When it comes to trainers I always think it’s a difficult one to offer any tips on, everyone has a different preference so it’s important that you find out for yourself what works for you. Previously I have always stuck with Nike, I love the way they look and have always found them very comfortable particularly the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus. When increasing my mileage beyond a half marathon I’d get blisters which I always just put down to one of those things but decided to try a wider shoe and gave the Nike Air Zoom Elite a try but if anything the blisters got worse. I also gave the Adidas Ultra Boost a go as my friend had loved these when she ran her marathon, but I just didn’t find them as comfortable as the Nike and therefore only used them on my shorter parkruns. Anyway, the blisters got too much and I had to admit defeat to the Nikes – I went into a Sweatshop store and spoke to one of the members of staff in there who were very helpful and suggested the blisters are probably down to the fact I have a slimmer foot, so instead of going for a wide fit I should look for a slim fit. I had a go on the treadmill used to analyse your gait and although I have a slight over-pronation on one side it was suggested I stick with a neutral shoe as that is what I have used without any problems for quite some time. I tried numerous different brands and found the Asics Gel-Cumulus 18 were the most comfortable so I went with these. I am so glad I did this as not only are they really comfortable but I have not had any issues with blisters to this point, I would definitely recommend speaking to someone in a shop about your needs and getting a gait analysis done before spending money on any old pair of trainers. Unfortunately they didn’t have any available in orange so I had to go with a more subtle blue. I hope these will get me through my marathon and I plan on keeping an eye on websites (www.sportshoes.com and http://www.wiggle.co.uk have always come up trumps in the past) for any sales, with any luck an orange might become available.
Now I had my road shoes dealt with I decided I also needed to look into purchasing a decent pair of off road trainers, I’d previously purchased a pair of Nike Air Zoom Wildhorse 3 Trail Trainers but I found these only had a slight grip and again I found they caused blisters. With the cross countries and possible muddy off road runs coming up I felt I needed a better pair of trainers (particularly for Grizzly). I tried some Salomon Speedcross 4 trail trainers in bright yellow which I loved the look of but found them quite uncomfortable and did not get on with the pull laces as they just didn’t feel tight enough, although I know a lot of people love these. The Innov8 trail shoes were suggested to me as they are a slim fit, so I tried on both the Innov8 mudclaw 300 fell running shoes and the Innov8 X-Talon 212 women’s running shoes and although they are both a very similar fit I decided to stick with the Innov8 X-Talon 212’s as they had slightly more grip and I preferred the colour. I have since run a few cross countries and the Benfleet 15 in these and have found they have plenty of grip and although they are not as comfortable as my road shoes I think this is expected with off road trainers, plus no major blisters have surfaced.
The only advice I can really give on getting the right trainers is to get a proper gait analysis done and don’t be afraid to try something new, ensure they are comfortable when trying on but unfortunately until you have run in them you just don’t know how they are going to feel.