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My Favorite Running Shoes

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Most runners are constantly searching for the “perfect” shoe. Or, they’re in the other camp where they only buy one brand/model over and over. I fall somewhere in the middle.

The main thing to remember when you’re shopping for running shoes is that there are so many different types and brands out there, and what works for one person may not work for you. So, it’s important to pay attention to how a pair feels on your feet and while running. Comfort is key. (And don’t buy for looks alone!!!) Another quick tip: size up in running shoes. You’ll need to go 1/2 to a full size up from your usual size. I wear a 6.5 in my normal shoes and heels and a size 7.5 in running shoes.

I have six shoes in rotation right now and explain below when I use each and what I like about them (and a few dislikes!). And I also have a post dedicated to the best running shoes for pregnancy if that fits your life stage!

I have multiple pair of running shoes since my body craves different things on different days, and different types of runs require different types of shoes. Additionally, rotating shoes is one way to help make running shoes last longer. If you want more details about how to evaluate running shoes and pick the best ones for you, there’s a video in my running course on exactly that.

In the meantime, let’s dive into my current favorite rotation of running shoes.

My Running Shoes

1. Brooks Hyperion Tempo

If I could only have one pair of shoes to run in, I think it would be this pair. These are light and fast so they work well for tempo runs, but they also have enough cushion that they’re appropriate for daily training runs. I haven’t run more than 10 miles in them, so I can’t say for sure how well they’d hold up for runs longer than that, but they’d be a perfect option for mid-week workouts while marathon training.

These Hyperion Tempos has been discontinued but you can still get it on sale at Amazon — even better. It’s been replaced with the Brooks Hyperion Max. I haven’t tried the Max yet, but it has a rocker shape, which Brooks calls their Rapid Roll technology. You can read more about about the Max here (and how it compares to the Tempo). If you try it, let me know!

2. Brooks Ghost

I love these for normal, easy runs. They’re a great combo of stability and cushion but also aren’t heavy. They are a bit firmer than the New Balance 1080s (which I typically reserve for long, slow runs or recovery runs). But the firmer feel makes them appropriate for daily training and not only recovery runs. I can push the pace in them, but they aren’t my go-to if I want to run fast. I wrote a full review blog post on these, so be sure to read that if you’re considering these shoes.

3. New Balance 1080

While I don’t typically like cushioned running shoes (they tend to feel like marshmallows and feel like it absorbs my stride), I do love these. It’s instant relief on my feet when I put them on and they’re my go-to’s for easy runs, recovery runs or if my body is just feeling a bit worn out. I think they’d be a great option for marathon training since they have enough cushion to support distance running.

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Previous shoes I ran in

The below shoes are ones that I ran in the past but don’t have in my current rotation. I noted what I liked about them and why I stopped running in them, in case it’s helpful for you!

Saucony Endorphin Speed

I tried these Sauconys when I was looking to find something similar to the Hyperion Tempo but I ended up returning them. I have a three strike rule with running shoes – if I don’t like them after 3 runs, they go back. So many people love these, but I found they cramped my toes so much that they were crossing over each other. I also found the heel so heavy, especially when going uphill, even though they are a very lightweight shoe. It’s a shame, because they did make me very fast (they have a winged plate to help with a fast toe-off), but they were too uncomfortable to justify. This is the third style of Sauconys I haven’t liked, so it just doesn’t seem to be a brand that works for me.

Brooks Launch

I loved these for easy or recovery runs, but I found them heavier than the Brooks Ghost. They also gave me heel blisters, which is why I stopped running in them. I had the issue with 3 different versions of the Launch giving me heel blisters, but no other style of Brooks shoes have done that.

Nike Pegasus

I loved these for years since they’re springy but still cushioned AND they are cute. I stopped running in these because when I was returning to running after pregnancy, I needed more cushion than they offered (and that’s when I bought the New Balance 1080). However, I want to give these another try since my running is doing better now. Read my full review here.

Adidas Boston

I had eight pairs of these over the years and even ran the 2018 Boston Marathon in them (read a recap of that race here). Again, I stopped running in these when I was dealing with chronic injuries after having my son and needed more cushion. These two run a tad narrow (especially in the toe box) so that created problems as well. It sounds like the newer models have improved that somewhat so I may give them another go. Read my full review on the blog.

Nike Vaporfly 4%

These were unlike ANY shoe I’ve ever ran in. I set PRs in both my half marathon and full marathon when wearing them! (Here’s the blog post about my half PR and here’s the one about my marathon PR.) You can read my full review of the Vaporflys here. The 4% are discontinued, so I’ve linked the latest version. Carbon-plated shoes were and are a bit controversial (read why here), but they seem to be the new technology that all running shoes brands are going for now, so if you’re looking to PR in races, you’ll want to invest in a pair.

What are your current favorite pair of running shoes and why?

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    16 responses to “My Favorite Running Shoes”

    1. New Balance 1080. Not very sexy, but they are great for my combination of high arches and high instep, combined with inserts for high arches. They roomy toe box is very comfortable (for my hammer toe 🙁 ) and my podiatrist recommended them for that reason. They have seen me through a lot of half marathons (all done since age 60). I have worn them through a bunch of half marathons (not the same pair!). I used to visit the New Balance factory store in Skowhegan when I lived in Maine.

      I also have Saucony Xodus 6.0 for trail running and speed walking. Saucony shoes are also very comfortable for my feet.

      • Good to know about the NB working well for hammertoes! I also have a hammertoe – it’s not too bad yet, and hoping it doesn’t get worse!

        I know SO many people who love Saucony’s! I’ve tried them 3x and I just don’t! I like the width but they don’t feel springy enough for me.

    2. Saucony Rides are my go to and I’ve been mixing in Addidas or Nikes (I feel the same way you do about the Pegasus – I like them more for wearing with jeans and tshirts lol). But I’m thinking I need to replace my Saucony, not sure that they’re still working for me. Past few years I’ve just been replacing without though. Planning on going into Fleet Feet and talking to someone and letting them know my issues, etc. Nothing beats talking to someone at a specialty store 🙂

      • Someone told me that the older Pegs are a lot better than the Peg 35! I may try to hunt down a pair or try the next model.

        And totally agree about talking with someone – Tommy and I went to Fleet Feet to buy his first pair of running shoes last week!

    3. This is super helpful! I’m recovering from plantar fasciitis and haven’t run since November to give my feet a break. I was running anywhere from 4 – 9 miles a day before i stopped due to needed to let them recover and am typically a fan of Brooks, Asics, Adidas and don’t like Nike. I have a wide foot so Nike’s don’t work for me. I’ve recently purchased new shoes since the plantar based off a running store recommendation and have a new pair of New Balances and Hoka’s which I rotate. I was wondering which shoes, for a wider foot and recovering plantar fasciitis feet, you’d recommend for a half marathon as i’m hoping to get back to a running point where I can do a half in September. Any suggestions would be great!

      • Hi Eileen. While my foot isn’t officially wide, it’s on the wider side of normal. Saucony’s are great! The Ride is a neutral shoe, the Guide is a stability shoe. I also do well in Addidas Solar Boost and whichever Brooks model is similar to the Saucony Ride.

    4. I like the super light feel, so I have been running for the last year in either NIke Free RN Flyknits or the Nike Sock Racers. I’d love to try the Vaporfly 4%, but I think I will hold off for a while because of the price point. I’m also considering the Brooks Hyperion…have you ever run in those? I have only run up to a half marathon distance, although I put my name in the lottery for the NYC marathon so who knows!

      • I’m dying to try the Nike Free RN Flyknits!! I haven’t tried the Brooks Hyperion…

        Apparently Hoka has a new shoe coming out that’s similar to the 4% – I guess the lead designer from hoka left and went to nike and then the 4% came out and the technology was eerily similar. Interesting…

    5. I actually like the Pegasus! Although the older versions…like 31 and 32…I just got the 35 and it’s “okay.” Not my favorite shoe, but Brooks are where it’s at for me. If I had to pick one shoe it’d be the Brooks Ghost, great for speed but also good on my long run workouts. Glycerins are a close second!

      • That is SO interested about the older pegs!! Have you tried the new version of the Pegs? the Turbos? Curious how those are.

        I really like my Brooks Launch! I used to run in Brooks 5+ years ago and didn’t like them after they got rid of my go-to (the Pure Flow). Happy to find another model I like since I like the company!

      • That is SO interesting about the older pegs!! Have you tried the new version of the Pegs? the Turbos? Curious how those are.

        I really like my Brooks Launch! I used to run in Brooks 5+ years ago and didn’t like them after they got rid of my go-to (the Pure Flow). Happy to find another model I like since I like the company!

    6. Oh my goodness how I love my Brooks Ravennas! I am a diehard Brooks fan. Like you discuss with the Adidas Adizeros, I feel like they just get better. I have two pairs of Ravennas 9 and I am terrified to order the 10s because I don’t want to be disappointed. I am really working on speed this year so I am trying a lighter shoe. I just ordered the Boston Adizero Boston 7’s and am so excited to try them. Thanks for the recommendation Teri!

    7. Big Pegasus fan here–just about to retire my 36’s and move to the 37’s, so hoping for another great shoe! I also got the Turbo 2’s on a GREAT sale at just i time for my 15K and half marathon last spring–I don’t really have anything to compare to, since they were my first races longer than a 5K, but I did much better than my goal time in both races. They felt like a lighter version of the normal Pegasus and seemed to fit my foot even more closely. Went to a running store recently to try some others, but the Pegasus just seem to fit my foot best!

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