Running trainers are a really personal thing. You may love one type of trainer and your best mate may love another brand which you don’t get on with at all. When you find that pair of running trainers that fit your feet it completely changes your running experience and I find you can’t wait to get out there and run.
For me, my favourite trainers to run in are the Nike Pegasus range. I first bought a pair when I went to New York back in 2014 and I’m now on my fourth pair. I was pretty lucky when I bought the first pair. I was in an outlet in New York and tried on a few different pairs. I thought the Nike Pegasus felt the best and optimistically bought two pairs hoping I’d get on with them when I got home to do some actual running. Luckily for me I loved them. Plus the price at the outlet certainly helped!
I trained for and ran two marathons in my various pairs of Nike Pegasus, plus countless x-fit sessions and HIIT workouts and loved them. After London I decided I needed some new trainers and went to a running store to see what they recommended for me. I spoke to the lady in the shop and she said to me that my trusty and reliable Nike Pegasus (‘pegs’ as she called them) were a trainer for beginner runners. She recommended that perhaps it was time to upgrade to something more ‘serious’ if I was doing another marathon. So I tried on countless different pairs of trainers (none of them my Nike Pegasus). After umming and ahhing quite a bit on their treadmill I eventually settled on a pair of Hoka One One trainers.
Weird as the Hoka trainers look, they are incredibly light, and for the short time I tried them on the treadmill, they were incredibly comfortable. Apparently when I run my right knee wobbles, and the Hokas helped to stabilise my knee. I discovered this after watching myself run on a treadmill and having my gait analysed.
However, a day or so after I bought them I took them out of a training run and I just could not get comfortable in them. I was getting pins and needles and my leg felt strange. What should have been a long marathon training run turned into a short and uncomfortable run where I ended up walking the last part home. I thought perhaps I needed to break the trainers in, so I wore them a couple more times, including persevering on a longer marathon training run.
It was soon after one of these longer runs that I noticed a constant, uncomfortable pain in my leg which caused me to limp. I researched into the Hoka trainers and found a lot of people find them to be quite narrow – I think Charlie found this in here review where she got some pretty bad blisters. I also read up on my pain and read about how minimalist the drop in the Hoka trainers are compared to my Nike Pegasus, which could have also caused the pain. But it was actually a conversation with my sports massage therapist who helped me identify just what it was about the Hoka trainers that had caused me to get injured.
In my Nike Pegasus trainers I may have a wobbly knee when I run, but it doesn’t cause me any bother or any pain. The trainers the lady in the shop recommended for me actually corrected something that wasn’t really a problem. In turn, this was the cause of my problem. My knee correction was putting more strain on the tendons around my ankle and achilles. And honestly, that pain is no fun, especially six to eight weeks before a marathon you’ve spent a lot of money on!
So after a handful of runs in the Hoka trainers, I went online and ordered myself another pair of Nike Pegasus and after one run in them I remembered why these are the trainers for me. They fit my feet and running style so well and I feel so comfortable in them. They’re not heavy or bulky, for me they have the right amount of support and cushioning. After three marathons and many long training runs in the Nike Pegasus I can honestly say I’ve walked away with so few blisters and very little foot pain.
I’ve learnt that personally, unless I suddenly start getting pain with my Nike Pegasus, I’m not going to change. As appealing as all these new trainers are, and I’m 100% sure that the Hokas are great trainers, they’re just not for me. So when you see some fancy advertising campaign or blogger singing the praises of the latest trainer, remember that they love it on their feet, and it may not mean you love it on your feet.