The end of a long relationship

It’s over. Sorry Saucony, but I just can’t do it anymore. My feet belong to Patagonia. At least for now.

It wasn’t an easy decision. I didn’t do this on a whim. I’ve owned and worn more running shoes than you’d believe. But I’ve finally had to break ties with an old favorite, and this is why:

Saucony just doesn’t hold up anymore. The integrity of their construction is poor, in my opinion, particularly when compared with the Patagonias I’ve had since spring. There are major differences between the two, but for now Patagonia has my heart laced up.

Years ago, I’d take the Green Line to Lechmere and walk a long way down Cambridge Street  to get to the Saucony outlet store. That was, like, 1985, proof that I’ve worn a few pair of Saucony. There were others, too: for a while, Nike was my brand but the shape of the footbox has not been consistent. And I flirted with Reebok, but whatever happened to that brand? And there was a period of Adidas as well, I trained for and ran the marathon in them. Despite those experiences I always seemed to gravitate toward Saucony because they consistently fit my foot. But there’s more to the equation than that.

Last year at this time I was having massive foot problems. I was up at night with pain and developed awful blisters on high-mileage days. I worried that I was headed toward horrible invasive surgery like my sister had, when the doctor broke all of her foot bones and ran wires through her feet to straighten the bones as they healed. In fact, I had been running quite a bit and the Saucony sneakers I was wearing were breaking down faster than anticipated, causing the pain (or perhaps they just didn’t offer enough stability to begin with). At the time I owned three pair of Saucony that I was loathe to part with.

breaking up is hard to do

breaking up is hard to do

You’ve heard of the “devil you know” situation.

The foot pain wasn’t enough to stop  me from buying more Sauconys! I found a pair of trail shoes that, like their predecessors, I was in love with at the beginning. They fit well, had the right amount of flex and great treads. I put a bunch of trail miles on them this summer.

At the same time, I got a pair of Patagonia Tsalis inexpensively and decided to try them out, alternating between the two. The Patagonias also fit my foot well. They don’t have the same flex and I don’t like the tread as much but wow, have they held up! There’s almost no comparison: the Patagonias are not breaking down like the Sauconys, they still offer plenty of support and stability. And my feet don’t hurt when I wear them.

Ultimately, I’d love running shoes that blend the attributes of the two pair I have now, and I will continue to watch for them. But I won’t spend my hard-earned money on those that don’t hold up and may be damaging my feet. In fact, I’ve just ordered another pair of Patagonias. I’m really doing it this time. Goodbye Saucony.


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