I've nearly completed my first web site, devoted to those distance
runners among us who are a tad bigger than a "medium" shirt can
contain. In the meantime, I just wanted to tell you guys about a
couple of shoes I've gone through in my quest to find the best shoe
for a heavy guy.
I've been lurking for quite a while, and honestly, have fallen in love
with the group - the vast majority of you are the kind, funny, just
plain nice people that I wish all usenet's were saturated with.
Little background on me. I'm Alex, a 26 year old guy here in Toronto
Canada - part time Masters student, ful time Communications specialist
for a software company. I started running in mid-April of 2002 when,
at 310lbs and 25 years of age, I couldn't climb 20 steps without
losing breath and sweating. After a year and a bit, I'm doing 12km a
night, in under an hour, and am now at 228lbs. My father is Russian
and my mother a full blown Newfie - I know I'll always be big, and may
never run a 26 mile marathon, but I've absolutely fallen in love with
running. Besides, the weight loss is now secondary, since I can
actually see arm veins and abdominal muscles. Did I mention how much I
adore running? *grin*
Nike Air Pegasus 2002
To quote our gangsta friends, this shoe is the shizzle, yo. I really
can't even begin to say enough good things about this product, so I'll
begin by expressing my initial feelings towards it, and the company it
came from. Nike, in my eyes, was the anti-christ of the athletics
world, something of a Sony - big price because of name, not for
anything else. Sadly, it took almost eight months before I tried my
first pair on, at the Running Room in downtown Oakville Ontario. At
that point, I was down to 260lbs, so sufficed to say, cushioon meant
EVERYTHING to me. Add to that the fact that my hooves are particularly
wide, and I was shocked when the sales associate had me narrowed down
to a pair of EE New Balance, and the Nike Air Pegasus 2002, an
unsightly white sneaker with even more unsightly yellow stripes
surrounding the "swoosh." Despite my best efforts to the latter, I was
forced to come to the conclusion that the Nike's felt spongier, and
more comfortable. What the heck...at least I'll have something to
complain about when they fall apart in a few weeks. Here I am, six
months later, sitting next to three new pairs of Pegs that I purchased
at a Sport Check sale this past weekend, still secure in the knowledge
that my original winged horses still have a few more 12km adventures
left in them.
Ugly. Plain. Think of a negative adjective, and chances are it applies
to this shoe. I have two different versions of the same model, and in
both cases, they're just about as likely to turn heads as an '89
Tercel at an *** car show. The lines are plain and unflashy, the
styling looks almost brick-like and unaerodynamic, and even the
reflectors seem haphazardly placed. If you're looking for a shoe to
make some eyes light up at the next charity 5km, then run away from
these shoes - run fast, run far.
Almost as ugly as the look. *Grin* Not outrageous, but at $119
Canadian, most people are guaranteed to pass them over for one of the
flashier pairs that just look like they warrant a high price. however,
if you're lucky like I was, some stores will be eagerly shedding their
Pegasus 2002 to clear inventory space, which is how I was able to grab
three pairs at $69.99 each. Then again, for the sheer quality of the
shoe, price isn't so much of a factor - not that it really should be
when taking care of your feet during a run.
Think of what it would be like to have a thousand angels make sweet,
glorious love to your feet. That would ALMOST come close to the feel
of these shoes. the first thing that shocked me about these sneaks is
the complete lack of impact when pounding the pavement for an hour at
a time. In short, the cushioning in these shoes is spectacular. My
large frame hammers these things, and the heel and forefoot cushioning
absorbs every last bit of it, giving me a little extra bounce, and
altogether eliminating the pain in my shins and knees that had become
all too common with previous shoes. This is wonderfully coupled with
an extra wide body construction, making the shoe feel more natural
when slipped on to a fatter foot like mine. Everything about this shoe
is comfortable, and feels natural - it isn't overyly tight anywhere,
the cushioning on the bottom is virtually everywhere, and the solid
body construction keeps your tootsies safe from the elements.
In a word - unbelievable. After six months, and daily abuse through
snow, slush and summer, these things are still going strong. The body
is still solid and hole-free, the sole is intact with little sign of
wear and tear, and the cushion itself is only now beginning to wear
down. Its rare that I say this about anything that I purchase, but I
almost feel as if I'm ripping Nike off for only paying them as much as
I have, considering how much value I've gotten out of the Pegs.
If you're a big, heavy runner with big needs, this shoe will be a
heaven sent, end of story. the cushion is solid, reliable, and
comfortable, while the overall construction seems tailor made for a
wider foot. Rarely does a single product so completely change my
opinion of a company - the Air Pegasus 2002 has done such a thing to
my perception of Nike.
Saucony Grid Evolve
My purchasing of these shoes is the result of a tragic series of
events, all of which climaxed in the one, unforgivable, life altering
crime; taking the advice of a high school foot jockey at a local Sport
Mart. I paid a visit to the new Sport Mart near my home about four
months into owning the Pegasus 2002, hoping to get another pair of
shoes to alleviate the wear on my favorite little Nike's. Immediately
upon my arrival, an eager young sales agent - we'll call him Spanky
McStupid - bound up to me like a rabbit on a $200 a day *** habit,
insisting that he help me choose the perfect shoe.
MISTAKE #1: Not going back to Running Room like I should have.
Spanky had me remove my shoes and socks, and had me walk back and
forth just as my friends at Running Room had. The only difference was
that the employees at the latter actualy seemed as though they knew
what they were talking about. Spanky hummed and hawed, mumbling that
he really couldn't tell from this angle, and suggested that I try on
the Saucony's. I mentioned that I had really liked the Air Pegasus, to
which he replied "Those are Nike's entry level, bottom of the line
running shoe." The Saucony, he told me, was better because less money
was spent on advertising, and more on development.
MISTAKE #2: Eating up the lies like a fat kid finding a box of
I tried the Grid Evolve on, was sufficiently satisfied that I was
sticking it to "the man," and went home to enjoy my new secret weapon.
Meh. Looks like your standard ass kicking running shoe. Striking grey
lines intersect the white underbody, with splashes of red thrown in
for good measure. The result is a clean looking shoe, not as flashy as
the Adidas Menko M, yet not as plain as the Pegasus. credit to where
its due - the Saucony looks like a professional runner.
Quite reasonable! At $69.99, it felt like I was truly scoring a
bargain and a half. They seem to be at the lower end of the price
spectrum when it comes to running shoes, something which I chalked up
to Spanky McStupid's marketing explaination. Please note that this was
the LAST time I ever used price as a comparison point when shopping
for running shoes.
I'm still recovering from these beasts. If you are a large runner,
stay away from these shoes! The funky mesh cushioning in the heel felt
amazing in the store, but once out on the road, it gave a little too
much, creating a strange sinking heel running style. Couple this with
virtually non-existent toe cushion, and it makes for a very
uncomfortable run. It felt as if the shoe couldn't meet the demand
that my weight was placing on them. All of a sudden, I was once again
suffering from severe shin pains, and was the proud new owner of a
mercifully short lived bout of Plantar Fasciitis.
Please keep in mind that I'm blaming myself, and the salesman at Sport
Mart, more than I am the shoe or Saucony. On a much smaller, more
typical runner frame, that heel cushion would be amazing - when just
walking in them, I could feel that web spring back after every step.
They just aren't meant for bigger people, period.
Hard to say, considering how little I've used them. They feel solid,
and as stated above, the heel cushion is absolutely fabulous for
smaller runners. Admittedly, I'm somewhat depressed by the fact that I
can't use them - I was amazed at how comfortable they were on the
sides, and felt even nicer than any Adidas shoe I tried. For the
price, this shoe would be a fantastic value to a runner with the right
Not for the heavy of frame at all. The heel support system is
brilliant, but just not enough when confronted with a little extra
cushion for the pushin'. A narrower foot and lighter body would do
wonders in this little sneaker, so while I can give credit where
credit is due, I just can't recommend this shoe for larger runners.