Just for Kicks



Over the past 4 years, I have run almost exclusively in the New Balance 790 (shoes on the right side of the pic). They are a very minimal, low profile, light weight shoe that I absolutely loved. I loved it so much that I bought several pairs once I heard they were going to discontinue it. But now that those reserve pairs are almost gone, I’m looking at a replacement for it. The first shoe I’m going to try is the Nike Free.

One of the best things about the 790 was that there wasn’t much to it. No rock plates, no support guards, no energy return systems, no nothing. They were an 8oz, low heel to toe drop speed machine that allowed me to feel the ground below me. With this shoe I ran the TransRockies Run 2x, over 50 XTERRA’s,  dozens of 5k’s and 10k’s, and more miles than I can count for training, and all without a single injury.

One of the reasons that I haven’t run in a different shoe than the 790 is that I couldn’t find much that matched it. Even in the Free, there is more cushioning and more of a heel to toe drop (pretty obvious from the picture). I am a little nervous about heel to toe drop difference, but I’m willing to try it out and see if I can really feel the difference. Another big difference between the Free and the 790 is the thickness of the sole. I don’t necessarily see this as a bad thing because the sole is still very flexible and soft (won’t inhibit proprioception). Another concern arises from the fact that I run almost entirely off road and with the upper of the Free being a bit more light, I hope it is as durable. We’ll find out!

I also plan to try out the Altra Instinct and the Inov-8 F-lite 195. I’ll post more blogs about my findings as they develop.

I hope this serves as a guide for others, that you should try out various types of shoes and models to find what is really best for you. Swing by your local Fleet Feet and ask to try on ALL the shoes that interest you and run around the block in them. You’ll really start to get a feel for what works for you.


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6 responses to “Just for Kicks”

  1. Jeremy says:

    Thanks for the Altra mention in this post! Hope to soon have them available in your local Fleet Feet to test out! Many other stores across the country will have them available in the next few weeks!

  2. Will Kelsay says:

    That would be great to have them in Fleet Feet! They are my local running store that I use for all my shoe needs. I just picked up another pair of shoes to try out, and I mentioned to the crew at FF, your shoes. Hopefully it all works out. I’m excited to try out the Altras.

  3. […] I mentioned in a previous blog (Just for Kicks), I’m searching for new shoes. The quest is a journey for the right shoe that will allow me […]

  4. […] I mentioned in a previous blog (Just for Kicks), I’m searching for new shoes. The quest is a journey for the right shoe that will allow me […]

  5. […] lately. Since the New Balance 790′s were discontinued, I’ve been on a search for a replacement shoe. In the 790′s, I could run short, long, fast, slow, trail, road, track, you name it, it could […]

  6. […] I mentioned in a previous blog (Just for Kicks), I’m searching for new shoes. The quest is a journey for the right shoe that will allow me […]

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