Whether you’re training for a marathon or just enjoy the occasional three-mile jog, finding your running shoe equivalent of Cinderella’s slipper is essential—not only for preventing injury, but also for actually looking forward to lacing up each day (look good, train better, right?).
But sometimes, switching up your commitment to your road-worn pair can help you find something even better—which is why we challenged three long-distance runners to do just that.
Ahead of the New York City Marathon, we tasked the running aficionados with taking one of three styles of ASICS sneakers—all in the brand new, Northern Lights-inspired Solar Shower shades—for a spin to see how they compare to their go-to kicks.
Full disclosure: These ladies run a lot (up to 80 miles a week!), so they have some strong opinions on logging miles, choosing the right footwear, and everything in between.
Keep reading to see how the ASICS Solar Shower Collection sneakers stood up against their everyday running shoes.
Emily Fayette, run coach, Flywheel instructor, and founder of The Healthy Hustle
Fayette uses running as her primary mode of transportation, and is training for her second marathon (her goal is to make it through all five NYC boroughs in three hours). Since she usually ends up clocking around 80 miles every week, her feet can use all the TLC they can get.
“Comfort is everything for me,” Fayette says. “And the Solar Shower GEL-Cumulus 20 SP shoes are extremely comfortable and light. My first day wearing them I walked five miles and ran nine miles around NYC.”
“You want to find a shoe that is going to keep you smiling for miles!”
Her mission as a run coach is to help all runners “find their max joy every stride they take,” so her advice for finding your shoe soulmate is not shying away from trying multiple pairs.
“We all have our own natural stride, which means there is not a ‘one size fits all’ shoe for all runners,” she says. “Trial and error is key when trying to find the right running shoe. You want to find a shoe that is going to keep you smiling for miles!”
Emily Abbate, freelance writer and creator/host of Hurdle
A self-proclaimed sneaker head (she owns more than 70 pairs of kicks), Abbate has been an ASICS loyalist for years, and has run almost all of her six marathons (NYC will be her seventh this fall) in ASICS GEL-Nimbus because of their unparalleled support.
“The right sneaker is an absolute necessity for conquering longer races,” she says. “Even in the perfect shoes, your feet are going to be tired after a long run. For me, my feet feel the least tired, without cramping or discomfort, when I put on a pair of ASICS.”
“For me, my feet feel the least tired, without cramping or discomfort, when I put on a pair of ASICS.”
So what happened when she swapped out her trusty GEL-Nimbus for the Solar Shower GEL-Kayano 25 SP?
“The shoe is super comfortable and really gives me the freedom to move as I please while being supported and providing stability, without restriction,” Abbate says. “The bright colors made me stand out from the subway through the streets of SoHo to the West Side Highway run path. Just like the other ASICS I swear by (GEL-Nimbus, DynaFlyte), I could definitely see myself adding these to my regular rotation.”
Mary Johnson, USATF-certified running coach and owner of Lift.Run.Perform.
Johnson is sitting out the NYC Marathon this year (she’s run eight marathons since 2010) after an injury sidelined her for 18 months, but she’s ramping her training back up to tackle races in the spring of 2019. As she works on her recovery, wearing properly supportive shoes has been especially crucial for her.
“The first thing I say to any new runner is, ‘Go to your local running store and get fitted for a shoe,'” she says. “Running for several hours at a time is hard no matter which shoe you’re in. A marathoner will take millions of steps over the course of a race, so setting yourself up for success with a shoe that’s best-suited for your running gait is so important.”
The shoe that she found best-suited her own gait is the ASICS GEL-Cumulus, but when she swapped her broken-in pair for the new Solar Shower GT-1000 7 SPs, they passed her comfort test with flying colors—thanks to the shock-absorbing GEL technology.
“I’m a neutral runner and prefer something that’s cushioned,” she says. “The bright, vivid color of the Solar Shower shoe is something I’m really drawn to, and the cushioning of the GT-1000 7 SP is great. I definitely plan on adding it to my regular rotation.”
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Top photo: Coastal Flicks
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