Running with Rage

Eric Rutin discusses running, life and other semi-important things

Running shoes – is new always better?

My last pair of Classics - So sad

October 26, 2011

Why does Nike, Asics, adidas and all the other running shoe companies feel they have to make changes or, as they like to call it, updates to their shoes?  Just when you find a shoe that is perfect, it then comes time to get your next pair and the new model has a toe box that is now too tight, or the heel cup is too high and rubs your Achilles raw, or even worse, it simply looks too awful to wear on any daytime runs.   Is all this actual progress?

I have been running in adidas Supernova Classics for over eight years now, but no longer.  This was a shoe adidas had decided was perfect for its niche just the way it was and stopped making changes with the exception of a different color for each new model (sometimes they even skipped that). 

It was heaven. I had found a shoe that was perfect for my running style, had all the specs I was looking for and fit perfectly.  And the best thing was adidas didn’t feel the need to change the shoe .  I assume enough other runners felt as I did so adidas focused their R&D elsewhere and just kept cranking out the Supernova Classics with decent sales.

Sure they had a variety of other Supernova models over the years  (Glide, Cushion, Sequence , Riot etc.) that went through all the normal updates, but the Classics just stayed true to their roots year after year.  Well that all changed in July last year —  production of the Classic was no longer and it was replaced with the Adapt. It was supposed to be the Classic updated with modern technology and materials.  But the legions of us liked the shoe and all of its antiquities just as it was.  According to all the Roadrunner Sports brochures I used to get, it was the most popular women’s stability shoe they offered. 

Based on some various posts I have come across, mostly consumer reviews of various shoe sites,  it seems like I am not alone in my disappointment of the Classics demise.  I am thinking about testing out the power of social media and start a campaign to get the Classic back into production. 

So for now I will keep looking for my next perfect shoe.  Currently I am sticking with adidas and running in the Sequence which are fine.  But the fine isn’t perfect is it?

Thanks for listening to my rant.  I would love to hear if you agree or disagree with my pain and have suffered a similar fate with your favorite shoe.

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5 thoughts on “Running shoes – is new always better?

  1. I hate, hate, hate that they update the shoes most every year. Or even worse, discontinue a line of shoes. Unfortunatley I am constantly looking for new shoes since my current model is almost never still being made.

  2. Tucker on said:

    Sadly, this seems to be the case for many things. “Innovation” for the sake of novelty. Nevermind if the product is already excellent, we have to change it constantly to keep up interest in it.

    It is time to stop this nonsense. It is time to Occupy Adidas!! I think their corporate headquarters is in Germany, but that seems like its pretty cold this time of year, so maybe we should just camp out in front of a store in Phoenix, preferably one near a movie theater, so we can have something to do if we get bored. Who’s with me?

  3. Ivory Tower on said:

    Eric, buddy, you have to go with the flow! Having been a runner for 35 years now, I intentionally NEVER buy the same shoe twice or even the same brand of shoe twice. For me, wearing the same shoe causes running to inflict exactly the same pressure on exactly the same spot for every single run and that leads to injury.

    On a more personal level, when I was single, I could alter who I spent time with based on how I felt on that particular day and that gave me nice variety in life. Now that I am married, I suspect my wife of 11 years would not be happy with rotating who I spend my time with. Rotating shoes gives me the variety that I need without sacrificing my marriage!

  4. Ivory,
    I hear you and I used to switch shoes all the time but when I found the ‘nova Classics I thought I found my perfect partner to mate for life. Never an injury, not even a blister when i would break them in. I could pull them out of the box, lace them up and go run 16 and not have a problem.

    To extend your analogy, Adidas taking away my shoes is akin to your wife running off with the pool boy. I get my variety at Jamba Juice.

  5. I used to feel the same way. So I chucked the whole thing. Now I run in minimalist shoes … or none at all. Much better

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