Andy here! I just got the first of two shipments of new walking shoes this week, so I thought it’d be a good time to talk about my walking footwear. I am now currently on my 14th pair (not including the previously mentioned shoes that just arrived and the two that are on the way), dating back to Memorial Day weekend 2011.
- Nike ACG hiking shoes:
I can’t remember the exact name but they lasted 6 months and they were VERY comfortable.
- Nike Air Pegasus TR:
A gift from my beautiful wife. Great for the treadmill but not great for cold/wet winter weather.
- Nike Air Moto 8:
I demolished these in 6 weeks. No joke. Wore them down to the white cushiony part under the black sole. Running shoes are NOT good for walking and at the end, these hurt my shins and made walking very painful.
4-8. Nike Salbolier ACG:
These were the best and my absolute favorite shoe. A reasonably priced hiking shoe ($50.00 – $55.00 per pair) with a stiff ride with lots of tread which fits my walking stride very well. It’s counter-intuitive, but my shin-splint pain was gone almost immediately and these shoes allowed me to walk pretty fast.
I went through 5 pairs of these amazingly good shoes. They lasted an average of 2.5 months and from about July 1, 2012, through mid-May of 2014, this was the shoe. Sadly it was already discontinued by the time that I found them on clearance at Big 5 Sporting Goods in Beaverton. As soon as I fell in love with them and realized I didn’t want to have to ever switch to another shoe, I scoured the internet for them. I was able to order 4 pairs from Amazon.com (through a retailer in the UK).
I still look for them online when I have a few free minutes at work.
9-11. Merrell Moab (Ventilator):
A reasonable replacement for the Nike Salbolier ACG’s that I loved. I started in on these after a recommendation from a clerk at the Washington Square Track N’ Trail store. A good, stiff ride combined with a fairly thick Vibram sole made them great on wet or dry pavement.
The downside: $90.00 a pop, and they’d only last about a month and a half to 2 months before they were done. And when they were done, they were DONE i.e. shin splints. Also, the Ventilator version of the shoe means it’s a vented shoe and not great for winter/rainy weather walking.
- Merrell Moab (Waterproof):
Ditto to the above but waterproof*.
(*the extra $20.00 for this version isn’t worth it and if your pants hang just right, the water will run right down the pant leg onto your socks and get the shoe wet from the inside out. Better to just wear hiking shorts and have wet legs.)
13+14.Merrell Pulsate (Ventilator)
The closest that I have come to finding “the shoe”. I bought 2 pair from The Clymb on a lark in November 2014 (based on a suggestion from my beautiful wife). These have been a VERY good shoe. $60.00 a pair, lasting about 2 – 2.5 months with a stiff sole and lots of tread (not a Vibram sole, so they are a little slick on wet pavement).
I am now on the second pair. I first laced them up around January 24th and they seem to still be holding together quite well.
Because I like to have backups ready to go and ideally trade off on shoes to help them last longer, I have placed orders for 4 more pairs. The Clymb (www.theclymb.com) is an online retail clearance type site that sells sporting goods at less than retail. Normally this shoe is sold at $60.00 per pair, but recently they marked down to $50.00 so I ordered a couple pair. When I got an email a couple of weeks later that they were having a random, one day sale (sitewide – an extra 20% off orders over $75.00), I placed another order.
Based on my past usage, average mileage, and experience, the shoes I am on currently should last me through the end of March and the next 4 pair should get me through the end of 2015.
(Please note that the statements and reviews are NOT paid product endorsements of any kind. These shoes were all purchased through brick/mortar and online stores by my wife and I with our own money and were NOT given to us by any of the above named companies.)