Mizuno vs. Brooks vs. Saucony: A Shoe Story

I will be the first person to admit, I am not 100% loyal to a shoe brand. Sure, back in the day I was loyal to my Keds – but since I’ve started running I’ve switched from Asics, to Mizunos, to Brooks, back to Mizunos, to Saucony and back to Brooks.

loyal

For a LONG time I ran in my Mizunos, but then they started screwing around with their shoe design and it started screwing around with my feet. And my toes. And my pedicures. And it kinda hurt, so we had to break up.

I tried Brooks next, because I had heard A LOT of great things, but I’m fairly certain that the style I was wearing (Brooks Ghost) GREATLY contributed to the tendonitis that flared up during my marathon training. Now, I don’t necessarily blame Brooks, it just didn’t support me in a way that the Mizunos had.

Untitled

While I was dealing with my tendonitis I switched to Saucony (Guides). They were PERFECT for what I needed. They gave me support, but they also helped me transition to a smaller drop (12mm to 8mm) allowing me to change my gait ever so slightly. Once I changed to the Saucony Guide it was like a light switched on and I actually started running faster and with more confidence (of course, this may also be due to the fact that I had finished marathon training!).

saucony

After half marathon season ended in March, I knew I wanted to run less and switch to a lighter shoe, especially for the hot and humid summer, so I pulled the trigger and bought a pair of Saucony Kinvaras.

Kinvaras

I really do love this shoe. They are lightweight. They don’t get dirty. The let you feel the ground when you run. And I get MAJOR compliments on them. If you want a super affordable pair of minimalist shoes – definitely check these out. I almost always see them on sale.

But then, due to a really awesome discount and coupon, I randomly decided to try out the Brook Pure Connect and I cannot stop wearing them.

Connect

They are comfy. The are snug. They are somewhat rounded at the bottom which gives them a COMPLETELY different feel, especially when running.

I LOVE THESE SHOES. LOVE.

The big difference between the Brooks Connect and the Saucony Kinvaras is the fit. The Kinvaras are slightly wider in the heel and while I don’t feel like I’m going to fall out of the shoe, it doesn’t give me as much support – even when I wear my orthotics.

The Brooks on the other hand – they are tight, REALLY tight, but still airy (they don’t bother my bunion — at all, which is HUGE). Their snugness actually bothered me during the first run, but I let them stretch out a little bit and they are perfect. The Brooks hug my feet and my arch. They are also a smidge lighter than the Kinvaras. And they just work… for me.

Now, I may switch back to Saucony when I go to run long distances again. I think after 5-6 miles my feet, ankles, and calves NEED more support – and I’m not going to attempt to do anything crazy. I know the consequences. But for now – these are definitely the shoes for me!

I guess the moral of this shoe story is: Don’t settle on a brand even if you love it. Different styles, fit different feet. Brands also change, and while you can HOPE they change with you — sometimes they don’t and it’s OK to move on. Hey, maybe someday they will woo you back!

And they all lived happily ever after…

Do you have a favorite brand or are you a shoe switcher like me?

I was not paid to say anything about any of these shoes. I just felt like sharing because sometimes other people’s opinions get me to try out new things and I appreciate it. If anyone wants to pay me or send me free shoes — I wouldn’t say no. Just sayin’.

Comments

  1. Lisa says

    I overpronate and was fitted with the Mizuno Wave Alchemys about a year ago, maybe. Loved them. Before I started training for my half, I got the newer model and didn’t have issues while training, but on race day and then after started having weird foot cramps… At Falmouth it turned to foot pain. Ugh. Went back to the running store for Brooks and left with Saucony Omni. So far, so good but I haven’t run further than 5 in them yet. Don’t know if it’s the sneakers or I had a foot sprain that healed..god forbid I just rest. Damn addiction! Long winded much? I enjoy reading your reviews though, gives me thoughts for my next pair! ;)

    • says

      If you went all the way through training without problems, it wasn’t the shoe. It might have just been over-training or your body finally saying…”hey take a rest why don’t cha.” The same thing happened to me for my first marathon. My shoes lasted for 5 months of training and race day I had crazy knee pain. Then I went on this crazy shoe hunt (because of course I blamed them) and kept getting fitted for crappy ones when I probably didn’t need to.
      Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run recently posted..Weekend Things

    • says

      I’m happy to hear that you are still running after your first half!!

      I would definitely give your foot a rest — and if it still bothers you see someone! And it definitely could have been the shoe – or it could have just been bad timing. If you decide to run shorter distances or take up bodybuilding definitely try the PureConnects!

  2. Andi says

    If you love the Pure line but want a little more support for longer runs, try the PureFlow. I’m on pair 2 of these now and love LOVE love them. I’m also not a shoe loyalist and own everything else – Mizunos, New Balance, Newtons, etc. Sticking with the PureFlows for now tho!
    Andi recently posted..Marathon Monday: Week 9

    • says

      I *might* have to try them! That’s what I bought Braeden and he LOVES them (and gets so many compliments!). If you can find a pair of the PureFlows on sale — BUY THEM! They are great shoes. *Derp – I meant PureConnects*

  3. says

    I am a huge Saucony fan. I started in Hurricanes and switched to Guides a while back. I run in the Guide 5 and love them. I have some knee issues I am often battling and my Sauconys have gotten me through several halfs and a full marathon. I am very much a Saucony loyalist, but those Brooks pure connect shoes look very cool.
    Heather recently posted..Reset!

      • says

        Hurricanes are Saucony’s stability shoe. When I was wearing them they were more of a light stability shoe, but they redesigned them about 4 years ago to be more of a true stability shoe. That was when I switched to the Guides. They were on Guide 3s at the time. I have been a Saucony loyalist for way too long :)
        Heather recently posted..Reset!

  4. says

    Ummm hi my name is Melissa and I’m a shoeaholic. Right now I have the following shoes in my rotation: Kinvara 2, Kinvara 3, Mizuno Wave Rider, and Mizuno Wave Nirvana. I also have a pair of Guides that have been slightly neglected. I was too afraid to run in them because of the lower drop. So then I bought Kinvaras and ran in them instead. Makes sense? No. Annnnd I just bought a pair of PureCadences, which are still in the box. I need a separate closet just for my shoes.

    I think my problem is that no matter what, I always end up with shin splints. I think my running form sucks. Heel Striker 4 Life!! Maybe the PureCadences will fix me. Ugh. Running is expensive. Fine. A running shoe addiction is expensive. That’s what I meant.
    Melissa recently posted..LDW Wrap-up & September Changes

    • says

      And that is why I like you :) OK, that’s not the only reason.

      My marathon group lead told me that one way to prevent shin sprints is to run a lot of hills. Do you run them? He said by running hills, you build the muscles around your shins. It sounded logical – but he also might have just said that I sucked it up and ran hills!!

  5. says

    I guess I’m a loyalist in use, but not always in spirit! I’ve had three pairs of Ghosts (3,4, & currently 5). I ran my marathon in 2010 in Ghost 3s and said goodbye to them after the Warrior Dash this May; it was a sad moment (a runner and their shoes). I would like to try something else, but I’m kind of scared to do that, and not to mention the cost to try something new. I was thinking today on my run that my shoes felt heavy, and that I would like to try something lighter, but that could have been the plantar talking. I liked your input and I’m jealous of your pretty purple shoes!

    • says

      You should try something lighter (I am a bad influence!). If you can – check out your local running store and just try a bunch of shoes on. I feel like they are making strides on making the shoe lighter – but still being supportive.

  6. says

    I love my Mizunos. I wish I could find a pair that fit like my beloved the Wave Creation 11s. (So glad those didn’t work out for you and I inherited them!) Mizuno, if you are reading this, feel free to send me a pair of 13s to try because I am tired of buying new shoes. Actually I’m super tempted to buy a pair of 13s but every running store clerk tells me those are terrible shoes. Like, really?
    Anyway, I’m in the Brooks Ghost 5s right now. They aren’t bad but they aren’t perfect. So I’m still inactively looking for a new pair.
    Paula @ Eat: Watch: Run recently posted..Weekend Things

    • says

      I LOVE my Mizuno Wave Riders until the redesigned the shoe. I’m tempted to try the new line, because I’ve read they have gone back, but it’s hard b/c I’ve been burned. I’ll have to find some on sale!

  7. says

    I would always alternate in brands in running shoes because they tend to wear out fast (I run 3x a week). However, my hubby got me five finger shoes last Christmas, and I love them! Takes a while to get used to, but they’re definitely the best running shoes for me :)
    Maria recently posted..Jackie Wide Calf Boot Comfortview Review

  8. Teresa Hernandez says

    Hello,
    I see lots of interesting notes here. I am 46 and have been pretty much a runner since I was 12! I have done countless 5k’s, 10k’s, 12k’s, Fun Runs and 3 Halfs!!! This year I have already run over 1000 miles. I try to get 25 miles in a week. I have been gradually adding miles in. I experienced plantar facitis last year as I trained for my third half. NO fun and now it seems to have returned but in the opposite foot. I have worn insoles from the Podiatrist for a year and wear them 90-100% of the time. I love Asics and they are even on the recommended list from my foot doc. However, I have bought 2 new pairs in the last 6 months at over $150. This running is an addiction and usually only take Sunday off. But I don’t want to invest a small fortune to run pain free! However, my foot hurts so bad by the end of the day I do not even want to walk!! I just picked up a pair of Saucony, I am a little nervous have really only ran in Asics and Brooks, which by the way were awesome. MY last two pair of Asics seemed to be worn out after 350 miles. I am looking for some input, do you think you have to spend over $100 to get a good pair of running shoes, do the shoes cause these problems (hip, knee, back pain, plantar facsciitis), and not finding much on the Saucony Ignitions that I bought. Looking forward to hearing more on great running shoes. As I am older and have run for so long I truly believe the more support the better I do not agree with Nike free runs or the toe shoes!!

  9. says

    I will be the second person to admit, not 100% loyal to a shoe brand either. Although, I am starting to get into the New Balance running shoes more and more :)

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