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?