Guest Blog: Joe Granat

Running Shoes & Beer

My two current professions include working at a running shop and holding beer tastings for a local brewery.  Rough life right?  My closet is stocked with running shoes just like my refrigerator is stocked with beer.  (For the apocalypse of course).  It made me stop and think, I pick my sneakers like I pick my beers.  Hear me out on this…

When I grab a beer, it’s because I’m in the mood for that particular beverage. I’ve thought about that beer before committing to it. The decision can be based on anything from the weather outside to how rough my day was. When I’m ready for a run, I go through that same decision process. If my legs are sore, I reach for a pair of highly cushioned sneakers.  If I want to do some speed work, then I grab my lighter pair with a low heel-to-toe drop. Some days I just want a comfortable pair of daily running sneakers for a slow jog.  Let’s see how some of my shoes are just like my favorite styles of beer.

New Balance Zante – Session IPA

The Zante from New Balance is a lightweight fast shoe with Fresh Foam technology.  It’s meant for 5k races and breaking PRs, yet, it’s still comfortable enough to wear on a daily basis.  (Like this comfy looking Sweatshirt Zante). This is the session IPA of shoes.  It’s quick, refreshing, and easy to enjoy.  So easy in fact, you can own several pairs – just like drinking several session IPAs. The purpose behind this style of beer is to drink good light beer without sacrificing flavor. The same way the Zante doesn’t sacrifice comfort. Try a pair out for your next short distance run.

Saucony Kinvara – Belgian Tripel

The Saucony Kinvara is fast and powerful.  With a 4mm heel-to-toe drop, it’s meant to move forward quickly and efficiently. It’s light and built on top of Saucony’s Powergrid midsole. This shoe will sneak up on you the same way a strong beer does. The Kinvara is like a Belgian tripel – high alcohol content, light, and big on flavor.  These beers go down easy (almost too easy). With some of them being well over 10% ABV, they pack a punch. Try this shoe out for your next track workout.  Try the beer on a day when all of your house chores have already been completed.

Saucony Triumph – Stout

I’ve run many half marathons in this shoe.  It takes a beating and keeps coming back for more. It can handle the blunt of the training with its highly cushioned Powergrid Plus technology.  Recently, it was switched to Everrun cushioning which gives a much more responsive feel to the shoe. One beer comes to mind when I think of the Triumph – stout.  This style of beer has big roasted flavors similar to coffee and chocolate. Because of its dark color, it’s presumed to be a heavy beer. Like the Triumph however, it’s a big surprise in a light package. The Triumph is meant for your long hard runs, just like a stout is meant for the long hard winters.  #Winteriscoming.

ON Cloudsurfer – Sour Beer

ON is a Switzerland based company that is the new guy on the block.  They’ve made waves with their “CloudTec” cushioning system.  Their high mileage daily trainer is called the Cloudsurfer.  This is the sour beer of running sneakers.  The new rage these days are tart beers that can make your lips pucker. They taste great on a hot summer day and even bring a new light flavor for a harsh winter. Try this shoe out on days when you’re going for a group run. It’ll be a conversation starter for sure.

Nike Pegasus – Pale Ale

If there was a shoe that’s been around for ages, versatile enough for everything from running a marathon to hitting the gym – it would be the Nike Pegasus. Nike’s Zoom cushioning system and Flywire on the upper allow for a flexible yet responsive ride. This shoe reminds me of a pale ale. The actual term “pale ale” ranges back to the 1700s.  The Pegasus is now on its 32nd addition…  I’d say that’s comparable in “sneaker years.” The “Peg” is a lightweight daily trainer that can be worn on a regular basis – even when not running.  Just as the pale ale can be enjoyed everywhere from the beach to the fire place.  This style of beer has changed and evolved over the years similar to the Nike Pegasus – does anybody remember the waffle iron outsole?  Grab the Pegasus as your “go to” sneaker and have a pale ale after your run. 

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