Sneakers are notoriously subjective. Everyone has a unique body type, running style, and exercise environment. If Nike commercials and the “five-finger” movement are any indication, footwear companies have settled on a less-is-more philosophy, heavily pushing more minimalist footwear. Despite the subjective nature of sneaker advice, I’d like to offer some of my experience with a crossover pair that I think strikes the balance between support and lightness.
I’ve been running in Nike Pegasuses (Pegasi?) for about two years, and after putting about 800 miles on my most recent pair, I felt that it was time to move on. I want to note, parenthetically, that although most sneaker companies suggest that you can get 500-700 miles out of a pair of kicks, I pushed the needle to 800 without perceptible difference. And since I’ve gotten my time down to a consistent 8-minute mile, I wanted to work on honing my speed, and not just my distance. My second pair of Pegasus (30s) were noticeable heavier than my previous pair, a set of 28s, and so I wanted to try something lighter this time around.
I initially tried on the Nike Free 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0, but none really provided significant support in the front of the foot. My comprehensive
hopping testing found that the Free series really doesn’t provide much cushioning, and that runners used to reasonably supportive shoes would require a serious adjustment period. My test phase also proved that the staff at the Nike Outlet are very tolerant of customers jogging around the sale section of the store while simultaneously asking advice of employees.
I eventually found a pair of Nike Flyknit Lunarglide 2s on the sale rack (less than $50, woo-hoo!). They boasted much of heel and toe support of the Pegasus line, while offering much of the weight savings of the Free shoes. I’ve only put about 30 miles on my new pair, but, thus far, I’ve been very pleased. At this point, the biggest thing I miss about the Pegasus is this video.