Dimity and I are spending more time than usual in our running shoes: She's training for Pikes Peak Ascent, a race that climbs nearly 8,000 vertical feet over the course of 13.3 miles, which means it may well take Dim four+ hours to cover that half-marathon distance. And I'm working with a coach (same one who is training dear Dimity) to run speedy-for-me at Victoria Marathon. This week is already shaping up as a doozy for me, with a 6-miler after hour-long barre class yesterday and a super-challenging 85-minute run today.
Lucky for us, we have a several pairs of our favorite Saucony shoes to rotate through. (Especially fortunate for me, as my Guide 7s got soaked in unseasonal summer rainstorm on Tuesday.) Here are our current faves:
For me, the Saucony's Guide series is one of those line of products like Pepperidge Farm cookies and Sarah McLachlan albums that I will swear deep and abiding lifelong loyalty toward. My high arches appreciate the support they offer, and the shoe's moderate control keeps my overpronation from becoming problematic. But paramount to me is how lively the forefoot cushioning is: I might weigh in as an Athena, but I like to feel nimble. The Guide 7 is my go-to shoe especially on longer runs because I know it won't let me down.
I tried the Saucony Cortana 3 after Saucony rep at one of our Mother Runner parties recommended it to me. Originally priced higher than the Guide 7 (but it's on sale now!), I sized it up as a spiffier version of the Guide series. Despite feeling like it offers a bit more stability, the Cortana 3 feels a bit zippier so it's my go-to shoe for tempo runs and intervals. The upper is a tighter weave than the Guide 7, giving a slightly snugger fit.
Can I tell you how much I love my Peregrine 4's? They are nimble, they are light, they are swift, they are bright. They make me feel supported and solid in on all kinds of trails and in all conditions, including snow in late June. My only complaint? I can't wear them often enough. Dang you, suburban Denver, for not having ribbons of technical trails next to the frontage roads and malls full of PetSmarts and Michaels.
The Virratas are the first pair of Sauconys I—Dimity—wore in over a decade, and I was immediately sold: loved the neutral shoe with a zero drop that promoted a natural stride—all the Born to Run rage—but...and this is an important but...didn't skimp on cushioning. So I could keep progressing towards my quick and light intentional midfoot strike (my ideal) but not have my joints bear the brunt of my sluggish, heavy, heel strike (my reality). My only complaint about these? Rumor on the street is that Saucony is phasing out the style. Is one mother runner who loves her Virratas not enough to keep shelves across the nation populated with them? I guess not. When the unspeakable happens, I'll migrate to the Kinvara 5's, which I also kind of love.
To expand your collection of Saucony shoes, enter our giveaway: The winner gets her choice of a pair of Saucony running kicks. To enter, tell us if you spend more--or less--time in running shoes in the summer. Maybe you're fresh off a spring marathon, so your milage drops down in warmer months. Maybe you jumped into our 13.FUN Challenge, and are running regularly now instead of sporadically. Or maybe you opt to run in your pool, so no shoes required. No right answer. To enter this giveaway, click on the Comments banner under this post on our website and tell us if you put in more or fewer miles in the summer and why.
[Some fine print for this fine prize.] This sweepstakes is open to those over 18 and residents of United States and Canada. It begins on 7/23/14 and ends on 7/29/14; the winners will be announced on 8/2/14. One entry per person. The value of each prize is $45-$150. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Void where prohibited by law.