Why Internet Shoe Reviews are Worthless

Why Internet Shoe Reviews are Worthless

Why Internet Shoe Reviews are WorthlessThis is a topic I’ve written about before, but I think it’s important to write about again,  As someone who puts out plenty of internet shoe reviews, it might even seem weird I’m even writing it.

The short story is, no running shoe is perfect for everyone. Not that the Nike 4% Vaporfly, not the Brooks Levitate 2, not the adidas ultraboost.  Yes, you would think they were all the best, by how much those shoes are hawked.

Since I work at a run specialty store,  I’m lucky enough to try new running shoes. One of the perks of my job is being able to see the newest and latest shoes on the market. The downside is half of my paycheck goes to work.

Why Internet Shoe Reviews are Worthless

For the most part, I purchase a new shoe monthly from work, run a hundred or so miles on it and review it. If I like the shoe, I run in the shoe for a lot longer than 100 miles.  For instance, I almost always have a Brooks Glycerin and Hoka shoe in my rotation.

If it’s not my favorite shoe, I run it once a week, wear it to work, or give it to someone. I also don’t run in shoes that knowingly won’t work out.I’ve turned down several blogging opportunities for a free shoe because I would probably end up with an injury.

Why would I buy a shoe that would set me up for failure and injury?

I’m not reviewing a shoe for what works with your feet but for what works for my feet, and that goes with any shoe review.  It’s easy to spew facts about how a shoe has changed, but there is no way to tell if a shoe will work until you run in the shoe.

No two feet are the same including your own two feet. Each shoe works well for a particular foot type and doesn’t work well for a specific foot type.

For instance, I supinate; have high arches and wide unshapely feet.  My feet also prefer a lot of cushion.  Right off the bat, this eliminates minimalist shoes or low profile and lightweight shoes for me.

And you know what?  That’s fine because it works for me!

The brand Mizuno works for a lot of people. It’s lightweight, firm, and narrow. The Mizuno Wave Rider is a neutral shoe, and it looks like it would be great on paper for me, however, when I put it on it doesn’t feel right.  It doesn’t mean they are bad, just not the right fit for me. Mizuno clearly has a large following that it does work well. This can be said about every single brand from Nike to Asics to Saucony…the list is endless.

So how do you find these so-called right shoes for you?

I’m biased because I work in a running specialty store.  One route of finding a good for you shoe is going to your local running store and being fit by a professional. Most running store employees have seen every foot type imaginable.  They aren’t going to put you in a shoe that isn’t correct for your feet.

Getting properly fit also saves time, energy, and possibly going through multiple pairs of shoes.  I can’t tell you how many people come in, get fit, and say: wow that didn’t take long at all.  That’s because running store employees know what they are looking for.  Many running stores (such as mine), have a two-week exchange policy that you can run in the shoe and make sure it does work for you. You never know until you hit the pavement, trails, treadmill or track.

So yes while reading reviews of various running shoes can be helpful, it will never replace trying a pair of shoes on your feet and seeing what works for you.  You should never base an opinion of a shoe on what I or anyone says about it.  (The Brooks Levitate 2 is one of the most over-promoted shoes in the industry right now.  Online you’d think it’s the best…but it’s far from it).

Remember in cliché fashion, every person is different. Every foot’s needs are different, and that is why there are so many different makes and models of running shoes.  My point is this running shoe reviews can be helpful in learning other people’s opinions of a shoe, but they are just tool to find your perfect shoe.  No two feet are the same and what works for me might not work for you.

Questions for you:

What kind of running shoes do you wear?

How seriously do you take running shoe reviews? Would you buy a shoe because LOLZ told you too?

Brooks Ghost 11 Shoe Review

Brooks Ghost 11 Shoe Review

The Brooks Ghost 11 is one of the most common and traditional shoes out there.  Anyone working in run specialty will tell you it’s one, if not the most sold neutral trainers.  It feels comfortable when you try it on and has a full toe box. Plus, it’s made in wide too.

Brooks Ghost 11 shoe review

I’ve worn the Ghost before, and one of my favorite pairs was the Ghost 9.  I had hoped to get a pair of Ghost 11s in the New York City color, but I wasn’t able to order them through running specialty. (I guess they sent too many to bloggers?).

Each year, the Brooks Ghost is a consistent and reliable neutral shoe.  There is plenty of cushion, but it’s still light.

Upper:

Since the Ghost 10, the look and design have been changed the most. It aesthetically looks better than previous years (What is better anymore in the running world?

As mentioned, the major update comes in the upper. It uses new materials but maintains the breathability. Like most of Brooks shoes, there is a double layer of mesh, which keeps air filtering through but also keeps dirt out.

Fit wise, the Brooks Ghost has always been close to size. I wear anything from a women’s 10-11 wide, and I’ve found the 10 wide to fit the best year after year. A few people have complained the toebox is slightly more narrow in the Ghost 11, but that hasn’t been an issue for me.

The most common complaint from the Ghost is the lack of structure at the top.  Your feet are free floating around in the top.  You never want any running shoe toebox to feel tight, but for many, this isn’t comfortable or natural.  Personally, I like it. There are no seams, no overlays, and my feet can just chill without worrying about rubbing or being irritated by seams (technical, I know).

Ride:

The Ghost 11 does feel slightly different.  The Ghost used to have a more chunky, thick layer of DNA foam.  There is now less “DNA” foam and more DNA Loft Foam.

Okay…so?

The Loft foam is softer but also more responsive under the heel. Previously, the shoe was a much softer trainer.  Now it’s transitioned into a shoe that you can do a workout, or easy run.  I’ve done both in the Ghost, and it responds accordingly.

Another thing to note is that the Ghost is my go to, rainy day shoe. The grip is more substantial than many trainers. It’s not a trail or rain shoe, but it has a lot more grip than many other similar shoes.

Conclusion:

The Brooks Ghost 11 is a great shoe. There is plenty of cushion, and it’s one of the cheaper traditional shoes. I’ve run about 300 miles in mine. I’ve run fast runs, slow runs, easy runs, hard runs, I’ve pretty much done everything with no issue.

Current Shoe Rotation (Keep in mind, I haven’t run since NYCM, but it’s what I left with)
Easy Runs: Brooks Glycerin 16, Brooks Ghost 11, On CloudaceUnderarmour Sonic, Hoka Cavu,
Workouts: Nike Fly, Hoka Cavu, On Cloudrush
Races: Nike Fly, Nike Pegasus Turbo, Nike Fly 4%

Questions for you:
What is your staple shoe?
Do you use a different shoe for rainy days?

Nike Pegasus Turbo 35 Shoe Review

Nike Pegasus Turbo 35 Shoe Review

The Nike Pegasus is most people’s first running shoe.  In fact, way back in 2011, it was my first running shoe.  It’s gone through many changes.  This year, it has divided into two, and the current models are both the Nike Pegasus 35 and the Nike Pegasus 25 Turbo. They are two completely different shoes with different fits, feels, rides, and prices.   My foot barely fits into the regular width of the Pegasus 35 so I haven’t bothered running in it.

The Nike Pegasus Turbo is a lightweight weight and “faster” version of the Pegasus.  It uses the same ZoomX foam as the Vaporfly 4%.  That’s why it comes in at $180 and has a very short life.

Nike Pegasus Turbo Shoe Review

I bought the Pegasus Turbo 35 because I was looking for a long run/faster shoe.  During previous training cycles, I would have used a less cushioned shoes like a racing flat.

My only goal of this training cycle is to start and finish the marathon healthy.  Among many things, it means adding a lot more cushion into my training shoes. I’m not the type of runner that can get away minimal shoes anyway.  I did recently write about racing flats and if they are right for you.

Nike Pegasus Turbo Shoe Review

The Pegasus Turbo has ZoomX foam, which is lighter and provides more energy return than the regular Pegasus.  The only shoes that have the ZoomX foam are the Vaporfly Elite, Vaporfly 4%, and now the Pegasus Turbo.  You’ll know if your shoe has the foam because they are only available is certain colors and far more expensive than the traditional shoe.

Fit:

The upper of the Turbo is very different than the regular Pegasus and a lot wider. It’s one of the reasons I wanted to try the Turbo versus the normal Pegasus.

Of course, I want to run faster, but the Turbo is just a wider shoe. I usually wear a women’s size 10-11 wide and I cannot fit my foot into the regular Pegasus.

I can, however, wear a women’s 10 in the turbo with no problem.  The Turbo is one of the few shoes that a standard size 10 feels comfortable to me.

The upper of the Pegasus Turbo generally is a similar to the regular Pegasus but a little more sturdy.  One thing worth mentioning is the Racing Stripe on the shoe. It looks cool, sure, but it takes a lot of breathability out of the shoe. To me personally, it seems cheap.  It could have been screen printed onto the shoe with no issues with the material.

Nike Pegasus Turbo Shoe Review

Ride:

Both the Pegasus and Pegasus Turbo look like aggressive shoes.  They have a curved heel almost resembling a fin.  Nike mentions the fin is aerodynamic.  Every second matter right?  I like shoes that you can see the technology.  In any of the Turbo shoes, you can see where the two layers of foam meet.  You can see the material crush down in both the Vaporfly and Nike Pegasus Turbo.

During long runs, it’s much softer than the regular Pegasus and resembles the squishy of the Vomero but fast…very fast.  All of my long runs have been productive in the shoe.  Is it the shoe? Is it my training? I’m able to get good leg turnover in the shoe.

Nike Pegasus Turbo Shoe Review

Conclusion:

I think the Nike Pegasus Turbo is a good shoe, however, there are a few things that I think need to be mentioned.  I’ll continue to run in it and get faster long runs, but do I think it’s worth all of the hype? That I’m not sure.

  • The shoe is not durable. Similar to the VaporFly, you aren’t going to get “a lot” of mileage in them. The foam tends to break down in the Turbo around 150 miles.  Why don’t people talk about this? The Vaporfly is only designed to last 2 or so marathons?
  • The price. $180 is a lot for a neutral, low cushioned, shoe.

I don’t think it’s a bad shoe, but for me, it serves its purpose as a long, fast, run shoe. I’m not going to take it out for a leisurely jog or add additional mileage in it.

If your foot is a more narrow width, I would probably suggest getting the regular Pegasus, as it’s significantly cheaper and you get more mileage out it.  I know I’m in the minority, but I think it’s more of a social media shoe than anything.  Obviously, most people love it, since it sells out so quickly!

Current Shoe Rotation:

Long Runs: Nike Pegasus Turbo, Hoka Cavu

Easy Run/Daily Runs: Brooks Glycerin, New Balance 1080, On Cloudace 

Workouts: Nike Pegasus Turbo, Nike Zoom Streak or Saucony Type A

Questions for you:

What was your first running shoe?

What shoe do you race most often in? 

New Balance 1400 Shoe Review

New Balance 1400 Shoe Review

Despite never running in the New Balance 1400, I’m familiar with it.  It’s been a favorite shoe for several of my coworkers who prefer racing marathons.  It won’t be my marathon shoe (which is still undecided), but it’s been good to do long runs and workouts in.

The New Balance 1400 is a great racing flat for anything from the 5k to the marathon. It’s been around for several updates and designs as well.  I’ve tried on the shoe (as I like to do with every shoe), through each version but never run in it until now.

new balance 1400 v5 shoe review

Fit:

I wear a size 10-11 wide in running shoes, and the 10.5 womens is fine.  Often times I need to just scratch women’s racing flats and go to a unisex/ men’s shoe because of my foot width.  The women’s 10.5 is fine.

New Balance 1400 v6 show review

Other bonuses of the flat include minimal seams and overlays. Less weight, less rubbing, equals faster runner.  There is only so much actual cushion you can remove from a flat, so many companies are removing as much stuff from the top as possible.

Also included in the fit is an update to the tongue. While I did not run in the previous version, but I know the tongue bothered several people.  Many people said it bunched up or caused irritation.

The updated tongue is more similar to the New Balance track spikes.  I suppose if Emma Coburn and other New Balance professionals like the tongue of a shoe, the common folks like us can too.

New Balance 1400 v6 show review

Ride:

There isn’t much to say about the ride.  It’s light, responsive and reacts with the ground.  The material used, is called “revlite.” It’s durable yet responsive.  It’s much more responsive than fresh foam (like in my favorite New Balance trainer the 1080).

Interesting and somewhat unique of the 1400 is that is has a 10 mm drop (many flats have between 0-4). You don’t really feel the difference and to be honest, if no one told me I would never know. I have preferred it recently for long tempos and longer runs.  I’ve done some short 400s too, but longer runs seem to be my favorite.

New Balance 1400 v6 show review

Finally, something to note is that it responds well in rain. When a racing flat is not good in weather, it can be a shock come race day and you don’t have a good shoe.  (Some shoes that don’t respond well to rain include the Nike Fly and Brooks Levitate). I’ve raced A LOT of road races in the pouring rain including Shamrock, Atlantic City, and Broad Street. If I didn’t have a good racing shoe that day, I now know this is always a faithful weather backup. In fact, one of my better photos in the shoe is in bad weather.

Conclusion:

In all I like the New Balance 1400 for workouts and races.  In bad/wet weather I believe I am more likely to use the shoe because it has more traction than the Nike Fly and many other flats.

New Balance 1400 v6 show review

Current Rotation:

Workouts/Racing: Nike Fly, New Balance 1400

Daily Runs: Brooks Glycerin, New Balance 1080, On Cloudace,

Long Runs/Faster Runs: Hoka One One Cavu, Underarmour Sonic

Questions for you:

What is your staple racing shoe?

Do you change shoes in the weather?

On Cloudace Shoe Review

On Cloudace Shoe Review

The Cloudace is a brand new, highly cushioned shoe from ON.  As most readers and followers know by now, I prefer a well-cushioned shoe for training.  The more cushion, the better.  When On created the On Cloudace, I knew it would be a shoe I would eventually try.

If you are someone who is injury prone or likes a well-cushioned shoe, the On Cloudace is going to be a good fit for you.

If you have never run in ON before, they will feel different.  I’ve run in the ON Cloudflow and the ON Cloud Surfer before. On claims it’s cushioning that doesn’t change or break your stride but supports you how you need it.

On Cloudace shoe review

The “Clouds” at the bottom of any of their shoes are adaptable and cushion both horizontal and vertical forces.  This means it will feel soft but also responsive. When you strike, the Cloud technology lock and form a supportive foundation.  For the most part, I’ve always felt that in each model I’ve run in.

Watching videos of this visibly happening is cool. I actually appreciate brands you can see their technology.

Fit:

Like many running shoes, there are no seams in the upper.  Usually, in women’s sizes, I wear between 10-11 wide.

On doesn’t make wides at this point, so I chose a 10.5.  It fits well, but given the option, I would have preferred a 10.5 wide.  Other than that, it fits fine, and I haven’t had any issues with needing a different size.

If you have bunions or extremely wide forefront, your feet might not fit well into On.

On Cloudace shoe review

Ride:

To date, the Cloudace is one of the stiffest shoes I’ve tried.  You can feel it’s that it’s maximum cushioned shoe without feeling weighed down.  Like mentioned, it’s supported where I personally need it.

The Cloudace itself is stable and responsive. With the weight, that is rare for shoes.  When I tried it on, I wasn’t sure how responsive it would actually be.  Would my foot melt into the cushion?  Would I be able to run “fast” in the shoe?

I’ve done a few short workouts in it, and I have run about the same pace.  I’ve also done a few easy runs in it and felt good.  For me, it will fit in nicely as a recovery run shoe.  I can run fast, but I prefer other shoes to run fast in.  Having such a wide range for a shoe is rare. If you’ve never worn On before, you’ll notice the “Clouds” at the bottom of the shoe.

On Cloudace shoe review

If you have ever run in Newton or adidas, you might appreciate On, because they do feel fairly similar. (I ran through 17 pairs of 4 lug Newton Gravities many years ago).

The only, drawback of the Cloudace is the price point.  While most shoes that are of similar cushioning level are between $140-$160, the On Cloudace comes in at $200.  It’s definitely one of my most expensive running shoes but I’m hoping it will be more durable than many others.  So far I’ve put about 100 miles on the shoe and it could easily be mistaken as brand new.

Current Shoes I’m running in:

Daily Runs: Brooks Glycerin 16, New Balance 1080

Recovery Runs: Hoka One One Clifton 5, On Cloudace

Workouts/Races: Nike Fly, Nike LT Racer, New Balance 1400

Questions for you:

Have you tried On?

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