Best shoes for recovery runs? Virrata vs Pure Drift?


I like to rotate different shoes for my different runs. I currently use Saucony A5 for track and races and I'm very happy with these. I have Merrell Mix Master for road/light trails and Merrell Dash Glove for shorter road runs. Happy with all these but sometimes after tough track sessions when I have an easy recovery run I feel the need for something a bit more protective and maybe cushiony for my aching legs and feet....? I was considering maybe Saucony Virrata or Brooks Pure Drift. Does anyone have experience with these, or maybe have other suggestions? Also how do Brooks sizing compare to Nike and Saucony? I take UK 6 in Nike and 7 in Saucony.



  • I don't have any experience with Virrata or Pure Drift, so can't comment on there suitability.  The best I can suggest is just try a pair on if you can and see if you feel comfortable in them, if you do buy them :-)

    What I would suggest is that perhaps going for even less shoe on recovery runs can be just as beneficial as going for a softer more supportive shoe.  When you do a recovery run you should be running nice and slow, with small time in the air so that all the loads on the body are minimized.  This recovery gait should be more like the gait of barefoot runner than a traditionally shod runner - as going barefoot forces you to minimize the loads on your feet, and on in doing so minimize the loads on the rest of your body.

    Going more minimal when doing short recovery runs forces you to slow down and be more conscious of your gait.  As you do your recovery run you can focus on tensions and aches in your body and work to minimize them as you run. This way you aren't just getting your blood flowing and loosening off muscle tension, but you also working on your proprioceptive and motor skills.
  • I don't have experience with the Brooks but I do run in Virratas and really enjoy them. If you are already in the A5,and enjoy them, then the Virrata should be a good choice. Personally I love them for the versatility. To emphasize what Robert is saying, they are great for speed workouts, but also preform well on recovery runs. Perfect amount of ground feel and cushioning in my opinion... plus if you are bargain shopping you can get the 1's for really cheap on running warehouse or zappos right now.
  • Thanks guys! Robert that's an interesting perspective... I always worried that in my minimalist shoes I would be working my muscles too hard, never thought about that point of view though! Actually I used to use Merrell dash glove exclusively but following a nasty injury I decided to start rotating different shoes... Texas brewer, good to know you have got on well with the Virratas. I have never tried Brooks but I do really like Saucony so perhaps I'll try a pair on and see how they feel...
  • Virratas are much more cushy than the PureDrift, great shoe if you need a cushy forefoot. I also sometimes do what Robert writes and use a very minimal shoe for a short, easy recovery run.
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