Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Asics Gel Enduro 2

Selecting the shoes best for your running is a complex question. It depends on your body type, foot anatomy, weight, pronation, planned terrain, and so on. There are a lot of people that have written much more detailed info about how to make the right selection, but how I selected mine ended up being serendipity.

Personally, I don't put much stock in individual "reviews" about any shoes (ie: how did they fit on some other runner's foot). If they don't fit for me, then I could care less if they won an editor's choice or some other award. More important to me in finding info online is about their weight, expected durability, cushioning/stability, and arch support.

Note: there is a growing movement/interest in barefoot running which I admit is interesting, but is not something I feel the need to plunge into just yet. Google has plenty of info, and currentlySteve is doing a lot of experimenting and really enjoying the freedom of running "au naturel".

Back in Tallahassee, there is a store called Shoe Station. It is a sort of warehouse of shoes, something like Payless or TJ Maxx. Many of the shoes are off models, old models, or marked down for some reason or another. Several years ago, I was not a competitive runner, but just a guy who went to the gym every once in a while, so I felt fine buying whatever shoes that fit well and were reasonably priced. I just could not bring myself to pay over $100 for shoes to stroll through the weights at the gym.

I went through several pairs of New Balance and Nikes like this, and then stumbled into Asics. I tried on the Gel Enduro II and fell in love. They fit like gloves on my feet and gave me the all the support I needed. After going through three pairs I was somewhat distraught to find that they were not being carried anymore. In a frantic search for more, I found They still had a few pair left (which I snapped up).

If you have never used, the site is awesome. They actually have a standing 'bounty' of sorts where any customer rep who doesn't like their job gets a bonus, TO QUIT! That's right, they encourage the unhappy people to leave so that you get only the best customer service. (BTW, no financial interests for me to disclose here) The cost is sometimes a little more than you might find other places, but free shipping both ways is totally worth it. If you try on a pair and don't like them, send them right back, no questions asked.

I've since bought my racing flats from there (future post: Saucony Fastwitch3, mine are flaming orange) and moved on to the Asics Gel Enduro 4's. Although, I see now that they have started carrying the 5's, so I might have to stock up on 4's before seeing if the fit changes on me with the new edition.

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