The Evolution of My Running Brand Choices

With many things, thoughts change and evolve.  Since beginning to run five years ago, I’ve changed shoes and brands several times.  My running has also evolved so things that once worked, now do not.  It doesn’t make a brand right or wrong.  I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the brands I’ve favored since beginning to run.

Early running (2011):

My first pair of running shoes were the Nike Pegasus.  Like most people, before running, I only knew about the brand Nike.  I had no idea there were so many other brands.  The Nike Pegasus worked well for me, in fact, I’ve circled back and have a pair in my current rotation.

Newton: 2011-2014

After my first pair of Nike Pegasus, I was fit for running shoes at my local running store, Running Etc.  They helped me find a neutral shoe with more cushioning towards the front.

My first run in Newtons
My first run in Newtons

If you followed my blog from about later 2011-2014, I ran almost exclusively in the Newton Gravities.  I have a distinct foot strike whether I’m walking or running.  I actually walk and run pretty far on my toes.  It’s unique, to say the least.  I’ve been called many things from a human ostrich to asking how many years I did ballet.  (The answer is none).

No seriously, I went through 17+ pairs of these guys
No seriously, I went through 17+ pairs of these guys…mostly orange

Newtons never injured me, but since I ran so far on my toes I didn’t have the full benefit of the lugs.  I didn’t realize that until a few years later.  

Apparel: Oiselle: 2013-2014

A friend of mine, Jen B, first introduced me to Oiselle while I worked in New York.  Back then, Oiselle was a much smaller company and only had 150 athletes.  I applied for the 2013 Violee team and to my surprise, I made it!

Oiselle meet up at Shamrock half marathon in 2014
Oiselle meet up at Shamrock half marathon in 2014

I moved four times during that period (yes 4!  New York to Virginia to Texas to New Jersey).  I met so many women along the way. It was easy to find others with only 150 athletes.  Later in 2014, the team grew rapidly.  I no longer felt that sense of close-knit family.  I remain friends with the women and I never left violee on bad terms, but I realized I was going down a separate path. It’s also hard to commit to a single brand when you work at a store and see multiple new items across many different brands.

Visiting oiselle HQ 2 years ago
Visiting oiselle HQ 2 years ago

2014: Asics Nimbus

To be honest, I switched out of Newtons for a few reasons.

  • The shoe I was previously running in, the Newton gravity, changed from 4 lugs to 5 lugs, and I didn’t like it.  Since the shoe changed drastically, even if I stayed with the same shoe I would be changing from what I knew.
  • I was coming back from my metatarsal fracture, so I was slowly increasing miles.  It was perfect timing to switch brands and try new things at a slow rate.
  • We dropped Newton from work. If something doesn’t feel good in the store, it’s hard to convince someone it will get better on a run, and we don’t want too.

I haven’t run in Newtons in nearly two years and to be honest, I don’t know much about the brand right now.

I liked the cushioning, fit and feel of the Nimbus 17 so I went with that.  I trained in the Nimbus for my second marathon.

One of my first shots in the Nimbus
One of my first shots in the Nimbus

Working at a running store, I’ve been fortunate to try numerous brands.  I rotated the Asics Nimbus out with the 18th model due to it not fitting my foot correctly.

Current: Saucony (2015-)

Currently, Saucony is my personal favorite brand of shoes.  I like how lightweight and responsive the shoes are but they still have cushion.  I’ve run in the Saucony Kinvara, the Triumph, the Saucony Zealot and the A6 racing flat.

Friends forever
Friends forever

My current running shoe rotation is:
Nike Pegasus
Saucony Zealot and Kinvara (workouts, warm-up, cooldown at races)
Saucony Triumph ISO (many daily runs)

*I do have more shoe reviews in my reads section.

As far as apparel goes I’m not committed to any single brand.  I’ve noticed myself favoring Saucony and Lululemon.  I normally like to buy running clothing on sale because it gets expensive. Right now I lean more towards Saucony because I like their shoes so much. It’s easy to keep adding things to your cart and use a PayPal account.

Why wear one brand when you can wear all of them at once?
Why wear one brand when you can wear all of them at once in a snow storm? 

Running is a personal journal and brands that once worked might not now.  It’s important to realize that preferences and styles change and that’s fine!  No one has the same preference so do what works for you.

Questions for you:
What is your current favorite brand?
What was your first pair of running shoes?

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Author: Hollie

Posts are written and maintained by Hollie. I'm just runner who is blogging her way through internet life. If you see me in the real world, you might be dreaming. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to email me at fueledbyLOLZ@gmail.com

37 thoughts on “The Evolution of My Running Brand Choices”

  1. It’s neat to look back and see how we’ve evolved as runners and how we choose our brands. I started out in Brooks shoes, Mizunos, and now I feel like I’ve found my soul mate with Altra running! I still rotate runs with my Mizunos. As far as clothing I’ve always like UA gear. Their cold gear is awesome for winters!

  2. I’ve been running in Brooks Adrenaline GTS’s for years now. I actually just bought a 2nd pair since the 15’s went on markdown with the new ones out (though I do not find anything different with the 16’s). I’ll be honest though…I’m not really impressed anymore. I really want to break out and try something new but I am scared. I need a good stability shoe and I know these are one of the best out there so I think thats what keeps me going back. I too suffered from a metatarsal fracture last year and still have issues on and off.
    My first pair of running shoes were Nike’s Lunar Glides…which funny enough I have heard have been upgraded quite a bit. I wonder how they would work for me now????

    1. The lunar glides are a fairly comparably option. There is a little stability than the adrenalines though! They might be worth your while trying again…that being said, if you’re happy in the adrenaline I say stay with that!

  3. I’ve always admired your honest reviews on various products! I’m usually a fan of Brooks and Mizuno but I agree 100% that everyone has different needs in a shoe and wouldn’t want to partner with a specific brand for that reason! I would definitely go broke working at a running store though haha

  4. I’ve run in the Brooks pure line for the past 4-5 years. They’ve made some changes along the way so I may try out a lighter pair of Saucony’s.

    FIrst pair of running shoes was cross country freshman year – a $39.99 pair at Kohls! Then after I joined the Marines I ran in my leisure time in a pair of Nike Shox….because that’s a running shoe, NOT!

  5. I also appreciate your honest reviews. Please keep them coming!! Currently, I have been happy with the Nike Pegasus 32 and the Adidas Adios Boost 2. Pants / Jackets I love Nike. Oiselle has my heart in the shorts department while finding the best tops at Athleta.

  6. I started in Nikes as well! I now favor Brooks shoes due to the arch support I get from them. After my foot injury I am working on finding the best for my feet with support that I need! 🙂

  7. This is such a great post and I can relate to the evolution in which brands I use! I use to play volleyball so I was Mizuno obsessed since it’s such a popular brand in that sport. I then switched from wearing wave riders all throughout high school to minimal shoes in college and I’ve worn the PureFlows just like you went through Newtons. I race in the Newton Gravity and actually still love it, but I could never wear it solely without a couple other shoes in the rotation.

    I also agree with Oiselle. I’m currently on the Volee team right now, but I don’t think I’m going to renew for next year because I don’t really feel the sense of community through it because it’s much too large. I’ve enjoyed the discounts, but I’ve stocked up so much on their clothes that I think I’m good for now!

  8. I have switched up my shoes and clothes so many times it’s not even funny. I was all about the asics, then saucony, then brooks glycerin forever until they switched them around and I can’t stand them anymore. I’m back to the newest asics nimbus and I’m obsessed. They’re so much more lightweight than any of my subsequent pairs of asics, it’s an awesome change.

    also, totally a forward runner over here too. I’ve had someone literally stop me to tell me they were in awe of how I ran. whatever works.

  9. I started off with a pair of Adidas shoes that I got on sale – then went to New Balance 860’s. That was followed up a couple of years later with Mizuno Wave Inspires but one day they just stopped working for me. I’m now in Brooks Glycerins and New Balance 1260’s.

    Running apparel – Lululemon, Brooks and Oiselle are all in my rotation.

  10. My first pair of running shoes were Brooks, that I bought in 2009 & still own, though I NEVER run in them. They’re my get dirty shoes now. And I fear they’re on their last leg, with being 7 years old & all. I still wear Brooks, though am on the hunt for a new shoe, any brand, since they changed the toe box on the style I wear. Boooo.

  11. I remember back when you wore Newtons. I liked the five legs better than 4 but it’s one of those things where if you’re used to the way to shoe used to be, it’s hard to make at adjustment. I started in Asics and when they discontinued the GT-2100 series and replaced it with the GT-2000, I found Mizuno and that seems to work best for me. I love lululemon and run almost exclusively in their clothes (at least in the summer months), it does get pricey. Luckily, I can wear a lot of it to work so it serves a dual purpose haha

  12. My first were Adidas Mana 5’s. A lovely lightweight pair of racing shoes that I trained for my first marathon in because I didn’t know any better. Currently rotating Brooks, Nike, Adidas, & Inov8s. My favourite by a long long way are the Adidas Adios Boosts – fantastic shoes for me. Least favourite, the Pegasus, feel so heavy on my feet in easy runs but I tell myself it makes running in light shoes easier.

  13. I miss being able to run in Newtons – they really are one of my favourite shoes.
    Hopefully now that I’m healthy (I think!) I’ll be able to transition back to them.
    Right now I’m wearing Oiselle and Lole (a Canadian brand!) for my run gear. I like being able to support smaller, local brands if I can.

  14. My first running shoes were the Mizuno Wave Inspire. I think it was version 6. That was 2010. I no longer wear stability shoes and rarely wear Mizuno- in fact I just got a new pair of Wave Riders and am thinking I will return them. They changed up the line and I don’t care for any of their shoes for running although I am still wearing mine for casual wear. I now gravitate toward New Balance Zante, Brooks Launch, and I really liked the new Asics Fuze X when I wear tested those, so they may be my next purchase.

    As far as apparel goes, I also love Saucony. The Bullet Shorts are my favorites and I am planning to buy a few more pairs. When I first started running I was all about Nike Tempo shorts or C9 from Target. Saucony tank tops are very lightweight and form fitting, so I look cute running in the Charleston heat.

  15. My first pair of running shoes were nike of some kind (I was only 10, so I wasn’t aware of any specific kinds of shoes) When I started running in High School, I switched to Mizuno wave riders. There was a year in there that I switched to a different kind of Mizunos that were a bad fit for my foot and the way my foot striked and I got injured. I went back to the wave rider and honestly haven’t even dared trying anything else. I am a little tempted to check into brookes though.

    1. You know the Wave Riders work, I definitely don’t think there is a need to change out of them. Brooks are a little bit more shoe which you might like too…completely different feel. What model were you looking at?

  16. I’m pretty sure Nike’s were my first pair of running shoes as well, and that was back in the day when I didn’t even have an idea that more shoes existed. Or that they all did different things 😆 I still really love Nike’s, but not so much for running. I ran with Brooks Glycerines for a little while, but those honestly felt a little too bulky. Currently shopping around for a new shoe that’s supportive enough but doesn’t feel too heavy.

  17. I find posts like this so interesting! I used to run in Nike also, I think Pegasus although I honestly cannot remember which. Then I wore Merrell because I preferred lightweight shoes, but they were almost TOO light for my feet (although the trail traction was great for winter running in the Midwest). I love the Brooks Pure Flow and Pure Connect, but they changed the flow and discontinued the connect so I’m looking at Saucony Kinvara for daily and either Saucony or Altra for racing.
    I also just love Saucony apparel. I have a few good pieces from Brooks and Oiselle also and Patagonia is another favorite, although it’s pricy.

    1. I think you would like the Saucony Kinvara a lot based on what you were wearing. It seems like quite a few people are unhappy with the connect going away…we used to carry it. Although I haven’t heard of anyone disliking the new flow!

  18. I used to love the Nike Pegasus, but somehow they changed and they contributed to my plantar fasciitis, so I dropped them for Altra’s, which were great for long trail running but meh on sidewalks, then the ON shoes which are perfection. I want them all! I actually just ran in my first Oiselle tank top like an hour ago and I loved it!! It fits PERFECTLY. I used to love lulu, then they got a little weird, but the last time I was in a store I wanted EVERYTHING. I need someone to fund my running clothes addiction. 🙂

  19. i used to love mizunos but i got a stress fracture wearing them so in my head they arent the shoe for me. right now i am loving the brooks launch 2 for racing. funny, my first running shoe was a nike and when i went to get fitted at my local running store he basically said i was crazy for running so long in one pair of shoes…oh how naive i used to be (same pair of shoes for 2 years and 3 half marathons) 🙂

  20. I loved reading this! It’s interesting to see your journey through running brands. Since starting running almost 2 years ago I’ve stuck to the Brooks Pure Flows. It’s funny, I bought my first pair of Pure Flows when I worked at Finish Line during college and only bought them because I thought they looked cute haha. Turns out a few years later I haven’t had any problems with them and they’re still my favorite shoe.

  21. I’m a Brooks girl right now even though I started running in Asics. I hope to get refitted for shoes soon though because I’ve been having hip alignment/gait issues so who knows what I might try. I love Nike tights, but Oiselle is one of my favorites too!

  22. I LOVE Asics! They have always given me great stability when I run so I usually just re buy the same version over and over haha.

  23. My first running shoes were just a random pair of Nike shoes. I had no idea what I was doing until I had my feet fitted to a proper shoe. I became a Brooks girl in 2006 and have worn the Adrenaline and Glycerin. Just last week actually I finally stepped outside of the box and purchased my first pair of Hokas. I really hope I like them.

    When it comes to running attire, I lean toward lululemon, Oiselle, and SOAS. I also have a few items from Athleta. I’ve never really tried Saucony clothes… I wish there were more places around here that carried it.

    1. I’ve never heard of Soas but they seem awesome. I’ll have to look into it. I wonder if your local running store does? I think Saucony is normally more in a running speciality store…I feel like I haven’t seem them too much outside of that!

  24. I literally just bought running shoes today and I thought of you!! I actually landed on a pair of nikes which surprised me because I didn’t like them in the past. I typically go for Brooks adrenaline but these nikes are comfy! I was between those or saucony hurricanes!

  25. My favorite brand right now is Nike. I do love the pegasus. I occasionally run in my brooks pure cadence, but I mostly just wear them for walking.
    Lululemon is my favorite as well. I love we made too much.

  26. I love that picture of all your running shoes. Nike was having a sale this weekend so I just bought a new pair. 🙂

  27. I love so much about this and, I couldn’t agree with you more about Oiselle…although I just joined the team in 2013. I’m always amazed how runners can run in 3 or 4 different types of shoes! I wish I could do that. Instead I have two identical pair of Adidas Energy Boost in my closet as that is the ONLY shoe I can run in at the moment!! Crazy.

  28. Woohoo for the Saucony bandwagon! When I was first fitted for shoes at my local running store, I got the Cumulus for about a year, then switched to the Elixir, and then finally settled on Saucony. Right now, I’m running in the Ride and Triumph (LOVE!), plus the Brooks Launch, and I’ve done a few runs in the adidas Energy Glide too.

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