When Anton won Miwok this year, he got a bunch of comments on his blog about his shoes! Nobody asked what did he eat, how much salt did he take, did he have a detailed race strategy, etc. It was all about the shoes.
Can you imagine some sports reporter standing courtside with Venus Williams, asking,"Venus, great job on your Wimbleton win. Your fans are dying to know what shoes you were wearing for the match!"??
I understand that ultrarunners are on their feet more than any other athletes and that foot issues can derail a good day. I know that it is important to have good shoes that are comfortable and don't cause blisters, but I am not expecting my shoes to have magic powers that make me run faster. Although it certainly would be cool if I could run like Anton just by wearing the same shoes as Anton!
I have always had a utilitarian attitude toward my shoes. For the first 15 years of my running "carreer" I just bought whatever pair of Nikes that was on sale at the local Big 5. The only injury I ever had was the season I bought a pair of Adidas, so I took that as a sign from the running gods that I should keep wearing Nikes. I know I had a few pair of Air Pegasus shoes, but otherwise, I have no idea what models the shoes were (maybe "Air Cheapos"??).
Then I started running ultras and decided to get "fitted" for some shoes and I was told I over pronate and should wear stability shoes. So I bought the "Air Stabilizers" or whatever Nike's motion control shoe was and I hated them. I think the motion control just felt funny. The next recommendation was the Asics 2140. They work well and I am on my 4th pair, but I suspect I would have been just as happy in cheap Nikes.
For trail shoes, I have been running in the Montrail Streak and will be for Western States. I chose them in an even less scientific manner: I won them. They seem to keep me running well so I am happy. I guess my only complaint is that they don't make me run like Anton. ;)
Have you found the perfect pair of shoes, or are you a fickle consumer like me?