This is a new section on my blog where I answer questions people ask me. If you have any questions for future Ask Kikay Runner entries, contact me!
I always check what shoe brands appear on the feet of other runners around me. Since I’m a Mizuno Sports Ambassador for running, obviously I will be wearing Mizuno (and I believe it’s one of the best brands for runners). But people have brand loyalties because they’ve found what works for them, whether it’s because of function or aesthetics.
“I just would like to ask for an advise [sic] of a running shoes on what brand you would suggest, I’m a New Balance guy, I ran/jog for 7 years and I stopped. Reason is that I got my very first daughter last year. And I know I’m way out of shape again. And I really am craving to go back hit the road again, problem is my 3 runnings [sic] shoes now are way out of shape for me to run at least a 5km or 10km. I notice that you’re into Mizunos, and I know for that fact they’re on par with Nike, Adidas, or any other A++ brand of shoes. My dilemma is what brand I’ll have to buy! Hope you can enlighten me!”
I think “What brand of shoe should I buy?” is the wrong question. The most important question when you’re buying shoes for the first time is: “What kind of shoe is right for my present needs?”
I wrote an article for Women’s Health Philippines in 2010 about five running essentials. I was able to interview Dr. Paolo Punzalan about proper footwear choice.
…no single shoe (or lack of one) can be the best one for all runners; you’ll have to find what works best for you and your training goals. Paolo Punsalan, M.D., an orthopedist and ultramarathoner, says, “If you are just starting out running, it probably wouldn’t matter what type of shoe you run in, as long as you train appropriately. But if you are in the market for new shoes, consult a reputable and reliable running shoe professional for their evaluation and recommendations, to help you find your first pair.”
So you’ve got to get off your couch and go to an actual store.
Now if you don’t want to go without any prior knowledge of what kind of shoe you should be looking for, Mizuno’s Precision Fit Online lets you perform some of the initial tests that store personnel might do on you, such as the wet foot test to determine your arch type, plus flexibility and hypermobility tests that will show your tendency to over- or under-pronate. Your results will give you an idea of what to ask for when you get to the store, but don’t close your mind to suggestions. Only a footwear professional who has seen your feet and gait can give a reliable assessment of your shoe needs.
So, Linebacker, my answer to your question is: try on your old favorite shoe brand and another shoe brand within the same type of shoe your feet need (whether just neutral cushioning, support, or motion control). Whichever fits more comfortably and fits your budget, buy it. What good is a good-looking shoe with a popular brand name if it doesn’t perform well?