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July 19, 2010 / elodie kaye

New Shoes!

House rules say no more than 3 pairs in my running shoe rotation.  Otherwise, they take over my luggage when I have to travel or move temporarily.  However, I had to make an exception because my feet were the last hold-outs on my transition to pavement.  All my other body parts have finally come to terms with the notion that we are not going back to Santa Barbara for more trail running.  Even my feet have mostly resigned themselves, except on long runs.  On the last few miles, the balls of my feet burn with a fire so fierce that I don’t want to walk.  That would only delay the sweet ice bath I’ll douse them with.

So, new shoes.  My faves are the Mizuno Wave Riders which are a basic neutral shoe without a lot of fanfare.  Even though I pronate early at footstrike, I’m neutral and even supinate slightly at toe-off.  This means that when I run long and slow, I pronate more, and when I do speedwork, I hardly pronate at all.  The Wave Riders have good road feel which helps me judge pace, but they seemed to be too thin on cushioning for long runs.

I’m not particularly loyal to any brand, but stick with shoes that have worked for me until they, or I, change.  In a similar vein, I don’t usually blame my shoes for injuries or look to them to make me faster.  During my first couple of years running, I didn’t know much about my gait, and ended up with too much motion control, but since then I haven’t had significant issues with any shoe I’ve tried.

I settled on New Balance 1225s, partly because they were on sale and partly because I was told they’d be more durable.  I’m hoping I won’t have to buy another pair until my marathon experiment is over.  They have quite a bit more stability and more cushioning.  I can’t feel the road at all, which will hopefully prevent my feet from self-combusting inside their casings.  On the down side, all that cushioning and stability makes them less flexible on toe-off.  They feel clunky, and I can already tell I won’t look forward to lacing them up on anything but long runs.



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  1. Anne / Jul 23 2010 7:55 am

    I ran in those Mizunos for severaly years after suffering a fractured hip. They did the trick until I also noticed they were behind a chronic achilles ache that eventually led to a full-blown tear. Shoe loyalty has its price, so it’s good you remain brand agnostic.

    And, I’m heading to Santa Barbara in September with running friends who want to do some trails. Any recommendations?

    • elodiekaye / Jul 23 2010 1:11 pm

      In Toronto, I’m a decent hill runner but I found out I suck wind when I got to Santa Barbara, so my suggestions might be tame for you. 🙂 I liked the McMenemy and Romero Canyon trails because they were medium length and I could break into a run for most of the climb. There are lots of side trails so you can run longer with more difficult sections, and they both have sensational views.

      I also ran the bluff trail every day right by UCSB which is beautiful, flat, and cool; it might be a nice option to recover on the second day. has maps and descriptions of the trails I mentioned, and tons more. The bluff trail is called Goleta Beach to Ellwood on that site. I hope you’ll blog your trip, I’d love to read about where you all went!

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