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Half Marathon Training: New Shoes & Socks

I’ve completed five weeks of my half marathon training plan and there are six weeks (42 days!) left until race day! Up to this point I have not missed a single scheduled training run. I think that may be a training plan record for me!


This morning my alarm went off at the early hour of 6 a.m. for my long run. I planned to meet my running partner at 6:30 a.m. to tackle 10 again. First, as I shared on Facebook, I was not feeling the long run when I got up. Had I not committed to meeting my running partner, I probably would have bailed on it and done it later in the day. I got my game face on and was surprised to find that I had a really great and relatively effortless run (well, as effortless as running 10 miles can be).

Two things to note from this run…

1) I wore pants for the first time this season! It was only 60 degrees which is usually still shorts weather for me but I have been having issues with my shorts not feeling good and riding up on my runs. I decided to try my Lulu running crops instead and they were super comfy! I’m still a shorts girl but had no problem with the pants today.

2) New shoes AND new socks!


Earlier this year my favorite running shoes, the Mizuno Wave Elixir, were discontinued. I have desperately needed new shoes for the last month or so but I didn’t have the heart to go out and try to find a new style that I liked as much as the Mizunos. Well, that was taken care of for me when I was gifted a new pair last week! I do these yoga/mobility/strength clinics a few times a year for a local half and full marathon training group. I volunteer my time for them but the leader of the group owns a sports apparel store and is always so kind to give me something as a thank you. When he emailed to ask me my shoe size I explained to him my dilemma with the Mizunos and he promised to find a good shoe for me.


He brought me the Brooks Ravenna 5 which is a lightweight neutral/support shoe. They weight only about 8.5 ounces while offering a good amount of cushioning. I’m always terrified to test new shoes so I gave these a spin on the treadmill for an easy run before taking them out on the road. I did three short runs in them before wearing them for my long run. The verdict? I LOVE THEM! I have always loved Brooks and wore the Adrenaline’s for 5+ years until one unfortunate redesign that left me hating them. I’m happy to be back in Brooks again! 🙂 Run Happy!!!


I also received a new pair of running socks. These are the Thorlo Experia socks. I usually wear whatever low-cut thin socks to run in but when I start to run longer distances I feel that I could use some extra cushioning around my toes. These socks were amazing! They are made with these “Thorlo pads” around the toe and heel and it makes the biggest difference in the feel of the sock.

Between the new shoes and socks, my feet felt so good on the run! Muchos gracias to Omega Sports and the Omega Nation for hooking me up! And I’m eternally grateful that I didn’t have to go try on a million different pairs of shoes in search of the new right fit!

What shoes are you running in right now? Are you particular about your socks? Any favorites? 

{ 41 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Kacy October 4, 2014, 8:22 pm

    Love that you are running!!! It is your heart and soul! Those shoes look suiupppeerr cute!

  • 2
    R October 4, 2014, 8:42 pm

    LOVE Brooks. Ravenna’s saved my running life after many tries and many injuries.

    • 3
      Jen October 4, 2014, 8:45 pm

      i’m SO excited to read this!

  • 4
    Ally October 4, 2014, 9:21 pm

    Way to get the long run done early-nice job, Jen! I’ve been running in Brooks Glycerin’s for my last two half marathons, but I don’t love them (they’re heavy) and so expensive at $150. It’s so hard to find shoes that fit me right. I’ve heard the Ravenna’s are great – I’m glad you found a replacement! I hope they work well for you. For socks, I LOVE Feetures Elite Ultra Light w/no show tabs. I usually get them in a 3 pack and they come in lots of colors, a nice bonus.

    Fun side: Brooks is based in my town of Seattle and I live right by Ravenna park – you’d like it there! Beautiful forested trails you forget you’re right in the city

    • 5
      Jen October 6, 2014, 11:22 am

      thank you for the sock recommendation. i’ll check them out. and ally…i would LOVE to visit seattle. it’s on my list of places i definitely want to see.

      • 6
        Ally October 6, 2014, 4:31 pm

        Jen, I just moved here from Eugene one month ago! It’s a new city for me, but it’s great. If you’re ever out this way, I would love to connect!

  • 7
    Tara October 4, 2014, 9:56 pm

    I had brooks Ravenna last year and they did not hold up well for me at all they almost sort of stretched out I guess? I took them I to the running store I got them tend the guy said he was shocked that they were suggested for me since they are horrible for my type of feet (flat and pronatir). It’s like uhhh ur store clerk pointed them out to me. Same thing happened agin to me with another pur of asics. Took them back almost right away cu they didn’t feel right and got the same these r so wrong for u comment. And this is. Reputable running store in my area. The moral that I learned is that it seems salespeople at least in this store have their fave hoes and sort stick to them. You gotta go with what feels right and it sounds like you did! I ran this year in Saucony and I just purchased another pair as I’m decently happy with these though I have never found a running shoe I truly love. I guess I have a goldilocks foot they are always too big, too small, etc. I’m still looking for “just right”. A lot of people really like brooks though so I’m sure u will too.

    • 8
      Jen October 6, 2014, 11:24 am

      oh no! i’m sorry you’ve had such a hard time finding the right running shoe. i felt like that about mizunos for a long time. everyone talked about how great they were but they were always too small or too big for my. i was never the “perfect size/fit” in them…until the wave elixir came along…and now it’s gone!

      maybe try a different store and share with them your past experiences. i can definitely see how salespeople would end up having “favorite one size fits all” shoes but talk to them about your needs and what has and hasn’t worked for you. i hope you find something you love one day…and that it doesn’t change or get discontinued! 🙂

  • 9
    Carla October 4, 2014, 10:04 pm

    Out of curiosity, which redesign of the Brooks Adrenalines did you not like? I recall having a similar experience and I think it was the 10’s or 11’s.

  • 11
    JennyV October 4, 2014, 10:31 pm

    Asics girl here. I have work the Kayano for at least 5+ years without any problems. I’ve tried other brands but can’t find anything that has the same feel for me. I hope they never do any major redesigns!

    Well done on 10! Adding a 5k will be nothing with your Crossfit and interval training. (I’ve always thought of the last 3 as a 5k as you can always run 20-25 more minutes )

    • 12
      Jen October 6, 2014, 11:27 am

      ha! i always tell myself the same thing too…”just a 5K at this point!”

  • 13
    Julie October 5, 2014, 1:15 am

    So funny, I also just switched from the same exact Mizunos to the same Brooks! Loving mine as well.

    • 14
      Jen October 6, 2014, 11:27 am

      so glad to hear this julie!

  • 15
    Janelle @ Wholly Healthy October 5, 2014, 2:30 am

    I’m running in Brooks Adrenaline actually! They are my first pair of Brooks, and I love them.

    • 16
      Jen October 6, 2014, 11:28 am

      i haven’t tried them in almost 3 years so maybe they’re back to a good design/model! 🙂 glad you love them!

  • 17
    Brynn October 5, 2014, 4:37 am

    I have the same running shoes and love them! It’s so hard to find a new style when your previous pair are discontinued.

    • 18
      Jen October 6, 2014, 11:29 am

      so great to hear that others are loving this shoe!

  • 19
    Kristen October 5, 2014, 6:16 am

    Good morning, ironically I bought the same pair of shoes and ran my first 5 of my long 11 mile run yesterday. Couldn’t agree with you more. They are one of the best shoes I have ever run in!
    Also, a little tip….there is a Thorlos outlet store in Statesville. Good prices and their socks last forever. Congrats on your training!

    • 20
      Jen October 6, 2014, 11:30 am

      kristen – i’m so happy to read that so many people like this shoe. i love it too. and thanks for the tip on the outlet! and yes, they last much longer thanks to that extra cushioning around the toes. i always run holes in my thin socks.

  • 21
    Kristen October 5, 2014, 6:18 am

    Oops…meant to say I ran my first 5 miles of an 11 mile run in them…..like running on a cloud!

  • 22
    meredith @ Cookie ChRUNicles October 5, 2014, 6:26 am

    I love the Adidas Energy Boosts! I am on my fourth pair and will need a new pair again in a few weeks. I have been wanting though to try the Brooks Glycerin 12’s. I don’t know. It gets confusing when I think about switching things up lol. I really love the Boosts just sometimes I feel like a change.

    • 23
      Jen October 6, 2014, 11:30 am

      i hear you on thinking you want the change but it’s usually just better to stick with what works. i’m like that with my hair…i think i want a change but i really just want it long! 🙂

  • 24
    Allyssa October 5, 2014, 9:38 am

    Do you normally eat anything before a long run? Love those shoes by the way! My last couple pairs of shoes have been Nike Free’s and I have liked them so far!

    • 25
      Jen October 6, 2014, 11:31 am

      yep, my go to is usually some combo including peanut butter…
      – toast, toaster waffle or english muffin with peanut butter
      – banana with peanut butter
      – dates with peanut butter

  • 26
    She Rocks Fitness October 5, 2014, 9:38 am

    My favorite Zoots were discontinued, so once this half marathon is done this upcoming weekend, it is time to go find some new ones. I’m too late in the training to try to find another shoe, so I’ve just got to suck it up. As for socks, I honestly wear Kirkland brand from Costco and love them. 😉 Hope you are enjoying the rest of your weekend!

    • 27
      Jen October 6, 2014, 11:32 am

      what are zoots!?

  • 28
    shannon October 5, 2014, 2:17 pm

    I got some adidas energy boosts during marathon training last year (before too many long runs) and LOVE them!! they are so comfortable and light and really good for my neutral foot. good luck with the rest of your training and your race. enjoy!!!

    • 29
      Jen October 6, 2014, 11:32 am

      i haven’t heard much about this shoe. thanks for sharing!

  • 30
    Brooke@sweetnsweaty October 5, 2014, 3:59 pm

    I Am so happy you reviewed these Brooks! I literally have those in my shopping cart and couldn’t make up my mind! Thanks for sharing!!!

    • 31
      Jen October 6, 2014, 11:33 am

      yay! so glad i could help. and it seems from the comments that many others love them too!

  • 32
    Tara | Treble in the Kitchen October 5, 2014, 5:16 pm

    So glad you love the shoes…getting new shoes is SO scary sometimes. You just never know how new shoes are going to work!

    • 33
      Jen October 6, 2014, 11:33 am

      i know! your shoes are such a critical part of your running…comfort, injury prevention, everything!

  • 34
    Kait October 5, 2014, 6:26 pm

    Those are my favorite running socks!

    • 35
      Jen October 6, 2014, 11:34 am

      super comfy! i’m going to get more of them!

  • 36
    Shannon October 5, 2014, 7:02 pm

    Ravennas are my favorite! I stock up on them too, just in case any style change happens. I haven’t tried the 5 yet though, glad you have enjoyed them so far.

    • 37
      Jen October 6, 2014, 11:35 am

      beth below mentioned she liked the 4 better than the 5 so i’d be interested to hear your thoughts! smart to stock up. wish i’d have done that with the wave elixir.

  • 38
    Beth M. October 6, 2014, 10:40 am

    I also just bought a new pair of the Brooks Ravenna 5! I am training for a full marathon and was overdue for a new pair of shoes and got these just in time for my last long run. The thing I love about Brooks is that you really don’t even have to break them in–you just put them on and go : ) I had worn the Ravenna 4 for quite some time and I have to say that, even though on paper the Ravenna 5 is pretty much the exact same shoe, I wasn’t crazy about the 5 when I first got it (I wore the 5 for the first 350 miles of my current training cycle and am now on the second pair)–somehow it didn’t feel as cushy. I went to the running store prepared to possibly have to change to a completely different shoe, but the lady and I discussed it at length and decided that this late in the game (my marathon is on Oct. 26) is no time for a completely different shoe so I stuck with the Ravenna 5. It’s a great shoe for sure…I just don’t feel like I’m floating when I run in them like I did with the 4 : ) After the marathon I am going to test a pair of Sauconys and see how those feel, but I love Brooks so I hope to be able to stay in them.

    • 39
      Jen October 6, 2014, 11:37 am

      beth – isn’t it so crazy how things can change between different model updates? let me know how the sauconys feel for you. and yes, smart to stick with what you know as you’re in this high mileage.

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