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Saucony Guide 6 vs. Asics GT2170. A Subjective Monologue.

When I first started running, the first shoe I bought was the Saucony Hurricane. I liked them a lot but after my first son was born, I decided to venture out and see what else I was out there for my feet. I ended up with Asics and I’ve been loyal to them ever since. Most recently, I’ve worn the GT2170 model with good results.

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I was given the opportunity to try out the Saucony Guide 6 (available in stores in November 2012) and I really didn’t want to pass it up because Saucony was a first love of mine and as many of us can attest to…first loves are rarely forgotten. Especially the ones that steal your running shoe virginity (yep…totally went there).

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I’m no expert on running shoes. You can throw fancy terms my way until you pass out from exhaustion but all you’ll get back from me (besides a glazed stare) is one simple question:

“But how will they feel on my feet?”

Honestly, I know some of the features are important but to me, it’s all meaningless until I’m wearing those shoes on a run. Heck, you could tell me that space dudes from planet Runto came and brought this amazing technology that makes you able to run 100 miles without feeling tired and I will still ask you the same question:

“But how will they feel on my feet?”

For me (and hopefully I’m not alone in this), if the shoe has a million bells and whistles, the most innovative technology available and the perfect price tag to suit me budget it would still mean nothing if I get blisters, sore ankles or shin splints from wearing them.

Such simplicity is really what floats my boat. Sad, but true.

So how do these two shoes match up on my feet?

What I love about my Asics first and foremost is the wide toe box. I have wide feet and finding a shoe that fits that and my narrow (some might say “dainty”) ankles is a challenge. These shoes provide that which reduces my blisters a lot and I have never blistered on my ankles from them being too loose. They feel good on my feet when I run and they give me a good amount of cushioning so my knees don’t protest during long runs or a lot of training.

What I don’t like as much about them is the lack of creative design in terms of colour and “wow” factor. Yes…the shallow stuff about footwear. I will admit that these shoes are among the more colourful that I’ve owned from this brand but the thing with runners (or at least with this particular runner), is that I like my shoes to have some pizazz to them because that makes me excited to lace them up. Ultimately, I’m willing to overlook their lack of Boom Pow in the aesthetics area because they feel good on my feet but a girl can wish…

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Now to the Saucony’s. They are a pretty shoe. I do love me some orange and silver I must say. I did find them a bit uncomfortable when I first put them on and thought they might be too snug for me but after wearing them around the house for a bit, they were happily moulded to my feet and the aches I was feeling in my legs (left over from my half marathon) went away within an hour of having these on my feet (I should mention that I rarely sit down during the day. Even my computer time is done standing up with the laptop on my kitchen counter). Major plus for me.

I wore them running and they felt much better than I was expecting them too. Because of their snugger fit, I really thought I was going to blister but I didn’t. They felt very light weight, comfortable and sturdy. I don’t know how well they would stand up on longer training runs or in the summer when my feet swell like crazy from the heat. The toe box is a bit more narrow than I would like and I don’t know that going up half a size would correct that because I do have extra length for my toes, just not the width.

Ultimately, I do like both shoes. I plan on piggy-backing them through the winter training months I have ahead of me but will save my Saucony’s for my shorter runs because the wider toe box is essential for long run comfort for me and I don’t think the Guides will be quite good enough for that. I’m also going to take a page out of Tamara over at FitKnitChik and use them when my gym opens up for doing group classes.

Disclaimer #1: I was provided with a complementary pair of Saucony Guide 6’s as a FitFluential Ambassador. I purchased my Asics GT 2170 with my own money. All opinions are completely my own and based on my personal running experiences with both products.

Disclaimer #2: Running shoes are 500% personal preference. What works for one pair of feet may not work for the next pair. Be sure to form your own opinion of your running shoes by trying them for yourself. You and you alone are the best judge of what works for your feet.

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