-mileage trainer
- $100
- Comment: I haven't seen these yet, but Mike at Laces said I should check them out. I've never considered Adidas for running before, but I've got 3 on my list here. Hot red is pretty bold. Might be a style challenge for me.
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Adidas adiZero Boston 3

- neutral/very mild stability
- 9.8 ozs.
- 12mm heel-to-toe differential
- high mileage trainer
- $110
- Comment: Come highly praised by some other runners. Another entry in the get-noticed category, and there again the heel drop is mm'ing up higher than I'd like with my preference for moderate minimalism. Probably not, but I'll give them a test drive.
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Adidas Mana 6

- mild stability
- 9.1 ozs.
- 9mm heel-to-toe differential
- light weight daily trainer
- $85
- Loved these shoes when I tested them a few months ago, though those were version 5. The Mana 6 is what's out now, and I do not like the black men's, so I'd probably go with the women's model. I can wear either men's 8.5-9.0 or women's 10.0-10.5. Sometimes, I actually prefer the fit of the women's shoes.
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Newton Gravity & Motion


- neutral (Gravity) or light stability (Motion)
- 9.0 ozs.
- 4mm heel-to-toe differential
- daily trainer
- $175 (crazy)
- Comment: As much as I've loved my used Newtons, I'd only go this route if I can get them cheap on eBay or at the Road Runner Sports once-used rack.
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Newton Distance & Distance S


- neutral (Distance) or light stability (S)
- 7.9 ozs.
- 4mm heel-to-toe differential
- light weight daily trainer or racing flat
- $155 (still crazy)
- Comment: same as above
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K-Swiss K-Ona S

- light stablity
- 9.0 ozs.
- 10mm heel-to-toe differential
- light weight daily trainer
- $100
- Comment: and maybe in the end, I'll stick with the K-Swiss, though I now prefer the lighter S model to the C. The "watery" blue style scheme is to my liking too. I can find these unused on eBay for under $50.
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