My next pair of racing shoes will be from one of the above mentioned names, I think. I just don't know which? I've heard great things about all 3. I'm an average runner, I guess....43min 10k, nothing earth shattering, but ok. I've run in nothing but Asics for the past 8 years and love them, but am disappointed in the 2130s. Loved the 2110s but, I'd like to try a racing shoe. I'm new to the triathlon scene, only done 3, my 2nd was Ironman CDA, and 3rd was a 2:28 Olympic Distance. I'm hooked, love this sport and want to get faster!!
The bad news, is that I am afraid I cannot answer your question. The good news is that it sounds like you already did. If you have had success with the Asics in the past 8 years, why change? If it ain't broke. . .
All three shoes are quality rides and I am sure most people who read your question will be able to articulate why each is great. But what works for me may not work for you. If the last and the size of the Asics has been working, I don't know why you would change? Certainly as the manufacturer makes changes to their line and "upgrades" the shoes, there will be differences in the same model from one year to another. No, this isn't done with the intention of making us nutty, it's just the constant search for improvement. Bummer you were dissappointed with the 2130's. I know I have had my favorite shoe changed on me too. Have you tried something else in the Asics line? Nimbus? Kayano? DS Trainer? Can you affort to purchase multiple pairs when you know you have found a shoe you like?
Before you make your decision, make sure you take each out for a test ride. Once they're bought and raced in, it's REALLY difficult to return them.
I've ran/raced with Asics for years. Then 20 months ago, I was hit on my road bike during a training ride by a truck. The end result of my accident was having multiple cervical diskectomies and fusions. Post accident, foot strike vibration caused pain and soreness in my neck. I read about Newtons and thought the benefits could out weigh the cost. These shoes are amazing! No pain! Better foot strike. Improved mechanics. I'm on my second pair. I'm racing again. I swear by my Newton's.
I have been at this running thing for a while and am also a Triathlete. For a while at the beginning, i tended to stick with the same shoes and would simply keep replacing the same ones, that would last until update occurred and usually the shoe would completely change. Asics uses a numbering sequence to tell you what generation of a model they are on Asic's Gel Landreth 4 recently updated to Gel Landreth 5 etc... For Asics, when they come out with a new generation, you are essentially dealing with a revamped shoe which could differ significantly. New Balance will usually increase the number by 1, ie NB825 updated to NB826.
Anyways, after running in the same shoes for some time i started to have some various pains, not injuries, just nagging pains that were more of a nuisance than anything. A very good marathoner friend of mine who is also a physician recommended mixing it up a little. Every shoe will create slightly different pressure points and miniscule changes in your gait that will likely prevent you from getting those nagging injuries that can come from running in the same shoe all them time.
My system right now is a 4 shoe rotation, i usually buy a new pair each quarter and throw away the oldest pair, so each shoe last about a year, but i only run on it 1 out of every 4 times. And i have absolutely NO brand loyalty, you need to find the type of shoe that you need (neutral cushion, motion control, stability etc...), how much do you weight? What kind of foot strike do you have? if you go to a good running store, they should be able to narrow down your choices to 1/2 dozen or so shoes that fall into that category regardless of brand.
For anyone on this thread to recommend a brand to you without knowing anything about you would be irresponsible, you also may want to consider having a different training shoe vs. a racing flat you may use for sprint triathlons; 5k's or event 10k or olympic events. When you start talking about 70.3 races, fewer people are able to (or should) wear racing flats.
I wear racing flats for 5k's only, for 10k's and 70.3's i wear a lightweight trainer which falls between a racing flat and training shoe
Now triathlon introduces some unique needs because in many races you are running with wet feet and also maybe barefoot. Zoot is one of the only ones out there that says their shoes are specifically MADE for triathlon... smooth seemless sockliner; and technology that allows for better water drainage. They also come with the quick zip laces which are separate purchase for most other shoes. Newton's have been around for runners for a while but just happen to be very popular among triathletes.
I would worry more about getting the right shoe for you vs. getting the "fastest shoe" for the masses. The right shoe for you may very well be a fast shoe, but it may not be.
if you don't believe me check out my results at
check out all my results at http://www.athlinks.com/racer.aspx?rid=17332524
I wore Asics Racer in my first Ironman, then on my second I went with Newtons. I was wearing Newtons since Oct 07 and have been through several pair. Its a different shoe than the other two and may alter your running form a bit, depending on what type of striker you are now. So you may have some sore legs at first as you may be utilizing muscles you haven't before. Which is what happened to me.
However, I've stopped running in Newtons for the last several months and went with a Brooks trainer. Forefoot running is fast, but it can also be a strain on the achilles and hence calf. After 10 months of use I finally got an injury, which I recovered from quickly. Funny enough I'm no slower in my Brooks and ran about the same off the bike in my last Half iron race, but I can tell I'm more of a forefoot striker in the brooks. I believe the Newtons have altered my form to become a faster runner, but the brooks are a bit more forgiving AND a much much cheaper. I went through at least 5 pairs of Newtons and its a lot of money.
I may still use the Newtons in races only and speed work for next season. I was training on Newtons all the time on hard surfaces, and I'm only 140lbs. The only person I know that wore Zoots got an injury soon after using them. I also never see anyone using that shoe without socks. I looked at them and I don't believe they would be too comfortable sockless. I think that's just marketing b.s.