Monday, March 9, 2015


I've run in a lot of shoes over the years...

The first shoe I can remember is a very old pair of New Balance that I joked with my running partner I could feel the ground through. (that wasn't a good thing for that pair of shoes!)

Then from about 1986 I mostly ran in Nike, (Pegasus, Pegasus Racer, Skylon, spikes...) I also had a pair of Reebok and Asics. I don't remember all my shoes, but that more or less takes me to 2006! I was now running in Montrails (still have a pair of Streaks and Rockridge that I take out from time to time). I even owned a pair of Salomons (hope they've learnt something about shoes since then...)

But now it's 2015, so what do you see if you look at my shoes?

Dawn's shelf in the middle

I have been very lucky over the last 10+ years and haven't had to buy a lot of the shoes I run in, but the question is would I buy any of the shoes I own? and how do they run, might they work for you?

These have 1400km on them..

Now not everyone is into Fivefinger, but as a kid I use to run around barefoot, and then at the end of school I had a pair of spikes. Zero drop has never been a problem for me and I liked the idea of 5-fingers so this is my 2nd pair. Other than the struggle one sometimes has in putting them on I enjoy running in them. I must say that while the 'shoe' was new I thought the nobbles felt funny when walking in them (but not while running), but now with a couple of miles on them they feel great. I would be lying if I said they were still perfect after all those miles, the fabric between the big toes has worn though! I really like running in them and run my last Marathon in them.

Only 570km on these..

This shoe is a little like the racing flats of the 80's and 90's but with only a 4mm heel toe drop. This shoe has a some cushioning so as you hit the ground it has a little give, but not too much. Have run a couple of Marathon in this shoe and it's still good for a couple more miles...

These are new only 60km
This is a new shoe to me and not really like any other shoe I've run in! Now Nike's got "Air", Asics have "Gel", New Balance have "Fresh Foam", so what have Vivo got? Well, in short nothing... or should I say 3mm of rubber.

Now this is a barefoot shoe, so things are going to feel a little different as you run, let me explain my feelings:

Let's start with just standing there, you're not on stilts or standing on your bed about to run, you are firm on the ground, well 3mm of rubber, so you feet are protected. So off you go on a run: While the shoe bends with your foot and as you push off there is no give, all your power is used for pushing you forward... you fly through the air and hit the ground. If your foot is out front it will feel hard as you bang your heel into the ground... I like to think I run like a champ so my foot is striking the ground under me! This shoe is make for this style of running. Now the shoe isn't fitting my foot like a glove, but in a barefoot shoe you want your foot to move like it would is it wasn't wearing a shoe. my foot hits the ground again and it's like landing on a rubber carpet it's like someone has rolled out a rubber mat the whole lenth of my run who wouldn't run barefoot if that was the case?

I know I've only run 60km in these shoes, but I want to have a guess that I will not only reach 1000km but 2 or even 3000km before I need to toss them! (no Air to pop, no Gel to move, or foam to crush!)

420km of on and off road

They say this shoe is good for road and trail, and for a "normal" it works well... But I've been running is minimus shoes and my body has become more responsive!

I can feel that I'm balancing on a high heel, and I have even started to feel the shoe "give" as I push off steeling my forward motion. But this is me, and if you like a heel and all the cushioning there is nothing wrong with this shoe.

This Pair 300km

This is the trail version of the MR10's. I love this shoe it looks great and feel nice on the foot, this is 2nd pair I've had, the first pair I put on 2217km. I've run every type of trail in them and as they wore thin I ran lots of road in them. Now I'm a softy so while I have raced a couple of trail races in them I feel the rocks too much, so... (enjoy racing cross country in them)

100km of racing
Only use this shoe for racing as while I really enjoy wearing them I don't want to destroy them... the first pair I only got 635km in them, and in that time they needed a bit of shoe patch!
I don't think any shoe is perfect! The problem is the grip, while is works well and you can go anywhere in them sometimes they (the knobs) can break loose!

0km run!

I haven't run in these shoes and I might never get to run in them... I've done a couple of walks with them on, so let me tell you why I don't think I can run in them!
They are a zero drop, which I like, but the shoe is to deep to it cuts into my ankle bone. Now I still like the look of the shoe so I put in a heel raise and that solved problem one. But I have a 2nd problem, the toes are just to tight for me. Now I've only walked a couple of times in them, but I feel my toes are crushed and after a 30min walk my feet need to rest. (after running a marathon in 5finger my feet feel fine!)

40km 4h45 on the mountain

You don't get a pair of shoes like this and not take them up the mountain. I had been chatting to a friend who had owned a pair, but didn't enjoy them to much because when the shoe bent it bent on her toe and she would pick up blisters! So before I went for a run I took the dogs for a walk in the Green Belt. I had no problems, so the next day I looked to the mountain and headed up...
Now to test a pair of trail shoes I like to head to the manganese mine, but with that side of the mountain burnt I had try something else... Maclears beacon via the Valley of the Red Gods.
The shoe fits your foot like a glove and the shoe almost molds to your foot. I climbed straight up from the Nek and for climbing it's good to have a light shoe. The next week while climbing up Platteklip I noticed that the studs bent and slipped if you caught the edge of the rock you were climbing up or down, but if you've 'slipped' a couple of times it's ok as you know you aren't going to fall, it's just a little fright at first. But not all the running was climb, I also had a could of single tracks to run on... If the ground isn't pointy rocks or loose stones weeving along the tracks are great. with a thing sole you do get to feel the ground which slows me on the rocky ground, but they are fun to run in. Now both weekend runs had a bit on road in them...

Tafelberg Rd heading back to UCT
I know this is a trail shoe, but in most trail runs you are stuck on the road for a bit... and this isn't made for road it feels more stable on winding through forest trails.

So there you have it a look at a couple of the shoes I'm currently running in...


  1. I honestly don't believe that any one shoe is good for everyone. I quite like a cushioned shoe because me feet really hurt once I get up in mileage. When you get old like me the fat pads in your feet start to wear away and there's less natural cushioning. I haven't had any injuries of any note (touch wood) so I'll keep using what feels good. If it aint broke don't fix it.

    1. What shoe is best is another debate altogether, it's all about running style, and while we all long to run like the Olimpic Champians we can't so we must find a shoe that lets us think we can... So yes: If it aint broke don't fix it.

  2. If you ever get to Oz you'll be more than welcome to come for cake. And if I ever get to South Africa you can bake me one ;-)