Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Nike Trims Running Shoe Line Down to One Model

Well, not really, but it sure seems like it.

Trust me here, I'm no Nike-basher; I've worn Nike shoes pretty much my entire life and have never run in anything else. But Nike seems to be going down a very unfortunate path. One that seems to have only one clear objective: profit. To achieve this, every Nike running shoe is starting to incorporate the same features. Why? Well, I'd guess because then the shoes are easier and cheaper to manufacture. Believe me, Wall Street loves that kind of stuff.

In the past, you'd have a shoe like the Structure, which had a big, obvious insert in the insole. If you were a serious pronator, this was the shoe for you.

Now, the Structure has a nearly identical insole to every other Nike running shoe.

Surely, Nike wouldn't take away the one thing that made the Structure the Structure (the medial post), would they? Well, let's hear what the Running Shoe Guru has to say about it. Apparently, yes...yes, they would.

Then there's the Pegasus. A shoe that has been well-loved for decades by runners, including by the R's. That love was not enough. Nike changed up the insole and upper, making it nearly identical to all of its Lunar shoes. Note the similarities.

Here's the old one, with the nice heel insert of different density rubber. And an upper that could actually handle some hard miles.

And here's the new Pegasus. Hmmm, looks like every other stinking Nike shoe lately.

And if you can tell the difference between the new Vomero and the new Pegasus, you must have cat-like senses. Here's the Vomero.

It's damn near identical to the Pegasus.

And then there's the LunarGlide, the LunarElite, and the LunarSwift. Apparently, they have differences. I'd say most people, if blindfolded, couldn't tell the difference. They are all put together the same way with nearly the exact same components. And of course, they look a whole lot like the newer Pegasus, Vomero and Structure as well.

So what's the upshot of all this. Well, I can no longer stick up for Nike against all the "real" runners that say Nike doesn't make shoes for runners. I am now forced to admit that I agree. Nike makes one running shoe now, and if you don't like it, sorry.

I don't like it. So now I'm desperately trying to find a replacement.

First up, the Mizuno Wave Precision.

I just got them yesterday. I'll put some miles in them and return with a more detailed review later.

Adios, Nike. It's been quite a ride.

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