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Updated on November 26, 2012
It all started when I woke up this morning thinking about a zombie apocalypse. Now you might be saying to yourself: “That’s an odd thing to think about first thing in the morning.” Well, not really. See, I’m one of those “weirdos” who spends an inordinate amount of time thinking about what I’d do if the walking dead/rabid rage-filled hordes were to suddenly pop up all over the world.
Plus, this being Zombie Awareness Month, who isn’t thinking about zombies?
Sure, you can run. But can you outrun this undead horde? Image via Flickr
So anyway, this morning I’m staring into my closet and I think: “What would I wear when the world is in shambles and zombies are snacking on everyone in sight?” This of course leads to me to stare down at my shoes, only to discover I have nothing that would be appropriate to run for my life in. Not good. Thus I began my quest to find the perfect zombie-apocalypse shoe.
My criteria are simple:
Why running shoes? Why not military boots? Oddly enough, this is a heated debate in the zombie-fearing community. Personally, I don’t feel comfortable in military boots, and when my life is on the line, I want to be comfortable. I’m not going to debate the pros and cons between running shoes and military boots here; suffice to say that my footwear of choice will be running shoes. There are also some great trail runners out there, but I’m still sticking to genuine runners as I’ll have a pair of hiking boots in my emergency pack to supplement my runner shoes. Finally, I’m not a pronator so everything I tried on is a neutral shoe.
Zombie-apocalypse ready? Asics always manages to make a good shoe. However, these are a little too cushioned. On the plus side, the gel system is nicer than foam cushioning and will last much longer, especially during intense zombie runs. Both have Heel Fit technology that will mold to the shape of the heel over time to make a more personalized shoe. So, that’s a big plus.
Bottom line: The Nimbus would be my back-up shoes in the apocalypse.
Asics GEL-Cumulus 13
Zombie-apocalypse ready? Overall Brooks was my favorite brand to try. I’d never worn a Brooks shoe before and was pleasantly surprised. I found that both shoes slide on easily, which is a necessity when you’re awakened in the middle of the night by a dead moan outside your safehouse. The Ghost 3 felt a little loose in the heel but was otherwise nice. The Glycerin 8’s outsole is a high durability, abrasion-resistant rubber that should provide the longevity I’m looking for. Glycerin also has a ‘Sprung Platform’ makes the shoe curl up in the toe. I found that this helps propel me forward.
Z Award: Best shoe to be wearing during a zombie chase? Brooks Glycerin 8. It’s easy-on, breathable mesh and features a sprung platform to assist in forward momentum.
Bottom line: These shoes just might give me the advantage over the worst kind of zombie of all—the fast kind.
Brooks Men’s Glycerin 8
Zombie-apocalypse ready? The Wave plate in these shoes is just not my thing. Although the Mizuno line has a lot of great technologies that they build into their shoes, the Wave is one that I can’t seem to get behind. It makes the shoes feel very stiff and unforgiving. The Wave Rider 14 has a smaller plate so it isn’t as noticeable, but I wish there was a bit more arch support in this shoe.
Z Award: Best shoe to give to your slow-moving “friend” who is bait: Mizuno Wave Creation 12. Good shoe but takes a while to get used to and in a zombie pandemic there is no time.
Bottom line: Both of these shoes have Mizuno’s X10 technology in the outsole to create a longer-lasting heel, which could be very helpful when outrunning zombies who are willing to go the distance.
Mizuno Women’s Wave Creation 12
Brand: New Balance
Zombie-apocalypse ready? New Balance was my initial favorite going into this. I had tried the 890’s out before and really enjoyed them. They have a good balance between flexibility and stability, which allows me to roll forward smoothly. The 759 was too stiff for me due to the full length Abzorb board, but the updated version (880), which is due out soon, is supposed to have a smaller shank. Oddly, the 890 has the same board but was nowhere near as noticeable for me. The 890 was also the lightest-weight shoe I tried, which can make a big difference in how fast my legs get tired.
Z Awards: Best shoe to wear if you’re a zombie: New Balance 993. Good support shoe for decaying feet. Best shoe to give to your slow moving friend who you like: New Balance 890. Great shoe with good bounce. Non-runners and runners alike will enjoy this one.
Bottom line: When its snack time for the walking dead, you won’t want anything weighing you down. New Balance provides one of the lightest option to get you off their menu.
New Balance Men’s 890
Styles tested: Vomero 6, LunarGlide
Zombie-apocalypse ready? I love the Vomero’s cushion and heel wrap and the LunarGlide felt lightweight, but I don’t think these shoes will last long. I also found that my feet moved around a bit from side to side in the LunarGlide if I was taking a sudden turn.
Bottom line: Don’t get me wrong, Nike is a great brand with some great shoes, but neither of these are pandemic friendly in my opinion.
Nike Men’s Vomero 6
Zombie-apocalypse ready? Although I have some Saucony Kinvaras that I love, these two shoes disappointed me. These shoes have stiff heels in the uppers that make them difficult to get on. Triumph 8 had a better balance of cushioning and flexibility and made for a more comfortable run than the Ride 3.
Z Award: Best shoe to wear if you want to be eaten: Saucony Ride 3. Stiff upper in heel and not a lot of bounce.
Bottom line: Both the Triumph 8 and the Ride 3 would not be shoes I’d want to be wearing while chased by zombies.
Saucony Women’s ProGrid Triumph 8