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I just posted a blog post about my experiences with various running shoe brands here:
I was wondering if most people preferred Asics over Nike and Mizuno for long distance running.
It typically depends upon how the individual's feet and legs are constructed and how they use them.
For a high mileage, heavy runner with high arches like me, Asics are often the best shoes, however, I have friends with low arches who pronate, and if they were to wear my Asics shoes, they'd end up on the hospital with severe injuries. The same thing would happen to me if I was to wear their favorite shoes (typically Nike and New Balance).
Long story short, human bodies are as varied as snowflakes, and how us runners use the biomechanics Mother Nature endowed us with complicates the situation even more. As such, there is no one correct shoe (or even shoe brand) for all runners. The best way to buy running shoes is to go to a shop which specializes in analyzing the biomechanics and the gaits of runners, and fitting them with the proper shoes.
Actually, Asics doesn't have a shoe that works very well for me, currently. Though I have worn them extensively in the past. I have had success with Mizunos recently, and currently have Saucony and Brooks. I have never had good luck with Nikes. I think there are two main things to consider when picking shoes. First, find shoes that generally are right for your foot type. Second, the shoes have to feel good on your feet. Try them out in the store as much as possible. If they don't feel good then, they will never be right.
I couldn't agree more with your comments; well said!
Before I learned about the differences between feet, legs, and shoes, I ran in whatever the latest/hottest selling shoes was; needless to say, I would often end up getting injured and having many long conversations with a doctor. Then I figured out that (at least back then), Nike, New Balance, and Brooks specialized in making shoes for folks with low arches and who pronate.
Since I was enlightened, I've run exclusively in Asics and Adidas shoes with an occasional foray into the Saucony line. Imagine my surprise this year when I was recruited at the last minute to run Reach the Beach - NH with an "Ultra" team and suddenly needed a pair of non-trail shoes (aka, road shoes), and I walked out of my local running shop with a pair of Brooks Glycerin 11s, my first pair of Brooks shoes since a pair of their shoes caused me to get severe tendonitis back in 1979.
I also agree with lenzlaw - everyfoot and every gait is different. It is very difficult to pick out "the right shoe" - resulting in trying, and often buying, many different types. It seems impossible for a running store to have the means to analyze a runners foot and stride style in order to be able to recommend "the right shoe". Well, maybe not "impossible", but it would cause a huge increase in their overhead... (I'm thinking of staff training and equipment/technology for analysis) Personally, I've tried Nike, Mizunu, Asics, Adidas, Brooks, Suacony, and more recently, I'm liking Newtons. I do have a pair Brooks that seem to work well for winter and trail running.