Finding just the right pair of shoes...

edited December 2013 in General
Fellow shoe geeks,

I'm struggling with finding a pair of shoes that works for me. I've owned or currently own the Kinvara 1, Brooks PureConnect, Vibram Bikila, Merrell Bare Access 2 and Vapor Glove, Puma Faas 100 (see other thread... ugh), and the Inov-8 Bare-X-Lite 150. All of them I either (a) didn't care for the heel-toe drop (Kinvara and Brooks) or (b) had some sort of pain/discomfort limiting miles and/or running due to too many miles on too minimal a shoe. Here's what I'm trying to find:

- low drop, preferably zero, definitely less than 4mm
- light and flexible
- narrow-ish toebox (Virrata and Kinvara are great, Merrell and Altra too wide)
- some level of cushion (the Vapor Glove and Inov-8 are too minimal for even 15k, at least for me)

Some shoes I've been eyeballing are the Virrata (still a lot of shoe, but looking better as the list gets shorter), Inov-8 138 and 178, Skechers Prana, and Newton's Performance line. Anything I'm missing? Any suggestions? Thanks in advance for the help!



  • Stay away from Skechers.  They'll be WAY too wide for your tastes.  Inov-8 shoes should be right up your aisle.
  • I would avoid those like the plague!  Both the Levitas and the Cursoris have very wide toe boxes.  Comfortable, but if you're explicitly looking for average to narrow width, both shoes are not what you are looking for.
  • Normally, you'd be right.  The two Evo shoes (not sure about the Evo Ferus) were built very differently from anything else Mizuno makes.
  • I tried the Cursoris last spring and it didn't blow me away. The Skechers input was really helpful as I keep trying to find GoRuns that will work (GoBionic is hard to find!). Not sure if the GoMeb is a good choice, but it has a drop. I saw Pete talk about some zero drop F-Lites that might be worth a look. Thanks for the input!
  • Saucony A5.  If that's too minimal, you might try the fast twitch.

  • edited December 2013
    You certainly have a lot of different shoes. If none of those work, there might not be anything out there that will. You don't like the Kinvara or Brooks because of the drop? 4mm is nothing. If you are feeling pain with some of these shoes, and just don't feel right in some others, there may be some deficiency in your form. If your form is basically pretty much sorted out (Like Pete, for instance--or me, but you don't know me, so you have no reason to believe me) then you'll be able to run in a variety of shoes. It won't really matter. One night, I ran a few miles around a city in a pair of leather dress shoes with big heels. The next day, I ran several miles in my Mizuno Wave Universe 5. Pete certainly runs in all kinds of shoes and does just fine.
  • Nike's Terra Kiger is a 4mm drop trail shoe with moderate cushioning and a fairly narrow toe box (but it has a bit of give). I've put quite a few km's on mine and am loving 'em  
  • I think the Virrata may be the best bet for what you are looking for. Probably the narrowest zero drop shoe I have tried, but works for me (wore it for my Spring marathon this year). The Inov-8 F-Lite 232 might also be worth a look, just got a pair from The Clymb but have not run in them. I'd echo Brian above on the Mizunos, very wide toebox in the Cursoris. The GoMeb is a flat that has a bit of drop, and a very firm sole, but it does fit narrower than the other SKechers Go shoes.
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