Awhile back, someone asked me what my go-to brands were for fitness and outdoor gear. Unfortunately, I don’t have an answer for that, and here’s why: these days, everyone makes a good product! It really comes down to preference because there isn’t a lot out there anymore that is just junk, you know what I mean?
Regardless, I’m pretty picky about my footwear and as y’all saw last week, I do love me some shoes! I have bunions so a wide toe box is a must. Additionally, I’ve started to realize that minimalist and zero-drop shoes seem to make my knees happier for particular activities (running!) so that definitely affects my choices. Other than that, it’s all preference!
Fave CrossFit Shoes
Hands down, I love my Reebok Nanos! Reebok gave me the 2.0 version last November when I went to HQ on a FitFluential trip to workout at Reebok CrossFit One. I had just started CrossFitting like 6 weeks before then, so the shoes came at a pretty perfect time. Luckily, I seriously love them and am already coveting the 3.0’s that I saw competitors wearing at the Games this weekend.
The Nanos have a wide toe box and a 4mm drop, which puts them in the minimalist category that seems to work well on my knees. The shoes don’t have tons of cushion, but they do have 9mm at the heel and 5 mm at the toe. The grippies on the side for rope climbing are neither here nor there for me, but I definitely love the feel of the shoe. It feels solid when lifting and comfy enough while running. Would I make them my go-to running shoes? Of course not, but I have run up to 2 miles in them and they worked great!
Fave Running Shoes (Pavement)
The Evo Cursoris are a semi-new shoe for Mizuno and are a part of the company’s first foray into minimalist shoes. They are a zero drop shoe but they still have some decent cushion for my joints with 12 mm of foam underneath the heel and toe. The toe box is nice and roomy and insanely breathable: it’s made of an almost see-through mesh that lets air flow through the shoe. The shoes are incredibly light and weigh only 5.7 ounces. Seriously y’all, these make me feel like I’m not wearing any shoes!
However, I do still have a soft spot for my Pure Cadence and haven’t let these pink beauties get shoved to the curb. While they aren’t zero drop, they are 4mm and have a bit more support and cushion. These days, I’m not entirely sure my muscles are quite ready for the zero drop shoes and double digit runs, so I’ve been relying on my Pure Cadence for these. These were the first running shoes I ever seriously felt worked for me, so there is no way I would give them up.
Fave Running Shoes (Trail)
To be fair, I’m not entirely sure these are my favorite-ever trail shoes, but they’re what I have now and they seem to be working: the Merrell Mix Master Glide trail shoes. I tested these for a freelance gig and immediately fell in love with them, replacing my older, more bulky Mizuno Wave Ascends. With 9 mm under the heel and 5 beneath the toe, these minimalist shoes hit a sweet spot for me with comfort and functionality. They’re also super breathable which is great since I sweat like a wildebeest and hate it when my feet get hot. They claim to be great for road-to-trail routes, but I don’t overly love them on pavement. Additionally, I’ve noticed a hot spot developing on my arch where it hits the seam, so I may need to do a little investigating into that. Regardless, I’ve logged quite a few miles in these Glides and I’d highly rec them to anyone.
Fave Walking Shoes
You all may know this face:
Since I’m attempting to train for a few half marathons, I kinda have a purpose during my runs, and Tals does not jive well with structure while getting exercise! (Come to think of it…wonder where she gets that whole lack of structure from?!) Because of this, her exercise comes in two forms: runs with Will (apparently she is better behaved when you run faster!) or walks with me. I don’t like using my running shoes for anything other than running, so I found another pair of shoes for our walks: the Reebok One Cushion shoes.
The One Cushion series is Reebok’s first attempt at a legit running shoe, and I have to say that they did a great job! We spoke about these shoes during the previously mentioned November trip, so I was super excited when they finally showed up at my door last month. They have this fused three zone technology that allows for extra responsive cushion in the front, a transition area in the middle, and a firm heel that helps absorb shock. Obviously, I much prefer shoes with less drop, so these aren’t my favorite for running…but they seriously are comfy for walks with Beans!
Do you have a lineup of shoes that you tend to stick with? Or do you bounce around?