Reviews · Running

The Great Running Shoe Dilemma


I have a serious problem. I am long overdue for a new pair of running shoes. And I don’t know whether or not I should buy the same pair or try something different! I LOVE my pair of Mizuno Wave Elixir 8’s. As a friendly older gentleman and long time runner employee at a small specialty running store once told me as I tried on and tested well over a dozen shoes, “You are looking for the Cinderella Effect. It isn’t exactly explainable, but your feet will know it when they feel it!”

I have been so, so happy with this shoe. I guess you could categorize it as a performance stability shoe. It is lightweight and flexible but also does provide great support which keeps my feet happy on long runs. I have fairly high arches (and uneven for that matter) so I do use custom insoles in this shoe. A Roadrunner employee once told me that using those negates the stability aspect of the shoe, rather snobbishly. Which I thought was hilarious, seeing as I purchased the insoles at that store (I’ll save my opinion of Road Runner Sports for a separate post).  Frankly, I told him I didn’t care. I trust my own foot instinct and running experience, thank you very much.

Anyways, back to raving about these Mizunos… GAH I am just so attached and totally torn. I know that I love this shoe and would not be disappointed if I got the same ones again. Plus who knows how much longer I will be able to buy this exact version? On the flip side of the coin, I feel like Pocahontus and want to know what’s around the river bend when it comes to running footwear. Am I limiting myself from finding the perfect shoe? Is there something greater for my feet than this pair? Or is the Mizuno Elixir 8 truly my glass slipper? Pocahontus runs barefoot anyways, so what would she know about running shoes? (Ok… I’ll stop with the Disney princess references now…)

Typing this out is actually helping me a lot. Now I am leaning towards sticking with this shoe. Every time I try on different shoes I am disappointed. Which is kind of sad, because there are so many new bright, shiny, woven, sparkly, beautiful, awesome looking shoes out there that I almost wish felt as good as my pair does. To be honest I was not crazy about the aesthetics of the shoe at first sight. I thought the checkered pattern was weird. But I very quickly began to love how they looked. When I look at them I visualize all of the beautiful places we have trotted together.

I know I have overused the glass slipper reference, quoting that running maven from the sweet mom & pop running store. I will now quote myself. I keep dragging Jon along with me to go try on shoes which I know is frustrating for him. I said to him, “I’m sorry babe. I just really need a shoe that makes me feel like a unicorn. Or at least like a horse with the perfectly sized horseshoe.” He laughed. But I was serious. Haha. This might sound crazy, but I think it is something all runners can relate to. Your shoes are the #1 most important piece of equipment. And running shoes aren’t cheap, so it isn’t a decision I like to make lightly.

So do I keep driving myself crazy trying on shoes and possibly finding one with unicorn caliber or do I accept this shoe as my one and only? Only time will tell. Am I alone in this tormented struggle? help! Please leave a comment with your take on this matter.

2 thoughts on “The Great Running Shoe Dilemma

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