New Balance 870 V4 Review

My second pair of running shoes for the first half of 2017 was New Balance 870 V4. I bought my pair right after 2016 Thanksgiving day from Eastbay at $74.99 excluding tax. It was the more expensive pair of running shoes. (The other pair was Asics Gel-Contend 3, which set me back $39.23.)

When I ordered the New Balance 870 V4, I was attracted by the discount. Normally they sell for more than $100, and I must have thought that it was a good deal at the time.

New Balance has particular numbering scheme for their shoes. The last two digits signify what type of shoe it is. For example, 70 means that the shoes are designed to have light stability. The first digit signifies how much technologies went into manufacturing the shoes. In case you want to browse what each number means, you can find the list here.

After ordering I remember thinking that they must be high-end New Balance running shoes because of price tag, and 870 number. It only goes up to 900 range, so the second best must be pretty good, right? I tried New Balance 490 and 780 earlier, and they were pretty good shoes, I thought.

The shoes had good stable feel to them. According to Strava, I have put on 345 miles or so since January 1st, 2017. It almost felt as though they were full-on stability shoes. They gave me controlled gaits, and each step felt as though they are getting planted with solid rolling resistance. But when it comes to cushioning, I felt it could have used a bit more in the mid-food area. During initial break-in period, I had to remind myself that this pair was almost twice more expensive than Asics Gel-Contend 3, and there must be something that I was missing from my initial break-in.

After running 300 more miles on them, I still couldn’t find that something that made this pair more special than $40 pair running shoes. I thought I would get a bit more lighter steps with more bouncy feeling. Maybe it’s just New Balance’s way of designing light stability shoes. They are more geared towards stability shoes, than being light.

Don’t get me wrong. They are good pair of shoes. But given what I know about how good $40 pair of running shoes can be, I don’t think I would fork over twice that much for features that didn’t translate to how it felt on the road.

One thing that I did with this pair of shoes that I did not do was to run on the trails. I had a good fortune of living close by single track trail near Lake Chabot, and I wore my New Balance on dirt road quite a bit. I must give some credit to how well it held up.

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As shown in the picture, it lost treads outer edges of shoes due to my supination. However, they were able to take the punishing rocky trails of Lake Chabot hills quite well.

My verdict? I think New Balance 870 V4 is really a pair of stability shoes. If you are looking for high performance running shoes with cushion, control, and stability, you’ll probably walk away not completely satisfied.

Happy running, everyone.

-Jae

ASICS Gel-Contend 3 Review

TLDR; I ordered ASICS Gel-Contend 3 on Amazon 12/31/2016 for $39.23. It was the cheapest pair of running shoes that I have bought to date. But after running 50 miles on the Gel-Contend 3, I’m very satisfied with its performance as training shoes. Very highly recommended.

In keeping with two-pairs-of-running-shoes-every-6-months plan, I was ready to retire my old pairs, ASICS Gel-Nimbus 17 and New Balance 490v3. (They have served me well, and you can read my reviews of them here and here.)

So I began searching for my next pair of running shoes. After trying two budget shoes earlier (I define budget shoes as $50 or less including tax), I was ready to try another. Since I tried two New Balance budget shoes, I thought I would try Asics budget shoes this time.

I have been a big fan of Eastbay when buying my running shoes. But I realized last year that there are lot of times when Amazon has better deals than Eastbay. So I started searching on Amazon. There were two shoes that I was eyeing on. One was Asics Gel-Excite 3, and the other was Asics Gel-Contend 3. Both shoes retailed at around $40 – $60, so both were within my budget as long as I land a good deal.

Since I wear out my outer sole faster (I’m an under-pronator), I wanted to get a pair of Excite 3. Excite 3 is advertised on Asics website as under-pronator or neutral runner’s shoes. But I couldn’t find anything lower than $50 when I was shopping late last year on Amazon.

Fortunately, I was able to find a pair of Asics Gel-Contend 3 for $39.23. To make it even better deal, the price included the tax and shipping. (Great deal!) I ordered on the spot, and I received the shoes a couple of days later, thanks to Amazon Prime.

As I mentioned it was the first time ordering a pair of shoes for $40, so I didn’t know what to expect. Drawing from my past experience with budget New Balance shoes, I was thinking there must be some catch when a pair of shoes sell for $40. Either upper sole will be made out of flimsy vinyl, or shoes will lack structure to hold on to my feet and ankle, so I thought.

Well, guess what. I just ran 56 miles on my Asics Gel-Contend 3, and I just cannot tell what the catch is. Shoes are solidly constructed. Unlike New Balance 490v3, it grips my heels really well. In fact so well that I couldn’t tell the difference from much more expensive Asics shoes when it comes to heel grips. When putting on, you can feel that the build quality that are found in premium shoes.

It did not end there. After the smashing first impression, I decided to wear them out on my trail running, and I have been thoroughly impressed. It had very predictable and solid feel to them. Cushion is firm yet supportive. It needed a little break-in period (maybe around 10 miles or so), but once broken-in it gave me just enough cushion and balance for me to run 7 miles without feeling all beaten up.

Honestly, I don’t know what the catch is. It looks great. It feels great. It gave me just as good support and balance as $100+ shoes. I have been buying wrong running shoes!

Oh, there is one more plus: Unlike Asics Gel-Nimbus 17, it did not give me any blister since the day one!

If you are on a budget, and looking for a running shoes, you must try Asics Gel-Contend 3. Even if you are not on a budget, I think you should try Asics Gel-Contend 3 just to try them out and see how good they feel on the road and trails.

Highly recommended.

-Jae

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New Balance Men’s 490v3 Review

I replace my running shoes every 6 months with two pairs of shoes. One of the pairs that just retired as of December 31, 2016 was New Balance 490v3. It’s the first pair of budget running shoes that I got.

Up until 2015, I have been a staunch fan of Asics running shoes, and have been shopping my running shoes exclusively from Asics. On average, I was spending about $100 per a pair of Asics, and was replacing them every year or so. But since last year when I switched to four-pairs-of-running-shoes-a-year plan, I started to experiment with other brands and also budget shoes.

When I think of budget running shoes, I am thinking about a pair of shoes under $50 including tax. That means the shoes cannot be any more than $45 or so before tax.

Until I looked for budget running shoes, I didn’t even realize there were shoes available under $45. But surprisingly there were number of running shoes available from many well-known manufacturers.

New Balance 490v3 is one of such budget running shoes. I bought a pair from Amazon at $37.99 before tax on June of 2016. (My other pair for the second half of 2016 was Asics Gel-Nimbus 17, which retailed at about $100, which I wrote a review earlier here.)

Honestly I did not expect much from New Balance 490v3. It did not look to have much cushion even from the look of it. It had single rubber sole cushion that seemed like it will wear out after a few runs on asphalt. So I was thinking of 490v3 as my treadmill running shoes. My plan was to use Asics Gel-Nimbus 17 for all my outdoor running on hard surfaces, which looked to be much more durable and springier.

After putting on about 300 miles on both New Balance 490v3 and Asics Gel-Nimbus 17, I am not sure if I enjoyed running on Asics twice more than New Balance. If pricing is all the indicator, I should be feeling better after running on Asics. But I can tell you that it was not the case.

First, New Balance 490v3 proved to be quite stable on all kinds of surfaces. Even though it had single white rubber sole, it provided adequate and stable cushion. It felt light on my feet, yet gave me assurance that it would bounce back with predictable stability and quickness. Even after running on hard asphalt surface for miles and taking them out on easy trails, the cushions held up quite well.

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Even on my right feet, which tend to underpronate, New Balance 490v3 bottom sole was showing a reasonable wear compared to Asics, as shown above.

Budget construction shows, of course. Shoe laces look rather flimsy to hold the shuffling feet in their places. Heel supportive grip was not noticeable when you put on the shoes. Cushion is not much to write about when compared to Asics. But hey, at half the price I think New Balance 490v3 was great training shoes whether you train indoor or outdoor.

One thing I must mention on 490v3: When I ordered my usual size of 10 4E (extra wide), I noticed that it was a bit too tight for my feet. I ordered size 10 thinking that New Balance will have uniform sizing (earlier I ran on New Balance 780 V5 size 10 4E, and felt that it was the right size), but I think 490v3 ran about half size smaller. I wish New Balance would be consistent with their sizing.

Overall, my first budget running shoes experience was positive. I would recommend New Balance 490v3 to anyone looking for budget running shoes. Just remember to order a half size larger pair.

Happy training.

-Jae

Polar V800: Post-Review Update

Since I wrote my Polar V800 review last year, there have been a couple of updates, one bad news and one good news, and I wanted to share them with you. If you have not checked out my Polar V800 long-term review, you may want to check it out before reading this.

As I was saying in my earlier post, I bought my Polar V800 primarily for one reason: GPS tracking accuracy. My aerobic activity of choice has been running, and ever since I started tracking my training runs, I wanted to get reliable measurements of my distance and pace. For those measurements, Polar V800 has been my perfect running companion for just about a year.

But about 6 months into my ownership, it started to give me troubles while charging the watch. First it started out as slight connection problem that can be solved by trying a few different times to clip on to charging cable. Then it progressively got worse to the point where I had to use a binder clip to fasten the charging cable connector to the watch.

After about 10 months, it had gotten so bad that binder clip was not enough. I had to use the binder clip plus crushing pressure to the charging cable connector clip to create a stable connection to charge the watch. And soon enough, even that was not enough.

I had a perfectly functioning watch that I could not charge any more. The watch was as good as a prop! All because of stupid charging cable!

Or was it?

When my improvisational side of brain gave the way to the logical side, I started thinking about why. What was wrong with the charging cable? Could it be the watch?

Then I finally realized that my watch has been expanding. In fact, the reason why the charging cable connector was not clipping on to the watch was because the watch body expanded so that the clipper was not binding to the charging pins.

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I suspected that it was the battery that was expanding causing the entire watch to expand vertically. In closer inspection, I could see the watch body was starting to crack because of what-seemed-to-be expanding battery (or something else).

Note that I did not wear my V800 under water while swimming. Only water exposure that it had was during shower a few times a week. Yet I could see the crust forming on the side and around the charging port.

So I did what any gear-loving runner would do. I sent it back to Polar for service request. Since it was under 2 year contract, I sent the watch back to get it serviced. I was hoping that Polar would honor their warranty and replace the battery and cracking watch body for free.

After UPS shipping the watch and a little over a week of waiting, I got a little package back from Polar. To my pleasant surprise, I found a new model of Polar V800 with a new charging connector, thanks to the warranty!

new-v800

As you can see from the photo, the new Polar V800 has a cover on its charging port, and it has black body instead of chrome.

I had the new watch for little over 3 months. So far it has been charging like a champ, and haven’t seen any other issue with it at all. I hope that continues to be the case.

Happy training, everyone!

-Jae

Polar V800: Long-term Review

I own a Polar V800 GPS watch. It’s a long story how I ended up choosing Polar V800 out of many GPS watches. If you are in the market for a new GPS watch, it may be an interesting read for you. Here’s the post.

Since the late August of 2015, when I bought a Polar V800, I have been wearing it on almost every run that I went. I just looked up the stats, and I ran 201 times with the watch on my wrist, totaling 1,080 miles. I’ve been using the watch on regular basis, and I thought it may be worthwhile to share what I think about the watch. So here’s my long-term review of Polar V800 watch.

Likes: 1) GPS accuracy, 2) battery life, 3) rugged construction

Dislikes: 1) Flaky charging connector, 2) missing battery life percentage, 3) ho-hum online software, Polar Flow

Let me get in to details.

Like #1: GPS accuracy

I am very happy with GPS accuracy of Polar V800. The primary reason why I decided on Polar V800 was the GPS accuracy, and I still feel that I made the right choice with Polar V800. I frequently hear of other GPS watches with much more bells and whistles, but still yet to find one that tracks the GPS location as accurate as Polar V800.

It tracks the location so accurately that I can retrace whether I was running left or right side of pavement. It’s so accurate that I can pinpoint exact locations where I had to veer right to get off the pavement to avoid pedestrians. It simply works to track each step of the run. Amazing.

Using the watch over 200 times, I do see a room for improvements though. Sometimes it does not lock in the initial position correctly, and shows a location 30 – 40 ft away from the actual location. Whenever I saw this problem occasionally, it did correct the location after running 100 ft or so. I think it’s because of initial GPS location locking software bug, something that firmware update can fix.

Like #2: Battery life

I have been logging about 4 – 5 hours each week on my Polar V800, and never had to recharge the device more than once a week. It seems to be single charge is enough to last at least 6 hours even after using it over 200 times. That’s a definite plus given how frequently I have to charge my iPhone.

In fact one-week-long battery life is a life saver because of charging problem that I started experiencing with my Polar V800. I’ll get in to that in a minute.

Like #3: Rugged construction

Polar V800 has a solid build quality to it, and it lasts well into its first year. I wore the watch practically every other day running over 200 times, and it still feels as solid as the day that I bought it. With big hour and minute display, it is simple to read, and I like its simplicity and minimalistic design.

As for shock resistance, I dropped the watch once in my shower. Thankfully I had a quick reflex to soften the landing on the tiles by deflecting the watch with my right foot. After the drop, it didn’t show any visible crack.

I do see one dent in the back of the watch, and I think it came from getting thrown around in my gym bag a few times. It’s very minor though.

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Dislike #1: Flaky charging connector

The biggest gripe that I have with Polar V800 is its flaky charging connector. It just does not work after several months. It slowly lost its connection over time with my watch, and nowadays my computer does not recognize the watch is connected even when it’s securely clamped by the charging connector.

I can tell it’s not just me having charging problem from surveying the online forums. It seems Polar is also aware of the problem because it went through a trouble of creating a dedicated online help page about how to troubleshoot charging issues.

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This is a potential deal breaker because if charging connector does not work, Polar V800 cannot be charged, and once the battery runs out, it’s as good as a paper weight. What an Achilles’ Heel to otherwise a great GPS watch!

So as any resourceful user would do, I have been improvising my own ad-hoc solutions to get around this problem. What seems to work for me at the moment is to use an oversized binder clip to reinforce the connector clip as shown in the photo. It works for me today, but I don’t know how long it will continue to work because I had to continue to increase the pressure. (It used to work with extra rubber band wrapped around, but it’s no longer works today.)

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I just hope that Polar folks are fixing this problem in their next release.

Dislike #2: Missing battery life percentage

Since the connector is giving out on me, I pay attention to how often I have to charge. For some reason, the Polar V800 software designers decided to show the battery life as an icon. Only when it’s 100% full charged or falls below 10%, then it shows the remaining percentage.

As someone who wants to see the remaining battery life percentage on all of electronic devices, this bothers me like a shirt with jagged label sticking out on back of the neck. Why would they decided to hide the numeric percentage? I cannot figure it out.

Thankfully this is a simple change with firmware update. Hopefully the design folks at Polar are listening and will make the firmware update available.

Dislike #3: Unimpressive Polar Flow

One of the reasons to track the data is to keep the data. Once data is kept in one place, there are many interesting questions that one can ask. How have I been improving over time? How am I doing compared to other athletes at similar level? How do pros train, and what can I do differently to maximize the benefit?

These are all possible to answer with data. And that is the promise of cloud stored data. Because each time Polar V800 syncs its data with its server, the Polar server is receiving not just my data, but many other athletes data.

But I see little that Polar is doing to tackle these questions with their Polar Flow software. It’s not clear to me whether Polar Flow is meant as an online data storage, or online fitness coaching tool, or online athletic community. My impression is that it’s trying to be little bit of each for everyone. I see each category as a big field on its own, and wish that Polar focuses on one area and do it well. I personally hope that it is fitness coaching because Polar is a well known brand among serious tri-athletes community.

There you have it. Overall I like my Polar V800. It’s a simple-to-use, very accurate GPS watch. While it has some charging flaws, I think you can still hack the connector (say hello to binder clips) to make them work for you.

Hope it is helpful.

Happy training!

-Jae

CEP Compression Socks Review

I had no idea why anyone would wear long neck socks. I thought soccer players wear them to protect their shins from accidental kicks. Or for some older runners or female runners, they wear them to make a fashion statement, albeit not my kind of fashion, I thought.

Well, it turned out that runners wear them for a reason. It was to speed up their recovery by helping blood flow better through stretched and tired blood vessels. Only after watching training and post recovery routine videos, I learned that all the colorful long neck socks were not just for the looks.

So after learning that they could help with recovery, I started looking at getting a pair for myself to test. And I discovered that there are many choices available.

Many claiming their medical benefits of wearing them, and even more with fancier graphics by dozens of manufacturers. Yet there were mainly 3 choices:

  • Compression sleeves
  • Compression socks
  • Compression tights

I figured that getting socks would make the most sense because it’s easier to put on then tights, yet would be more effective than sleeves without foot compression. So I started to look for the most reputable brand, and found CEP. From what I could tell, CEP has been making sports medical compression socks over many years, and considered as a gold standard.

So I got a pair of CEP compression socks. I got my pair around early February, and think I paid around $50 on Amazon. It comes in 3 sizes, and I ended up getting a middle one, size 4. As a reference, I am about 6-feet tall weighing around 172 lb.

A few things that I noticed right away.

  • The socks felt that they were made with attention to detail, and had a good built quality to them.
  • The socks had a sock for left foot and another for right. I think it was because of different compression points depending on the left or right foot.
  • At first it is not easy to put them on. They are meant to be worn tight, and there is a technique to putting them on easily. I saw many YouTube videos demonstrating the technique. Hers is one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdgT6-bc9Zk.
  • Although they were difficult to put them on, once they are on it did not feel restrictive on my legs. They were definitely tight, but they were not uncomfortable.

After the initial try, I must have used 3 or 4 times after my long runs. Most importantly, I put them on after my marathon to help with my recovery. I must say I do not have any solid evidence that the socks actually helped speed up my recovery, but the feel of having tight socks compressing my legs was nice after long race. Especially after suffering leg cramps on my both legs toward the end of marathon, they felt great on my legs.

I think for nothing else other than having a tight compression feel on the legs after long race, it’s worth trying them out.

From the description, CEP actually recommends running with the compression socks on. I haven’t yet tried it myself. If I try, I would have to pick early morning run. I still think that long neck socks are not a kind of fashion statement I want make, and would feel self-conscious if I get spotted by someone.

-Jae

 

New Balance 780 V5 Review

After many years of running on Asics, I decided to try other brands. That other brand turned out to be New Balance. So effectively I’ve relaxed my running shoe buying criteria, but the other two still remain in effect. (Was it on Sale? Yes. Was it available in extra wide width, 4E? Oh yeah.)

The shoe that I got was New Balance 780 V5. It is entry-level neutral cushion shoes that’s available at around $70.

I have been running on it for about 37 miles, and I can feel the difference from familiar Asics running shoes.

Here are some notable differences that I saw.

At first glance, it felt cheap. New Balance 780 V5’s retail price is $85, and generally can be bought around $70. Compare that with Asics Gel-Cumulus 16 which retails at $115. 780 V5 is $30 cheaper.

And it shows.

When I unboxed it, I must admit, I felt disappointed. Upper shoes were made of some nylon mesh with printed logo, instead of stitched logo that I was used to with Asics. It didn’t have firm heel grip either. Overall the shoes had no contour, and looked like a pair of colorful booties.

But my disappointment ended there.

When I put them on and went out on the road, I was pleasantly surprised with its road manner.

Cushion and sole were much softer than Asics Gel-Cumulus from the get-go. Unlike Gel-Cumulus 16 that required a bit of break-in period (about 20 miles or so), 780 V5 was ready to rock and roll right out of the box. As soon as I stepped out to the street, I could immediately feel the soft cushion under my feet, supporting my each landing.

It was also light. At 9.8 oz, it’s less than 1 ounce lighter than Gel-Cumulus, which is 10.6 oz. But somehow it felt lighter on my feet. Its soft cushy sole might have made it feel lighter than what it really weighed.

My gaits felt springy and well balanced. Note that other runners with pronation might not feel the same way.

780 V5 is definitely for neutral to under-pronating runners. If you are okay without pronation support, but looking for soft cushy shoes on a budget, I think you’ll be happy with how it feels on the road.

 

Oh, and that cheap mesh top was actually quite breathable as well. It easily absorbed puddle of water that I stepped in even after a couple of steps, and I could feel my socks get soggy. Consider that for what it’s worth. 🙂

-Jae

Asics Gel – Cumulus 16 Review

 

As I was saying earlier on my last blog, I have been a die-hard fan of Asics running shoes. And the shoe that I ended up buying the most often was Asics Gel – Cumulus.

When I went back to my online order history of the past few years, I found out that I bought Gel-Cumulus 11, 12, 14, and 15. I didn’t realize that I had been buying that many Gel-Cumulus shoes.

Looking back, I think it’s because of two reasons.

One was that it is good neutral cushioned running shoes. I tend to under-pronate, meaning I land on my outer sole when running, and to compensate for all the pounding my outer feet take, I usually look for well cushioned shoes made for neutral to under-pronating runners. Gel-Cumulus was one of the popular models made by Asics for neutral to under-pronating runners. It’s good great cushion and built quality.

The other was that it had been within my budget at around $110 retail. By the time I ordered one pair online, I usually ended up paying around $70-$80 including tax and shipping.

For these two reasons, I had gotten many Gel-Cumulus shoes over the years. And 2016 was no exception. I ended up getting a pair of Gel-Cumulus 16, the previous model of Gel-Cumulus. I think the latest model is Gel-Cumulus 17.

Since I tried the shoes for the first time on January 1st, I have been running on it for 31 miles, and here are some things that I noticed about the shoes. Some of these are observations that I had for many years when I tried earlier versions of Gel-Cumulus shoes:

  • It’s a well-built pair of shoes. Considering Gel-Cumulus shoes can be had for about $70-80 online, I feel that I’m getting a great value. Especially I like the solid feel that it gives me when I put them on and lace them up. They hug my hills snug and secure, and I get a psychological comfort of knowing that they are there to provide support when I need to land on my mid-foot and rely on hill cushion.
  • It’s very breathable. I never had a problem of feet getting hot or trapping moisture. In fact I was reminded of its breathable upper shoes on occasions when I ran through grassy field early morning. Even with a few steps of running through wet grass, I could feel the wetness coming in from outside. It’s really breathable.
  • It does take a few runs to break in the cushion. I always felt, Gel-Cumulus 16 included, that it takes at least a few weeks of running to unlock the cushion so that landing feels more supported. I thought this was the case with all running shoes, but realized that it was not so when I tried New Balance. May be the gel inserts need to be pounded for a while to get loosened up? I don’t know.
  • It gives me a structured feel to my gaits. When I land on my foot, I get lot of supports (once properly broken in). When I spring off from my foot to switch my leg, I get the well-balanced feeling coming from the shoe sole flexing just the right way to give me the propulsion that I need. Combined with ample cushioning and secure foot holding, each step feels really solid.

On my next blog, I’ll share a few observations about New Balance 780 V5, the second pair of running shoes that I got to rotate shoes. I found that there are a few things that are really different from Asics.

-Jae

 

Running Shoes: How I’ve Been Buying

With start of the new year, I got myself two pairs of running shoes. One is Asics Gel-Cumulus 16. The other is New Balance 780 V5.

Normally I get a new pair and run with the pair until it’s time to replace them. However, after reading about rotating running shoes to avoid injury, I decided to get two pairs and see what it is like to rotate.

I hope to write a review of the shoes soon. Before I do, I thought I should give you a bit of background how I have been going about buying my running shoes. (I may have titled this post as “how a lazy man buys a pair of running shoes.”)

There are three things that I have looked for when I got a new pair of running shoes:

  1. Is it Asics?
  2. Is it available in size 10 with 4E (extra wide) width?
  3. Is it on sale?

These three heuristics came about for their own reason. Let me explain why.

Why Asics?

Well, if you don’t know anything about something, you look for an expert advice on what’s the best brand to get. And when I was searching for my first pair of running shoes, which must have been about 16 years ago, I remember standing in front of the magazine section in a bookstore, and going through multiple running magazines to get a consensus on what brand of shoes was the best to get.

Needless to say the most commonly sited best shoes were by Asics. I think it was right around the year when Asics launched Gel-Nimbus and Gel-Cumulus line. And ever since then, I have been sticking to that advice.

Plus it was helpful to know how exactly the size 10 would feel on my feet when ordering it from Internet. I didn’t have to visit the store to try out the new shoes. I knew the size would be the same, hence could save the trip to the local sports store.

Why size 10 with extra wide width (4E)?

Size 10 is easy. I think I tried 9 and half way back when, but realized that with 10, I didn’t have to risk getting blisters on my toes.

As for extra wide, it took me a while to realize that there were such a thing as extra wide width, and my feet could use that extra margin. I tried wide width (2E) several years ago, but it was not as comfortable when I started running in them. My feet felt like it didn’t have enough space to move around and breathe.

So since then I’ve always looked for extra wide width in all my running shoes.

It was only a few weeks ago that I noticed that not all shoe manufactures offer 4E width on their running shoes. It seemed like 4E width are offered by Asics, New Balance, Nike and Brooks.

Why look for sale?

What can I say. I am a total value shopper. Especially when it comes to recurring expenses, I look for all the possible ways to cut the cost.

Buying running shoes became a recurring expense for me a long time ago. Ever since I paid a visit to a sports medicine doctor due to right knee pain, I have been paying attention to running shoes. Even when I procrastinated buying a new pair of shoes, I usually ended up buying a new pair once every 9-10 months.

Now that I started running long runs, and getting two pairs at a time, running shoes purchases will be even more frequent recurring expense. So that’s why I look for discounts when I go shopping for my shoes.

I normally look for shoes around $80 – 100 range including tax and shipping charge. Within the budget I have been able to get Asics Gel-Nimbus, Gel-Cumulus, GT-2170,  and GT 2120 over the years. It looks like the shoes that I got the most often was Gel-Cumulus, followed by Gel-Nimbus.

I found that the best time to buy shoes is just before the Thanksgiving time when lot of retailers are having sales to clear off their inventories for the next season. I often got 20 – 25% off from the already discounted online price.

Now that I’m getting two pairs of running shoes, I plan to relax my Rule #1, and look at other brands.

For the first time, I got my first pair of New Balance to try out. I just did my 12 mile run on it today, and I will share what I think about the shoes once I put on more miles on it.

-Jae