There was a time when I knew my shoe. Without doubt or equivocation I could tell you exactly what I wore and how long I’d been running in it. I was a Brooks Ghost man through thick and thin. It took a lot to get there I started out as a much heavier dude in motion control shoes like the Mizuno Renegade and the Brooks Beast. Weight loss and increased running efficiency allowed me to move from those models into the Brooks Trance and then the Brooks Ghost and Launch as my trainers. I went through probably 8 pairs of the Ghost 4 and 5. No issues. At. All.
While training for the Fresno marathon in the summer of 2013, I was rotating through the Pure Project Pure Flows and the Ghosts 5s. Excited to purchase the new iteration of the Ghost that year, the Ghost 6, I laced up and out the door for a tempoo run one hot and humid summer morning. A few miles into my normal sweatfest my legs felt tired and fatigued and the shoes felt spongy. Like running in a thin layer of sand. I gave them a few more runs but had to pull the plug on the Ghost 6. Brooks had moved into the idea of runners “floating” in their ad campaigns and adding a bit more cushion to these shoes. They engineered me out of the 6. Panicked, I stockpiled the Ghost 5 and got through my race. Then I hit the trails and didn’t see a lot of pavement for the rest of the year and into February 2014 when I went down for 3 months recovering from bilateral inguinal hernia repair (with which I had run a hard 50K with in January. Pro tip: If you find yourself standing by the side of the trail pushing your gut back in it is a sign that you should consult a medical professional.)
When I returned to the roads I chose Mizuno as a possible replacement for my Ghosts. I recalled happy miles during my first marathon in the Renegades, so I bought the Precision 13, the Rider 17 and the Sayonara 1. All are fine shoes (issues with the Rider 17 notwithstanding) and I enjoyed my runs in each. The Sayonara took about 30 miles to feel right, and the Precision and the Rider were fine out of the box. But they had yet to give me that “Ghost feeling.” They didn’t feel like “home.” Mizuno gives me a responsive ride in most of their shoes. I’m not used to that and while I liked it for shorter efforts, my longer runs left me with more questions than answers. I had yet to find home.
What’s “home” for me in running shoes? Home is when you are on a run and you don’t think about your shoes or your feet. You don’t feel odd sensations that distract you from your run. You don’t wonder if that’s the shoe you feel or are you expereiencing the onset of a small issue that might become an injury. Home is the absence of attention to feelings in your feet or shoes.
I’m nervous to give the Ghost 7 a try. I’m afraid there’s probably still too much floating going on there. I am excited that I will get to review the Launch version 2 soon. On a whim and desperate for a Home shoe, I purchased a pair of Saucony Ride 7. I need to up my mileage on roads so I can run a marathon with my brother (his first) in February. I was hoping that the Rides would, if not give me a new home, at least provide a nice long term rental.
Color ways: Viziglo; Orange/Citron/Red; Blue/Black/Citron; Grey/Yellow/Blue; Silver/Black/Slime; White/Black/Orange. I bought the Blue/Black/Citron. I wanted the orange, but was afraid it would be too crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I love crazy color ways. My Precision 13 is robin’s egg blue and canary yellow. But I got a glimpse of the orange Ride in a Saucony outlet store and really like it. Wish I had gotten that color. Next pair.
Mileage: 53 miles as of this post
Out of the box: A little stiff. First run was ok. Other reviews had mentioned that this shoe needed a few runs to come alive. I agree. Don’t judge this shoe on a single run. Give it 20-30 miles. I felt a little tingling in the forefoot under the ball of my foot late in the first run. I freaked a little thinking I was getting injured (this was on the left leg, which had been giving me issues in the calf and knee recently, so I thought it all connected somehow). But I read a review by Tyler Mathews on the Runblogger site. He felt the same thing and it went away for him, too. I had similar sizing thoughts as Tyler, as well. They felt slightly small out of the box, but after 20 miles they felt perfect.
Random thoughts: When I fatigue during a run, I tend to lightly scrape the the lateral side of my right heel. Over time, I’ve taken off a good amount of material from this area.
A lot of shoes have flared heels and flatter heels near the edge. This shoe has a slightly upward curve and less flare than normal. I’ve not experienced any of the scraping that I would have seen by now on other shoes (even the Ghosts) 50+ miles. Of course materials differ from maker to maker, but I think the curvature in the heel edge reduces my scrape habit a little.
Final thoughts: 53 miles later I believe I could run a marathon in these shoes. They don’t feel like home yet. I’m still looking at other shoes, but for the time being and for this training cycle, this is a good shoe for me. This shoe reminds me of the Ghost 4 and 5, which was my favorite shoe. I Ran several marathons in them. They passed the Goldilocks test. Not too cushy, not too responsive. They were just right. The Ride 7 reminds me of that shoe. This may not be home, but I’ve signed a 12 month lease.
Provenance: As much as I’d like to receive free review shoes, I bought these myself from RunningWarehouse.com