Finding the Perfect Fit: A Cinderella Story

These days I there are so many options for running shoes it can get overwhelming, especially for new runners or those trying to get that "perfect fit". Friends always want to know what shoe I wear and have I tried "X" brand. I wanted to put some of the most popular brands to the test, to find MY own perfect fit. 

In the decades I've been running, my "shoe search" has definitely felt like a "Cinderella Story". Mostly because I felt like one of her evil step-sisters, fooling myself that a shoe was "perfect", even when it was causing me pain.

Now let me be clear, EVERYONE is different. The shoes that work for ME, won't necessarily work for YOU.  And vice versa. So take my experiences with a grain of salt and make sure you put in the time to test out some different brands/models yourself. 

First off, the highly-popular HOKA ONE ONES

These shoes have taken the running world by storm as of late and sparking the "maximalist" movement. (Read more about that HERE).  I received this pair of HOKA ONE ONES from my good runner/blogger buddy Smitha, from Running with SD Mom.
Smith from Running with SD Mom seen sporting her HOKAS. 
I felt the Hoka One One's were VERY cushy. Like running on tiny mattresses! However, as I started putting more miles in them, I realized that I was missing that "feel of the road" beneath me.  I never felt any pain or felt like my form was necessarily compromised. For me it was all about the personal "feel" and I wasn't falling in love.

I will say though, after a long run and your feet are sore, these babies are like pampering your feet when you've got a lot of walking around to do. So I keep them around for just that.  If you're looking for a really soft and springy ride, I would definitely suggest the Hokas.

I received this pair courtesy of Fleet Feet Sports-Scottsdale.  I had to give them a shot the moment I pulled them out of the box! The Wave Rider 18s were the exact OPPOSITE of the Hoka One Ones. They are a neutral shoe, and I tend to wear a shoe with more support. The colors, very cool! I had lots of compliments and questions when fellow runners saw these bad boys. 

Overall I felt they were a much better "fit" for me than the Hokas, however, I started feeling some soreness in my Achilles and my plantar fasciitis slowly returning, so I had to back off the mileage in these. Although I really WANTED to like the Mizuno Wave Rider 18s, and to be a "neutral shoe" kind of guy... I was forced to accept the fact that I needed a little more support for my wacky stride.

However, many runners do very well in neutral shoes, and if you're one of them I highly recommend the Mizuno Wave Rider 18s.  Fellow blogging buddy and BibRave PRO, John, scored a pair from BibRave and totally fell in love with them.  Plus, check out the colors on HIS pair! I was a little jealous. ;-) You can read his thoughts HERE

My tried and true, Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15s
I've always been a loyal Brooks fan. I've tested many different brands besides the ones mentioned here, and out of all of them, Brooks has been the only shoe to fit my foot like a glove, feel great on the run while giving me just the right the support I need. So when I went back to my comfort-zone, I felt so good in the Adrenaline GTS 15s that I wore them down and was ready for another pair.  

If you think the color gradient on the Mizuno's were eye-catching... these babies definitely turn some heads! But let me clear, this is the SAME Brooks Adrenaline GTS 15s, just a different color. So I wasn't buying them for the crazy colors... that was just an added bonus.  

So I may not have discovered a new brand to switch to, but by testing out these various shoes, I am now more comfortable with my decision. I'm thankful to all those who gave me the chance to give other runners' favorites a try, and I'm thankful to have "ran a mile in your shoes"... literally. :) This "Cinderella Story" definitely had a happy ending. 

Tell me, have you found YOUR perfect fit? What Brand and why?


  1. I love my Mizuno Wave Riders but I've never tried anything else so maybe that's why ;) I have heard good things about Brooks though!!

  2. I love you "Cinderella" take on finding a shoot and it's a great take. Thanks for the shout out. I really do love the bike and feel of the Mizuno but wonder if I go too high of mileage if it will bother me.


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