The Shoe Quest

The quest to find the perfect marathon shoe continues.

In 2012, a decision to “retire” from racing 26.2 miles came with an unexpected twist. The following year, as my endurance sport goals shifted to other endeavors, Brooks discontinued the Green Silence.

Over the course of the Green Silence’s production, I opened up my wallet for several pairs in a variety of colors. While the shoe isn’t designed for high mileage, and aren’t the type this runner needs for regular training, the Green Silence proved to be my perfect racing shoe. Light, minimal heel-to-toe drop, responsive, a roomy toe box and comfortable.

The shoes stayed in my closet with the exception of speed workouts and races from the 5K to the marathon. With the popularity of these shoes, I never considered Brooks would discontinue making them, especially since the company didn’t alter the model from year to year. To my horror, when my goals shifted back to marathons, I found the hard truth — Brooks stopped production on my all-time favorite shoe and scouring the Internet only turns up a few used shoes with little wear left.

Stashed in a closet, I found a pair, with just enough tread, to save for running the New York City Marathon. The request to find a replacement shoe began at the expo there and with emails to the company. My disappointment was magnified when the response from a customer service rep suggested I try a shoe within a line that just didn’t feel right.

That left really one alternative: start a search for another shoe model.

And the search continues. So I purchased a Brooks racing shoe that I had experimented with several years ago during shorter races. It had been improved, but still didn’t hit all the check boxes. During the Fargo half marathon, I used the Saucony model that was my preferred model prior to the Green Silence. It worked OK, but still left me searching for something better.

And now I’m going to experiment with a pair of Nike racing shoes.

 

RacerSTFastwitch LunarRacer

A new training program in the buildup to St. George allows me to jump into some shorter summer races, where I’ll test some of the shoes to see if any of them will work as my marathon shoe.

By nature, I love experimenting, but my history in these tests hasn’t always been good: many of the different styles — in and out of the correct shoe category for me — have left me injured or broken down.

About a year ago, I swore off all experimenting — determined to stay healthy and content within the tried-and-true shoes for me. But a quest for a new racing shoe leaves me with little choice.