As my training volume increases so do the miles I’m putting on my shoes. My current pair has a year and a half on them and are causing me some pain so I decided it was time for a new pair of kicks. I currently run in Saucony Progrid Guide 5’s (the current shoe being made by Saucony in the series is the Guide 7). They are great and have been a very dependable shoe. But while I could just hop online and buy the same shoe again my feet have been telling me it was time for something different.
I mentioned to a friend that I was in the market for some new shoes and he informed me that a new shop had opened up in downtown Saratoga that specialized in running shoes. The store is called iRun Local and is located in a small plaza on the south end of town just off Broadway on Congress Street. I like to shop local when I can, so I decided to pay them a little visit to see what they had to offer.
Harrison and I had plans to have a late lunch in Saratoga on Father’s Day at The Local which is right down the street from the running store making for the perfect opportunity to try on some shoes.
At first glance when walking into the store I was a little nervous about the brands that they carried. They were not your “traditional” shoes. I’m used to walking into a store and seeing Saucony, Brooks, Nike, etc. and those were not to be found here. Instead what they carry is Newton’s, Pearl Izumi, Under Armour and Inov-8 (they may have had a few others but those are the ones I remember).
I was promptly approached and asked what I was looking for. After giving the sales person (who happened to be Anthony, one of the owners) a brief description of what I was training for and what I wanted in a shoe he had me hop on the treadmill in a pair of neutral shoes to see me run. They set up an iPad to record my run from the knees down so he could analyze how I run. He was looking to see my foot strike location and whether I over-pronate (or under-pronate) at all. The Saucony’s I have been wearing had a slight amount of stability to them to correct for over-pronation but after viewing my run Anthony thought I should try some neutral shoes because I didn’t show the need for a stability shoe. I tried on 3 different shoes; the Under Armour Monza RE, Pearl Izumi Project E:Motion Road N2 and the Karhu Fluid 3 Fulcrum. Unfortunately they didn’t have my size in 2 of the 3 pairs but I was assured by Jamie that they were on order and would be here within the week. While I liked the Under Armour’s (which were the ones they had in my size) I really wanted to be able to compare them to something else before making a decision. So I left my name and number and was promised a call when the shoes came in.
Fast forward to last Thursday; I received a call from Jamie letting me know that the shoes were in. I wasn’t able to make it to the store until Saturday afternoon but they had them there waiting for me. I took the shoes outside to try them out and was sold on the Pearl Izumi’s. If you had asked me after that first day trying on shoes which I was going to buy the Pearl Izumi’s were not high on my list. They were so different than what I am used to running in and so I thought I wouldn’t like them in comparison to the others. But they felt so good when I ran in them and compared them to my other options so I think I made a great choice. The other two shoes were also great options; I really did like them all. It came down to a choice between the Karhu’s and the Pearl Izumi’s and I chose the Pearl’s because they had a wider toe box and were overall more comfortable than the Karhu’s for my slightly wide foot.
Jamie and Anthony were both so great to work with and I highly recommend you check them out if you are a runner in the market for some shoes. You can find them via their website, Facebook, Twitter and of course in person at the store!
I’ll report back after I have a few miles in the new kicks :-).