I’d been running in GT-2170s for more than a year (and this particular pair for about 6 months), when I realized I needed a new pair.
Still, I kept putting it off. My shoes weren’t giving me any problems, and I would hate to have a bad experience with running shoes, particularly during my long runs.
But in late December, I knew it was time. My running shoes had significant wear on the inside and while the bottoms looked OK, I knew the cushioning was going.
Add in that I had signed up for my first half marathon in March — and knew I would definitely need new running shoes by then — I finally caved and started looking at running shoes online. I found I could get a new pair of GT-2170s, but they were backordered until late January.
So, I ordered a pair of GT-2000 2s, which are supposed to be the next generation of GT-2170s.
I’ve never really been concerned about breaking in new running shoes. Back when I got my last pair in June, I ended up breaking them in easily on a trip to Colorado and Utah, where we walked around a lot. By the time I ran in that pair, they were plenty broken in, and I was still doing walk/run combinations until August.
The pair before that, I was only walk-running, so I just naturally broke them in while doing that.
I lucked out, too, in somehow finding the perfect shoe for me before I understood terms such as “neutral,” “stability” or “overpronate.” I definitely turn my foot inward when I walk/run and need stability shoes.
So I was a bit nervous about this pair. What if they didn’t feel as good as my GT-2170s? What if they pinched somewhere? What if I got blisters? What if I got black toenails? I ordered the pair from Road Runner Sports, which offers VIP members up to 90 days to return used shoes to the store if there are any problems.
I tried them on, and they felt good, so I wore them to the office the next day (it was a Saturday). After a couple of days using them whenever I ran errands, I ran my first race in them on New Year’s Eve. I was a little concerned that I hadn’t done a normal, easy run in them, but I figured they felt fine so 4 miles couldn’t hurt.
They performed beautifully. I didn’t really feel any difference in the 2000 2s versus my 2170s. And having a new pair of shoes with new cushioning felt nice. So I ran in them again New Year’s Day, some 16 hours later, even though you’re supposed to let shoes rest something like 24 hours between wears. Again, they felt fine.
But then, the day after, I had some soreness in my legs — hamstrings and IT-band, which isn’t uncommon after a hard race — and some slight shin splits, which got me worried. (A little history on me and shin splints — I started trying to run in the 7th grade, got shin splints, rested, tried again, got shin splits again and gave up — it was probably that I was wearing old gym shoes, but that’s why shin splints make me anxious).
I whined to a friend, then thought up of all the reasons why it could be the shin splints did not mean the shoes weren’t going to work. I had run hard. The New Year’s Eve race was hilly overall and the New Year’s Day race had two significant hills. I hadn’t run on pavement in at least 10 days before the two races. I hadn’t run more than 3 miles on pavement in 2 weeks. I had run two races within 16 hours of each other (which I’ve never done before). Any soreness was just from running in the new shoes for the first time and wouldn’t occur again. Yada, yada, yada.
I ran in the shoes again about 4 days later — this time for a treadmill run. They felt fine, maybe like they still needed some breaking in, though. I didn’t have any pain the next day. I ran on the treadmill again a couple days later and finally on the pavement on a night run Friday.
I felt fine after all those runs, so I’m keeping this pair, and I even bought a second pair after just a day of walking around in the first.
I’m going to focus on just using them for treadmill and shorter (3-5 mile) runs for the next month, to really break them in.
In the future, I plan to be better prepared at phasing in new running shoes instead of waiting until the last second to order a new pair that I feel I need to start running in ASAP. It helps that I now have multiple pairs of running shoes to rotate, meaning I’ll also never do a morning run in shoes I ran in 16 hours earlier.
I plan to keep one pair of shoes at the office for my workouts there — not sure yet whether it will be the backordered 2170s or one of the 2000-2s. And the other pairs I will rotate around my runs.
I also ordered a pair of Gel-Kayano 20s, which I’m pretty sure is going to be my go-to shoe for my long runs and long races. (Review on this pair to come!)