Am I the only person that gets an emotional attachment to their running trainers? Surely not! It was in May this year that I had to force myself to admit defeat and walk through the front door of my local Sweatshop to buy a new pair of trainers. I felt like I was betraying my old faithfuls, the trainers that had performed so unbelievable well for such a long time. But alas the time had inevitable come when even my old faithfuls had begun to fall apart at the seams and duct tape just couldn’t repair them. When I thought about it, my current Brooks trainers had been going strong for 2 years now.
I returned home and took my old faithfuls off for the very last time; it was a teary moment. As I gently put them away, I was amazed to see they were being put to rest with all my other trainers. Had I really kept them all, was I a running hoarder? I stood there looking at these trainers, realising I could track the years going all the way back to 2011.
These are my trainers:
Jan 2011 – Mar 2012
Asics Gel Nimbus 12
Not entirely sure when I bought these but I believe it was early in the year. They lasted me 1 year, 2 months. Very hard to say how many kilometres I covered in these as I didn’t really document my runs back then. I moved to London in Aug 2011 and I know I started to run around Richmond Park as well as along Embankment during my lunch hours. I think it is therefore reasonable to suspect these trainers covered about 400km in the 14 months I had them. I remember thinking how unique they looked because the laces were at an angle towards the inside of the trainer, presumable to match the contours of the foot. They were quite a rigid pair of trainers and they certainly felt as if they gave me plenty of support to the ankle.
Briefly brought out of retirement in 2016 when I realised by Brooks Ravenna 5s were about to split open. Went for a 15 mile run in them and then retired them again as soon as I was home. They should have stayed retired. It was only when I wrote this that I realised how old they were.
Mar 2012 – 29 Jul 2013
Asics GT-1000 – 100km ultra
As my running started to progress I bought these in March 2012 and had to quickly break them in for my first ultra in May. They lasted me 1 year 4 months and I would say a rough distance covered in these trainers was around 500kms. Although I found these trainers incredibly comfortable, the main thing against them was that they were too lightweight and didn’t feel like they were durable enough. Given the distances I was running these were just not giving me the support I needed. They would have been a fantastic trainer for distances up to 5km.
Having said that, these did me proud getting me through my first 100km ultra marathon. The fact that I had a massive blister at the end of the race was not the fault of the trainers, but more to do with the fact that I had run through so much mud that my feet were soaking. I had to retire these soon after my ultra, but we will never forget the emotional and very painful 22 hour journey we had together from London to Brighton.
29 Jul 2013 – 10 Feb 2014
Asics Gel-DS Trainer 17
Having learnt my lesson on my previous trainers I bought these on the 29 Jul 2013 for £90.00. I spoke to the staff at Sweatshop, had my gait analysed and discussed how far I was running. After trying on a few recommended pairs, I went for these mostly because they felt comfortable and my loyalty to Asics. Even though they only lasted me about 7 months, I managed to cover around 550kms. An average of 16.4p per km. I felt as if the gel cushioning gave out far too quickly, resulting in me getting knee problems and shin splints. I have been running off and on since I was 11 years old. As I have grown older I have learnt that when I start to get shin splints, it is a strong indications that my trainers have worn out. As soon as I change my trainers my shin splints disappear again. Another thing that was troubling me slightly with these trainers was that the stitching on the side was starting to rub the inside edge of my foot.
10 Feb 2014 – 23 May 2016
Brooks Ravenna 5
I bought these on the 10 Feb 2014 for £105.00 from a Sweatshop in Teddington. I had always bought ASICS for as long as I can remember, however when I was in Sweatshop they didn’t have any ASICS that I liked or were in my size. The staff recommended I try Brooks as they thought they would be ideal for my gait and the distances I was covering. I must admit I was slightly apprehensive about changing brands, but given the minor issues I was having with my last pair of ASICS, I took the plunge and went for the Brooks. I now know these were the best trainers I have ever had as they lasted me 2 years, 3 months!!! They also covered a staggering 1,400km and the only reason I had to stop wearing them was because the sides were torn and falling apart. They were so reliable that I called them my ‘old faithfuls’. Looking at the stats they have been a bargain working out at 7.5p per km.
23 May 2016 – Current
Brooks Ravenna 6
After the performance of my last Brooks trainers, I went into Sweatshop in Windsor on the 23 May 2016 and automatically asked to see what Brooks they had. I tried on a pair of Ravennas, Ghosts and Glycerin trainers. After some debate with the shop assistance, some jumping around, jogging on the spot, ankle flexes and various other silly manoeuvres more akin to a Monty Python sketch, I chose the Ravennas. Only after I chose them was I informed they were on offer at just £75.00. I am now hoping the updated model last just as long as their predecessors.