Shoes & Gear
When you run a race, it's not just the training that gets you to the finish line. It's also about the shoes and gear you're wearing that helps. Of course, I haven't tried all the shoes in the world, but I've tried a lot out, and from my experience, Asics seems to fit me the most.
Athlete Men's Performance Insole
Compared to the insoles that are in my shoes already, these soles add a lot more cushioning to my feet. Now insoles aren't the greatest thing in the world, but because of the added cushioning to my feet, it allows me to be able to use my shoes for a hundred extra miles. I find it easier to run with these on, even with the extra little bit of weight. I usually place them in my speed shoes because they speed shoes usually doesn't absorb the shock as well as the stability shoes. This Insole allows me to run fast while protecting my feet as best as possible.
New Balance Minimus
These are the lightest pair of shoes I have ever worn. I've worn them bare-footed and with socks on and they both are great. Because of the breathability, when I'm bare-footed, I don't sweat. Unfortunately, because of the minimal style, if you don't run correctly, it can hurt your feet. Make sure to focus on your running when you're running with these on, or make sure to run with them in the field, or somewhere where the ground won't hurt you. If you're going to go for a bare-footed running style, this minimus is a good step towards that, getting your feet used to being its own cushion by running with a mid-foot strike, making sure that the heel doesn't get the brunt of the impact. If you're not used to this, don't just up and run 10 miles on them. Take it easy and see if you can run with it. You'll be able to feel everything you step on, so be careful about where you land. Definitely a good trainer though, because when using it, it helps you train yourself to run correctly, also having the potential of being a good racer.
Asics Gel-Hyperspeed 4
Personally, my favorite racing shoes. They aren't as light-weight as the NB Minimus, but because of the cushioning it provides, it allows me to run my races fast and protected. I enjoyed running with these shoes. Also a bonus because they cost a lot less than the training shoes I have. All Asics shoes are road shoes but I've actually used these pair for the 12 hour race on trails, and they were great. They were light enough that I didn't feel them when I was running, but they were heavy enough to absorb the shock of continually running for miles and miles.
Asics Gel-Kayano 18
A VERY durable pair which has helped me with a lot of my long distance training. Because of its durability, it's not so good of a racing shoe (although I have run marathons with them), but on the road... these shoes will protect your feet should you tire and start to run sloppy. Definitely not a performance shoe because of the weight, but because of the Gel layer, it absorbs a lot of shock. Would recommend having one of these if you're newer to running.
Brooks Cascadia 6
These were actually the pair I wore when I ran my first 50 miler. It is definitely a trail shoe, protecting my feet from the rocks underneath, but because of that, it adds a little more weight. Also note that the Cascadia doesn't have a gel layer that supports your feet, so if you're looking for a gel-like cushion, this isn't the shoe you want. It works well on the trails, but don't wear them on the road. If you do, you'll develop blisters from them because these shoes are made for the trails. On trails, however, these are great, giving you the traction you need and also protecting you from feeling every root and rock you step on.
Asics GEL-Frantic 6
I have two pairs of these shoes because they are cheap training shoes. These have the gel layer that helps the feet on the roads, but you can train with them anywhere. Like all Asics, these are designed to go on the road, but you can wear shoes anywhere you feel like. These aren't super heavy like the Kayanos, but they are heavy enough to not wear them for racing. These make great training shoes because of their support as well as their decent weight, but doesn't have the performance you might be looking for.