That Running Shoe is…

Working at a running store is fun.  There are people that come in model after model who never want to change their shoe of choice.  There are people that come in wanting to try something completely new.  There are people who come in who know exactly what they want and people who have no idea.  There are 2:30 marathoners who come in as well as people buying their very first pair of running shoes.

Despite the shoe itself feeling great some people don’t want a shoe for several reasons… As hard for people to admit, the shoe look, color and aesthetic design are a big factor in purchasing shoes.  Many people (sometimes myself included) would rather have a shoe that looks great versus a shoe that feels great.  I mean, why do woman wear heels?

Saucony Ride:

“I love the feel of this shoe but I hate the shoe lace colors.  They are too bright.  I’ll buy this shoe but only if I can get different shoelaces.”  (Yes sir we have those).  (This happens in about half of saucony ride purchases).

saucony ride


These are the most comfortable shoe ever but they are too big in the sole.  I just can’t get over the look.  The same goes for the Brooks Dyad.

The women's color combination was especially bad.

The women’s color combination was especially bad.


This feels nothing like my previous model or any model of Nike.  Are you sure this is the same shoe model?

(Yes, it’s one model forward).

This is completely different but it looks great.

(Well let’s try something else then).

nike pegasus


It’s like some person went into the asics shoe design studio and splattered whichever colors of paint needed to be used up.  Green, pink and black?  Sure.  The brightest bright yellow?  Sure.  No neutral colors?  Sure.

Want some sunglasses with that shoe?

Want some sunglasses with that shoe?

The Adiadas Boost:

The bold blue, black or pink.  Sorry the black is even too bold for me.

adiads boost

New Balance:

“I wear New Balance because I like the plain color design and how wide the shoe is.”

Me: New Balance running shoes might be a little brighter than what you are used too.

Oh my stars this is not that white leather shoe I'm used too!  (insert surprised emoji here)

Oh my stars this is not that white leather shoe I’m used too! (insert surprised emoji here)

Newton Men’s Gravity:

Is Ronald McDonald a runner?  Are these his shoes?

He's got to run somehow from eating all those hamburgers...

He’s got to run somehow from eating all those hamburgers…

All comments are just humor.  Each shoe and brand described works well for some people and doesn’t for others.  Shoes don’t injure you, you running in shoes that weren’t built for your foot type does. 

Questions for you:

Do you choose shoes (running or not) based on look?

What shoe are you currently running in?


52 responses

  1. I’m currently in Mizuno Wave Rider 17. They are bright green and I adore them. I live that Mizuno releases models in basic colors then later on in the year bring out fun colors. Keeps things interesting!

  2. HA! I can totally relate to this. I have the same problem with Asics a lot – they’re one of our best sellers but people hate the colors. 90% of people I help end a shoe fitting with “I absolutely love this shoe and hate to be “that person” but do you have this in other colors?”

    Also pro tip: never, ever tell a woman you went up a size or width from what they thought…its like the worse offense ever…even when the shoe fits perfectly.

    • There is a pair of 20th edition asics that look straight from the 90s. Between those, the yellow 2000s and the pink and green nimbus my eyes are bleeding.

  3. Haha we’ve had this discussion before. I wear Saucony Guides which come in colors that are just ok. Nothing too crazy or bright, but not as pretty as some of the neutral shoes. Is it too much to ask to find a good stability shoe in mint green?

  4. I definitely let color factor into things – the louder the better, and while it does help with my early morning runs, I make no pretense about liking loud, bright colors! 🙂

    Currently rotating between Saucony Virrata 2s and Kinvara 5s … and the new Kinvara are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn. Love the look of the new Nike Free Flyknit 3.0s … might give them a try.

    Over the last 2.5 years I have run in Nike, Merrell, New Balance, Airia, and Saucony, with drops from 4mm to 0mm and ranging from ultralights to ultra-minimal … I think the 4mm ultralights work best for me.

  5. I could not care less about the look – all about the feel! I have been in Brooks Ravenna for the past two years and I would not change thing!

  6. Erm sometimes I choose based on look. But this has gone very badly for me in the past- when I first started I chose purely on looks (Nike) and they were awfulllllll for my legs/feet. However, I do wish brands would have both a traditional colour scheme and some wacky ones per shoe, cause’ my current shoes match NONE of my running clothes, ha ha.

    I run in Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s. They are ‘malibu’ which means shock blue, bright green and pink!

    I was wondering (sorry if this is cheeky!), could you give me any information from your position about the differences in the WInsp 10? I tried some on today and I’m not 100% about them. The only issue I had in my 9s was pressing in at the ankle and blistering there on longer runs.

  7. When I was in a running store a couple weeks ago trying on shoes, this girl came in looking for a specific shoe, but she was ONLY interested if they had it in black and grey. Supposedly Matt heard her say that that was the only color that would match her workout clothes.

    I’ve been in the Kinvara for a year, but I decided I wanted to try something new, so I just bought last year’s Pegasus. Unfortunately, I was already on the verge of injury when I got them, so after two runs, my feet are shot for a while. Hopefully sooner rather than later I will be able to figure out if they work for me. I also have a pair of Brooks Ravennas that I use for walking because I like the support when I’m walking. Right now, my feet feel SO MUCH BETTER in my Ravennas than any other shoe I own…

  8. This is how I ended up with Achilles tendonitis for two months. I liked a pair of Asics and bought them even though they were a neutral shoe and I had been running in a stability. I figured it was the same brand and it wouldn’t matter. All because of a stupid color I wanted, I ended up with a nasty injury. Crazy!

    • It’s crazy to think how much of a difference the right versus wrong type of shoe can make. I hope your achilles feels better.

  9. Good post on shoes Hollie! I’ve been a loyal Brooks Adrenaline GTS wearer with the pink Superfeet custom inserts for a while now! I always choose comfort and fit over looks.

  10. I love the crazy shoe colors. One of my favorite things about the Saucony Kinvara is that I can get a different color combo every time I need to replace!

  11. I run in Nike Free 5.0, and I usually custom design mine and I pick a lot of blue and yellow color for my sneakers. An yes, I have noticed the difference in the design over same model of shoe over the years, but they still feel great on my feet. I have tried Rebook and Asics but they all seem so heavy and uncomfortable.

  12. I choose shoes based on weight… I’m a weirdo for that I suppose. For whatever reason, I got used to doing all my running in racing flats (which can be expensive since they wear through faster) and as a result everything else feels like having bricks strapped to my feet. When I bought my first pair of Nike Frees (back when they were pretty much the first “barefoot” experience that didn’t look too insane) they felt cushiony to me. I’m usually the nightmare of the shoe store people because I have a tiny foot and usually wind up buying a co-ed shoe (which means I try one on in the store and then go home and buy a smaller size on amazon for a cheaper price). That said, color has rarely played a role for me because guys don’t seem to have the same color issues with their shoes that women do! (minus Ronald above) My biggest turn-off in shoes would be if something I’d gotten used to wearing turned pink though — so I can totally see where other people are coming from with cringing at the colors out these days. (I would be all for black, white or neon orange or yellow for those fast days.)

    • Wow I cannot even imagine running everything in racing flats but that is pretty awesome it works for you. Most flats are half the cost aren’t they? My nikes normally cost 60. So I guess half the cost for half the life? 😉

      • I’d say that’s a fair estimate. I mean, I think you could buy cheaper non-flats and it might no longer be true, but flats are always cheaper than the stability and cushioning shoes by quite a bit.

  13. I personally love the trend of all the colors these days! I run in the Rides and Kinvaras and LOVE both! Saucony just work for me. I always try to ignore the colors or designs and buy the shoe that is right for me, but my dad and husband both run in the Hokas and I can’t even bring myself to try them on – they are total clown shoes!

  14. I definitely choose shoes based on fit and how they feel on the run. I love going to my running store – guaranteed I will run a mile or two testing shoes when I go to my running store. Right now I am in Mizuno Wave Riders for long runs and Wave Sayonara as well as Kinvara’s for speed work/shorter runs. I have 9 pairs of shoes total in the rotation, and every color under the sun!

  15. Newton and Asics definitely have the craziest colors! I will say Brooks used to look rather plain but have stepped up the game in past years to have some different colors but also some simpler models. I’ve bought shoes in colors I didn’t really love and changed the laces, that’s a fun thing to do.

    My favorite shoes ever were my Mizuno Wave Precision 12’s. I ran a few half marathons in them (trained for half #2 in them, bought them to train for that half). The 13’s were great too but the 12’s had the cutest design with little Japanese Cherry blossoms on the side (I should take a pic). Right now I’m really liking the Wave Hitogami which is what I ran in today.

  16. I’ve been rocking the Nike Lunarglide for a few years now (currently have NEON yellow – love them) but I heard the new model is quite a bit different from the past. I am a total sucker for the color combinations though – super picky.

  17. Hahaha I would if I could! I hated the red of the saucony rides I bought at first (only color they had at the store), but it’s actually grown on me and I can’t wait to get the bright yellow kinvaras haha. I go by style/feel/what works for me then color. I’m going to look ridiculous anyway, so they might as well fit me right 😉

  18. HA! I just bought some Asics that look similar to the ones in your photo. The best part was seeing the official color descriptions on the box. One of them was “clownfish orange”

  19. This made me LOL for real. I also work at a running store and love to hear the feedback on colors and different brands. Do you sell the Asics Noosa Tri shoe? Holy crap, talk about splattering color! And Yup, Hoka always gets the same response, but people swear by them. Working in a running store can sure be entertaining!

  20. I’m currently on my 5th pair of Mizuno wave rider 16’s. This is a special shoe for me as I hated the 15 and dislike the 17 (I have one more fresh pair still in the box- yeah, I’m that guy.) This happened to me with the Mizuno Enigma’s too- I had 3 pairs of the 1st model and just hated the 2’s (awful.)
    I guess I choose the shoes I run in based on feel but looks must count- many people have told me to try the Hoka’s but I really am having trouble getting past how absurd they look!

  21. I do like the bright colored shoes but I wouldn’t choose a shoes solely based on color.
    I wear a lot of different running shoes. I do my normal training runs in Brooks Launch and recently I just got a pair of NB 980’s and I love them. For speed work and tempos I use an old pair of Brooks ST5’s that are old marathon shoes. For racing half marathon and below I have a pair of Saucony A6’s. My fall marathon racing flat has yet to be decided. I’m thinking either a NB or Brooks.

  22. The brighter the color, the better! Neon make you run faster, right? Foam shoes are my favorite for running, and I love wearing gel for walking around.

  23. When I went to a running store to try on shoes, I was a little wary of some of the colors. I bought the Asics Cumulus 15 – there is a non-loud option. Fortunately, I like the shoe a lot, and have had no issues with them!. However, 400 miles later, the crazier color option was cheaper on Amazon, and while I was nervous about it at first, I have gotten used to them. I was also surprised to get a lot of compliments on them. So, I have learned to embrace the neon.

  24. I run in Newtons and it is definitely NOT because they look good. I do get compliments on some of them, but I usually think there is something wrong with the person or that they are so blinded by them. The only exception is the Newton Distance Elite Ironman version, which is white with pink. I only wear those on the treadmill to keep them from getting dirty. But I LOVE my Newtons for the feel. So I put up with the clash of colors. I laughed at the Ronald McDonald comment.

    • Wow I’ve never even seen that color. I’m gong to have to google it and see. I like the Newtons as well because they’ve never injured me (They are my top shoe).

      The Gravities seem to be the worst color combination in my opinion LOL.

      • I accidentally bought a pair of Newton Distance stability shoes because I liked the color better. I realized my mistake after I tried to run in them — ouch! Luckily I was able to return them.

        Newtons really work for my running gait. I’m excited to hear of another fan — although you are waaaaayyyy faster than I am 🙂

  25. I have such awkward shaped feet…they are fat and long and with a really high arch. It means I’m limited to whatever fits really. If only I could choose some of the prettier trainers…!

  26. Hahaha… the Ronald McDonald shoes made me laugh really hard. I’m definitely guilty of choosing shoes based on look, but I wouldn’t actually get them if I didn’t know they worked for me. Right now I’m mainly using the new Nike Pegasus and a really old pair of Mizuno Sayonaras I need to retire. I’d bought some Mizuno Ride 17s online and mostly liked them, but they were too big and kind of bent in the toe box when I ran which was weird. I might just go for another pair of Sayonaras – I’ve had 3 pairs and love them!

  27. Loved this! I want to work in a running store. Oh my gosh. That would be a dream. Haha.
    I run in Nike Lunar glides right now. Until I lose more weight, I’ll go back to my normal light weight shoe.

  28. I have wide feet so I don’t always have much to choose from. I started in a stability shoe and it seems like most were white. Now that I’m in a neutral, more color options have opened up. I started in Brooks Adrenaline GTS 14. Now I’m in the Brooks Ghost 6 and just recently added Asics Cumulus into my rotation. (Mainly because of the blue and electric melon color combo).

  29. I DO NOT choose a shoe based on looks. Actually, I buy out all the left over ugly colors on my favorite Kinvaras whenever they get discounted because they are releasing a new model.

    I am VERY guilty of not trying new shoes though. I have been running in Kinvaras for literally 3-4 years! It’s really scary to invest so much money in something you may not like!

  30. This post seriously had me cracking up!! I think it’s funny how people pick shoes based off of the colors! I guess whatever floats peoples boats! I wear Brooks.. I can’t even remember what pair now haha. I used to wear the Ghost 6 and then switched to Pure Flow or Pure Cadence!

  31. I have to wear men’s shoes most often… so they’re all ugly for my preferences. So really, I don’t chose shoes based on looks, but because of necessity!

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