If you are a serious runner you know the importance of running shoes. I do not compromise on the quality of my running shoes. The running shoes on my feet are my most important investment because it protects my body from injury and allows me to log in some series miles. At my age I enjoy protecting my knees and joints from a lot of impact forces. I know there are those naturalists out there who have a compelling argument that running barefoot or in minimalist shoes are better for you. They say the real way you were created to run was barefoot and that cushioned running shoes make us weak and more prone to injury. I would say that if you look around….most people are just fine with their well cushioned running shoes and most of our injuries are not because our shoes are cushioned but because of many other reasons. It took me years to get adjusted to running from landing on my heel and rolling forward to a midfoot/forefoot style. I am not interested in taking significant time to learn how to run barefoot here in Michigan. Imagine how tough my feet would have to get to run over rocks and roots? Most of our months are cold and running barefoot or in minimalist shoes over ice and snow doesn’t sound like a good idea either.
I currently run in mostly the Hoka One One Clifton series of shoes (see image above). It’s a very cushy shoe with only the Hoka Bondi as more cushioned in their line up. It serves my needs from fast interval workouts, tempo paces, recovery runs, to long distance days. I know some of the more elite runners out there like to have separate lighter and more responsive shoes for the fast workouts. I will occasionally run in my lighter and more responsive Hoka Mach’s or Hoka Tracers for workouts that require more speed. However, the Clifton’s feel best on my feet no matter the workout.
I do own several pairs of running shoes and will regularly alternate which pair I am training in. Yes, I have multiple pairs of the Cliftons! I also train in the Nike Flyknit React. I do not like this shoe as much as the Clifton because it is less cushy. Therefore, it doesn’t work for long runs and a lot of my runs are long. It is also not very responsive for fast pace workouts. I feel like it works best for middle distance runs at slow to medium paces.
Having multiple pairs of shoes is good. My shoes get to rest and dry out as I take out a different pair. My feet also get to ride in a different pair each day which helps my feet not get too accustomed to the same pair. Your feet has a lot of muscles so having different shoes and types of shoes may help work and strengthen those muscles on the basis of how each shoe flexes, cushions, and feels on your feet. Lastly, I do not wear my training shoes around during the day. I do use my retired shoes for casual wear but my training shoes are reserved for training. This helps lengthen the life of the shoe dedicated for those running miles. I am getting about 500 to 600 miles easily out of each pair of Clifton’s.