Running kit is numerous and varied. I’m sure you all have different views on what your favourite piece of running kit is but I challenge you to name something that is more essential than your running shoes. And herein lays my current agony.
My trusty Mizuno Wave Alchemy 12 have just turned 1 and are close to clocking up 1,000km – that’s over 600 miles in old money. As the more experienced runners among you will know, this is probably a little past their best. Over the last couple of weeks my body has started to tell me the same with little twinges here, minor aches there, so today was the day to get replacements. Instead of parkrun we headed to Up&Running in Headington, Oxford to start the quest.
For the first time in my running career I knew what I was looking for: another pair of Mizuno Alchemy of course. They’ve been fantastic!
So imagine my dismay when my worst fears were confirmed. The Alchemy are no more. Mizuno have withdrawn the model after it’s 12th iteration.
[cut to Dan, falling to his knees, holding his arms in the air, fists punching the sky]
I imagine for most runners choosing a pair of trainers can be difficult but I have an added complication. Well two really:
- I have a strong over pronation.
- I have famously fat feet.
Ultimately that means I need a shoe with a lot of support and I need them nice and wide. Both make the trainers more akin to barges and whilst this would be handy in the recent wet weather it’s not on most people’s shopping list for fast running shoes.
Cue the contenders:
- Mizuno Wave Paradox – the nearest thing to the Alchemy
Even the size 12 (my Alchemy were 11’s), whilst comfortable around the heel and the laces, they were just pushing at the sides of my little toes. I know from painful experience that if a shoe doesn’t feel right it almost certainly won’t be right. So it was a no to the Paradox.
This is the first Saucony’s I’ve ever tried on and they were surprisingly comfortable. Unfortunately it looks like the work experience kid was left to finish the design. The pair that I tried didn’t even have the grey section – just a HUGE expanse of white. I don’t like to think I’m vain but I’m not sure I could be seen in them!
Now I’m not entirely sure if this is the model I tried. What I am sure of is that the New Balance were just a little too tight for my famously fat feet.
My last pair of Asics ripped my feet to shreds but that’s no indictment on Asics, more a reflection on my lazy trainer choice. I knew instantly that these were going to be no good – before I even got my full foot in the first of the pair it was obvious they were just too narrow.
Despite the disappoint, my mood was still being bouyed with Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” going around my head from my morning shower. I then started to hunt an almost extinct species via the information super highway; via Twitter I’ve got the top-crack marksmen at Up&Running tracking remaining pairs around the UK countryside. Fingers crossed they can capture a pair or two humanely!