I have eclipsed 360 miles on my New Balance Minimus V20‘s and that means it is time to pick up a new pair of running shoes. I have narrowed the field down to three choices. I am debating between the Under Armour SpeedForm RC Running Shoe, 2014 Nike Free 3.0 with FlyKnit, or the 2014 New Balance Minimus Zero V2. I have earlier experience with the Nike and New Balance shoes but the Under Armour are a gamble. Especially coming from the drama involving them and the US Olympic Speed Skating team at the Sochi Olympics. Though I blame most of that performance on the team and not Under Armour.
This analysis is a big decision for me since I will run about 10 races in the pair I get; and for the first time the Nike Free 3.0 is not the automatic choice. All three excel in their own way and have various pros and cons. I like that Nike has gone with FlyKnit but worry about the durability of the shoes. I am most recently familiar with the New Balance and really enjoyed them; hence almost 400 miles in my current shoes to date. The Under Armour look very interesting but may have too thick a sole for my taste.
My strategy is to wait till about April 4th when all three are available and go to Road Runner Sports to test them out. I will run a hard mile in each on the treadmill there and take down quick notes after each run. I will take five minutes in between each run and then rank the three after. I will make one more half mile run in order of least favorite to favorite and then go with the best pair after that. My initial projection is that I will end up going with the Nike Free 3.0 but that’s based on years running in them.
I’ve been reading a lot of 2014 shoe preview magazines, articles and talking with retail associates at various shoe stores to help me narrow down my choices. I am excited for what Under Armour may be offering in new ideas. I’m interested to see if my comfort with the New Balance shoes will carry over to another pair. I am anxious about the major changes to the Nike Free line and hope they have not messed too much with the formula. Whichever pair I choose, I will of course provide a review of them and maybe a mini review of the two I pass on based on my in store testing experience with them.