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Finding A Replacement When Your Favorite Running Shoes are Discontinued

Has anyone else experienced the agony of finding THE PERFECT RUNNING SHOE only to have it discontinued?

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This is exactly what happened to me when Mizuno discontinued the Wave Elixirs back in the summer of 2013. Luckily, I was able to make it a while without needing to search for a new shoe because I ordered new Elixirs when they announced they were being discontinued. In hindsight, I wish I would have ordered 10 pairs!

After years of running in Brooks Adrenalines and then a short stop over in some Asics after a terrible Adrenaline redesign, I found the Wave Elixirs when Mizuno sent me a pair to test in 2012. I fell in love.

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They were the most perfect shoe I had ever run in. It turns out, I didn’t need a crazy stability shoe. I was really okay in a neutral shoe. Maybe that’s thanks to all the yoga and strength work I did over time. Me and my Elixrs made a lot of memories in our short time together.

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Countless runs around the neighborhood and while traveling to places as close as Georgia and as far away as Mexico.

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Many 5K road races including a new 5K PR and my best race performance ever.

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And a new half marathon PR and my first sub-1:45 finish ever!

During my half marathon training my Elixirs were really starting to show some wear so I tried out the Brooks Ravenna for a while but started experiencing some foot pain during my training. The first question my doctor asked was if I had switched my shoes recently to which I replied yes. With the race only weeks away, he instructed me to go back to my Elixirs and worry about finding another shoe after the race.

I like the Ravennas and I still rotate them in occasionally for runs but they’re just too much shoe for me and a bit clunky and not quite right. Recently, it’s gotten to a pretty dire point with replacing my shoes. When I arrived at the beach to visit my parents, my mom asked what I’d like for my birthday. I told her I was desperate for new shoes so on my first day here we visited a local running store, Run With It.

Shoe Wall

I explained my situation to the woman helping me and she was very knowledgeable and had some great ideas for me. She brought me about six pairs of shoes to try. Three pairs I put on and took off immediately, I could tell by just standing in them that they weren’t for me. But three other pairs I actually LOVED and had a hard time deciding between.

Brooks v Saucony

Initially, I was between Brooks Pure Connect 4 and Saucony Kinvara 5. I loved both shoes but they were completely different. The Brooks had a lot of cushioning and arch support and wrapped around my foot very snugly. The Saucony felt roomier in the toe box and had a little less cushioning.

Trying out shoes

I took them for a run around the store a few times. First wearing each pair on its own and then one on each foot. I was tempted to buy both of them! (Yes, my hair is that huge at the beach.)

Running Shoes

Then they threw a huge wrench in my shoe buying when one of the other associates recommended that I try on Newton’s. I tried on two different pairs and loved the Newton Fate. It was like no running shoe I had ever tried on. They feature “lugs” at the forefoot of the shoe to give you a little help in propelling you forward. It’s a totally different feel but I liked the shoe a lot. They’re very roomy in the toe box and feel really great overall. I decided to go for something different and give them a try.

Newton Fate

I took them out for a spin last night and did a 3.5 mile run in them. So far, so good. I will keep you posted! All that said, I’m probably still going to order a pair of the Kinvaras or Pure Connects to rotate in so I can really make sure I find the right shoe for me. You can still get the Kinvara 5s on a nice discount (they’re onto the 6 model now) so I’ll probably start there.

So there’s the latest in my quest to find the NEW perfect running shoe!

What are you running in these days? Have you ever had a shoe discontinued? Any other Newton lovers out there?

{ 40 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Beth R. June 12, 2015, 1:01 pm

    This is the worst problem ever and I’m so glad I’m not the only one it’s happened to My problem is, I have very hard-to-fit feet. I need a size10 to 10.5 AA. (That’s narrow for all your people with normal-sized feet.) I also don’t need any stabilization. Shoes really don’t exist so when my favorite pair of Asics were discontinued I tried the next number up in the series and was woefully disappointed. I now where Saucony’s, and when budget allows, I buy two or three pairs!

    • 2
      Jen DeCurtins June 13, 2015, 12:14 am

      I definitely wish I had done that when I had the chance!

  • 3
    elizabeth June 12, 2015, 1:24 pm

    Yes, running seems like such a simple sport, but footwear challenges can ruin the simplicity. I love running and normally run 8-12 miles a day, roads and trails, but have foot issues(toe joint arthritis) and wear orthotics(which have helped a lot). I try so many shoes and sell a lot on ebay after trying. I recently bought Newton gravity and the lugs are bothering the metatarsal area on my right foot, but I love the wide forefoot and they seem great besides the one problem. I think maybe the lugs are smaller on the Fate, so I should have tried that shoe instead. Have you looked on ebay for more elixirs?

    • 4
      Jen DeCurtins June 13, 2015, 12:16 am

      I’ve looked and only the really small and really big sizes are available!

  • 5
    Parita @ myinnershakti June 12, 2015, 1:30 pm

    Just bought the Kinvara 5s and love them so far! If anyone is interested, they’re on sale right now on a website called 6pm.com. There are a few different color options as well!

    • 6
      Jen DeCurtins June 13, 2015, 12:16 am

      Thanks so much! I might be ordering some.

  • 7
    meredth @Cookie ChRUNicles June 12, 2015, 1:49 pm

    I love my Adidas Energy Boosts. They have made minor changes for the better over the last year or so but I must be on my 7th pair by now in a row! Absolutely the most comfortable running shoe I have worn to date. I live in fear of a major model change! lol

  • 8
    Margaret June 12, 2015, 1:51 pm

    Newtons for the win!! I am in an open love affair with Newtons for years. I had a hard time adjusting from 4 lug to 5 lug, but their customer service was awesome, and i’m still running in the Newton gravitys. The fates are so comfortable too, and the colors are awesome!

    • 9
      Jen DeCurtins June 13, 2015, 10:21 am

      I’m glad to hear that! Loving mine so far.

  • 10
    Cassie June 12, 2015, 1:56 pm

    Beautiful shoes!

  • 11
    lisa June 12, 2015, 2:40 pm

    Yes! I go through this regularly. I love the Kinvaras, and have recently been running in Pearl Izumi’s that I picked up at Ultra Running in Charlotte. I need a wide toe box (bunions… yuck!) and both fit the bill for me. I’m about to go back for another pair of Pearl Izumis.

    Good luck – I hope the Newtons work for you!

    • 12
      Jen DeCurtins June 13, 2015, 10:22 am

      I haven’t been in there yet but next time I need shoes, I may have to go check it out!

  • 13
    Orla June 12, 2015, 4:53 pm

    Happened me a couple years ago with my favourite asics. Went to stock up in the outlet village but was recommended against by the store staff. They told me that shoes that sit in boxes for a couple years before being worn if you stockpule lose a lot of elasticity and some of the glue can get hard and solid. Took a while to find a replacement but transitioned to a neutral shoe. Which they will most likely discontinue. 🙂

    • 14
      Jen June 13, 2015, 11:29 am

      really? that seems crazy! i wonder if it’s true!!!

  • 15
    Jen June 12, 2015, 8:58 pm

    I love my Connects. Seriously love them. I used to run in Mizuno Wave Sayanoras and I liked those a lot but they wore out so quickly (holes in the sides after a few months). I particularly like the Connects because the drop is the same as my Nanos but the Nanos are a little clunky to run more than 200s.

    • 16
      Jen June 13, 2015, 11:29 am

      This is great feedback. Thank you!

  • 17
    Tracy June 12, 2015, 10:48 pm

    Hi there— has anyone else commented that some of your pictures aren’t showing up correctly? I am noticing it on my desktop, laptop, and iPhone 6. The pictures look “pixelized”. Sorry to complain, just wanted to let you know in case it isn’t just me! 🙂 (And I feel like I am missing out – I couldn’t see the sweet new dogs that your parents got!) 😉

    • 18
      Jen June 13, 2015, 11:30 am

      Thank you for complaining! 🙂 I don’t know these things unless y’all tell me. I emailed my tech wizard!

      • 19
        Matt June 14, 2015, 3:28 pm

        I’ve also been experiencing issues with your photos across multiple browsers. Sometimes the photos don’t load at all, sometimes just partially, and sometimes “pixelized” like Tracy described. Thanks for looking into it, Jen!

      • 20
        Jeannie June 18, 2015, 6:31 pm

        I also can’t see a lot of your pictures on my laptop!

  • 21
    Alice June 12, 2015, 10:58 pm

    I run in mizuno wave prophecys. I get 1.5 sizes larger than my “street shoes.” I also wear wave riders & wave inspires for cross-training. I have found the newer models are different (in my opinion cheaper) quality than my older models. Why does that happen?

    • 22
      Jen June 13, 2015, 11:31 am

      Oh wow, I usually size up .5 but 1.5 is a lot. I am not sure why that happens. Maybe they’re trying for cost savings? Or they change production?

  • 23
    JennyV June 12, 2015, 11:16 pm

    Asics Kayanos are my shoe! I’ve tried to switch but I just cannot do it as I’ve never really had knee, hip or joint issues and I don’t want to chance it with a switch.

    • 24
      Jen June 13, 2015, 11:32 am

      Don’t mess with it if it’s not broken! Keep running in those Asics as long as they work for you!

  • 25
    Rebekah June 12, 2015, 11:25 pm

    To piggyback on Tracy’s comment about the pictures, they aren’t showing up at all on my iPad. I tried on my laptop to see if the results were different; chrome won’t show at all; on IE, the pics halfway show but are pixalized. Hope to see pics of your new shoes soon! 🙂

    • 26
      Jen June 13, 2015, 11:32 am

      I’m on it! (Or at least my tech guy is…haha!)

  • 27
    Janelle @ Wholly Healthy June 13, 2015, 3:20 am

    I’ve never had a shoe discontinued, and I hope that doesn’t happen. It’s so hard to find the perfect shoe!

  • 28
    Gill June 13, 2015, 5:33 am

    I know this sad fate too well! I was running very happily in Brooks Trance for a few years before they discontinued them. I squeezed every last km I could out of them before stomping off to the running store to find something else. My new ones are Asics and they’re pretty good but I still miss my Brooks 🙁

    • 29
      Jen June 13, 2015, 11:33 am

      I spent a while in the “eh” phase too. Keep searching. You will find something better!

  • 30
    emily June 13, 2015, 7:18 pm

    RIP Elixirs. They were my fave, as well.

    Check runningwarehouse.com > women’s liquidation shoes. You’ll likely be able to snag a pair of hugely discounted Kinvara’s there. 🙂

    • 31
      Jen DeCurtins June 13, 2015, 10:19 pm

      Thanks! I’ll look there for sure!

  • 32
    Emily @ My Healthyish Life June 13, 2015, 9:14 pm

    I’ve been running in Brooks Ghost for four years and had no reason to switch but last month I tried the Hoka Cliftons and fell in love. I still wear Brooks and just rotate between the two pair. Crazy how many options there are!

    • 33
      Jen DeCurtins June 13, 2015, 10:20 pm

      I’ve never tried Hokas, but I’ve heard good things from everyone I know who wears them!

  • 34
    Elizabeth June 14, 2015, 9:46 am

    ah— I know the feeling all too well! that has been my struggle the past 6 months! I LOVED my Adrenaline GTS 12s and the redesign is NOT the same! I’ve really struggled getting a shoe that feels as great as they did. I will maybe try some of these that you did since you wore the adrenalines in the past!!

  • 35
    amy June 15, 2015, 5:01 pm

    I run in Newtons. I got a great deal on them online at the running warehouse.

  • 36
    tara June 17, 2015, 12:22 pm

    For any flat footed pronators out there….i run in Sauconys. I used Guide 7s for one year and were great on the feet but i had back pain (which i didnt think at the time was the shoe but now i do) so i switched to Hurricane 16is i think). i love them ! they are a little tiny bit bulky for me but they have a wide toe box which i need but a slim heel. i have wider feet but thin Achilles area and have trouble with my heel slipping out of shoes, especially when i put in my orthodic. The hurricanes have good stability but have lots of cushion which i like and has helped my back. I’m sorta thinking though i need a cross training shoe for something like boot camp or kickboxing. i normally wear my running shoes for everything because its just plain easier and its so hard to find shoes ! I recently got a great deal on my last pair on sierra trading post. 30% off sale and even though i had to pay for shipping was like $40 cheaper than at the store. Looking forward to seeing if you like the newtons. My BF is a mizuno guy. LOVES them.

  • 37
    Jeannie June 18, 2015, 6:30 pm

    I ran in the kinvara 4s for awhile. I loved them! They started to show wear on the outside toe area after awhile. The fabric was quite thin in that area but I liked that – they were super cool (temp wise) and would dry very quickly if they got wet. I just recently bought the new balance fresh feel which is advertised in your pic. I was probably swayed by advertising a bit but I really like them! I already used new balance for my cross training so I went with them and am happy about it!

  • 38
    Jenny Leiser June 19, 2015, 10:02 am

    I switched to the Saucony Kinvara and I absolutely love them. The are light enough for racing and comfortable enough for everyday training. I tried the Brook Pure series. They are great shoes but at a 0mm drop I found them best for walking around and body weight workouts. The kinvaras have a less minimalist drop at 4mm (drop=difference from heel height to toe height, think flats vs heels). The good news is Inside Out Sports in Charlotte sells Newtons if you decide you like them and want another pair. Ask for Melissa Bell. She is the best!

  • 39
    Linda des Groseilliers July 2, 2015, 10:52 am

    Hi,
    Great post! I came upon this while researching an article on “What to do when your favorite running shoe is discontinued….or updated to a version that you JUST DON’T LIKE!”
    You did the right thing by seeking out a specialty run shop’s and a Doctor’s opinion. The Adrenaline is a higher level stability shoe, the Ravenna is a light stability shoe, the Elixir is a light stability shoe and the Kinvara is a neutral shoe. I’d have to look at your weighted and unweighted measurements and watch you walk and run to see how your arch is behaving to determine which would work best. You may find that if you overpronate or stay in that overpronated state too long (think long runs, races and walks) that an insert would help! I use Superfeet insoles even though I use a neutral shoe. In the end, I can kind of see why you were getting some issues when you were changing the stability levels but your comfort is the number one indicator of being in the RIGHT SHOE! Thanks for writing this article! We aren’t the only runners disappointed when we have to find a new pair of shoes to LOVE!

  • 40
    Chris September 8, 2015, 9:50 am

    New Balance seems to have walked away from their minimalist line of shoes. My 1010’s were my fav., then I grumbled and got used to the 1010v2. Now they are gone. Far gone off eBay and deep in the internets. So I have been searching for months for a wide toe box, low, quick drying trail shoe like my 1010s. Nope. Don’t exist. Altra very close but don’t dry quick. I’m doing the rounds of trying every Inov-8 line now. The whole thing is crazy as nothing compares to my 1010v2 trail shoes.

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