To Be Free or Zig, That is the Question

I have been having some difficulties lately with my sneaks and feel that it may be time for a new pair. Although I have been a devoted Asics wearer since my freshman year of high school, I am considering making a switch with the new, light-weight technologies offered by Nike and Reebok.

 vs.

Decisions, decisions…the Nike Free Run+2 provide a comfortable, flexible fit (a size 8 weighs only 7.2 ounces!) and take on the idea of barefoot running whereas the Reebok Zig Pulse seem to have more support and (supposedly) put a spring in each step. “Slipper” sneaks or the “energy drink for your feet.” Hm…I need your help. Cast your vote and leave me feedback on what running shoe you think should make the cut!
Is this “new technology” just a gimmick or does it really help overall comfort/performance?

Sprinkled with Love,
Lauren

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15 Responses to “To Be Free or Zig, That is the Question”

  1. Ok Lauren! I have to weigh in on this. I am a saucony girl. The reason is, I went to my local running shop – Charm City Run (http://www.charmcityrun.com) and got a stride analysis done (for free!) and a recommendation for several shoes based on the level of pronation, amount of running and personal running goals, etc. The shoe that felt the best, of those they selected, was the Saucony Guide. I love this shoe and replace it every 6 mo or so with a new pair. Replacing your old running shoes is soooo critical and even better to have 2 pairs that you alternate wearing! Now, I love the whole concept of barefoot running. Apparently, the elite marathon runners tend to run using a more ‘natural’ foot striking position (striking mid-food and rolling to the heel). This ‘natural’ foot-strike is supposedly more efficient and less likely to cause lower leg injury (ie. shin splints). The shoes that are on the market are mainly for people who ‘heel strike’. Heel-striking is less “natural” but most common in runners and can be a healthy and effective running form. It’s just a matter deciding which school of thought you are most convinced by. Keep in mind that if you decide “natural” running is something you want to try, it’s not just about buying new shoes, but re-learning to run! That is a tough thing to do with an obvious transition period you will have to work through. My advice is to go to your local running store and ask them to do a COMPLIMENTARY gait analysis. Then talk to them about your goals and ask them for their best recommendation. OR, you could go with the ol’ ‘if it works, don’t fix it’ theory and go pick up a new version of your old asics!!! Hope that helps and happy running!

    • You rock, you know that? I will definitely get a gait analysis before making my decision. Although I have always been an Asics girl, lately my feet go numb around mile 3, not to mention I’m having trouble with my achilles tendon/shins. Not good. The “natural” running concept is intriguing to me, but you’re right, I’ll have to re-learn how to run. I will be completing my first 1/2 marathon in the next year (that’s my goal at least) so I need a reliable shoe that will let me go the distance, because right now I can’t go over 5 miles without my feet being in excruciating pain.

      • Lauren!!! Foot numbness is not ok!!! You definitely need new shoes. I’m excited for you to get fitted for shoes properly — this should make a HUGE difference in how you feel when you run. And, watch out for the achilles/lower leg/shin pain. This can get worse if you don’t watch out – first switch to new shoes. When you have shin/lower leg pain, ice 15 min on/15min off, as often as you can. I use an ace bandage and an ice pack (one layer of ace bandage between ice pack and skin, so you don’t cause damage from flesh being too cold) ALL day long at work!!! I started having shin splints a couple of months ago and have gotten really close to getting rid of them completely (phew!). Second, ibuprofen (as long as you don’t have ulcers or other GI conditions that would contraindicate NSAIDS). Third, stretch, stretch strech! Stretch every chance you get! Not just before and after workouts, but whenever you have a moment throughout the day — at work, before bed, etc.
        I’m also thinking about my first 1/2 marathon, but am waiting to register for something until I’m completely injury free. Right now, I’m teaching 2-3 spin classes a week and running, at most, once a week. Obviously, not training for a long distance race, so for now, 5ks are my thing! But, as soon as the shin splints are gone, I’m going for the big challange and trying for a 1/2!
        ps. your pizza recipe is making me fat and it’s ALL my fault because I keep adding bacon and bbq sauce and horrible junk!!! hahahhaa! I MUST STOP!

  2. Zigs! I used to work in shoes and NIKE is one of the worst running shoes on the market.

  3. I was all excited to comment until I saw the previous 2 comments! I’ve always worn Nikes. Part of the time its for looks, but I genuinely have liked the shoes I have worn. I am not in any way, shape or form a diehard runner, though, so maybe they are acceptable for my use. But, out of these two, I like the Nikes 🙂

  4. I was literally going to say the same exact thing that Julie said! I go to Charm City Run as well and I think it’s important to get a shoe that will really cater to your specific needs. It’s hard to sometimes sacrifice style for comfort, but I’d prefer not to get the aches and pains!

  5. I just ran the Pittsburgh marathon last weekend and was behind at least 5 people in the zigs and they were ALL seriously over-pronating. I would definitely get your gait checked at a store before buying these!

    • Great to know, thank you for your advice! I will definitely be getting my gait checked before making any purchases…I think I have the wrong shoe currently for my foot because I’ve been in a lot of pain lately so have been sticking with free weights/core work only. Total bummer, can’t wait to run again!

  6. Lauren, im curious as to what shoes you chose? I am deciding between the two also and I heard Nikes are bad shoes so I have a pair of Gel Kayano Aasics too (second pair) and I have noticed my feet tingling and going numb also, I definitely think its the shoe now! I thought it was probably the way I was running, but I dont think so. My mom has a pair of zigs and she loves them and my sister does also, but she said they arent good for running, so I am confused.

    Thanks in advance,
    Haley

    • Hi Haley,
      Check out my newer posts…I just bought a pair of Mizunos to replace my last pair. I LOVE them! It’s a great neutral option, especially coming off of Asics, before transitioning to minimalist/barefoot. I went to my local running store, had a gait analysis and talked with the professionals about my injury history, current goals, etc. I strongly suggest you do the same! Hope this helps, shoot me an email if you want to talk more 🙂 Andddd let me know what you decide on!
      Laur

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