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Cayman Islands Marathon running shoes through the years

type-aBy Steve Speirs From Run Bulldog Run

Well, it’s almost that time again for one of my favorite races, The Cayman Islands Marathon. This year will be my 8th consecutive “Cayman” and with just 11 days to go, it’s time to decide on the race-day running shoes. I’ve had several shoes in mind over the last couple of weeks – the Topo Athletic Fli-lyte, Saucony Kinvara 7, New Balance Fresh Foam Zante 2 and the Saucony Type A – but before I reveal the 2016 shoe of choice, I figured it might be fun to look back at the shoes I’ve worn at previous Cayman Island Marathons. Here goes with a quick summary since my first Cayman Marathon back in 2009:

2009 – Brooks Launch Red/Orange

09-brooks-launchWeight: 9.5oz
Drop: 9.5mm – Heel 25mm/Forefoot 15.5mm
Original Price: $90

2010 – Saucony Kinvara Vizi-Pro


Weight: 8.0oz (size 9.5)
Drop: 4mm – Heel 18mm/Forefoot 14mm
Original Price: $90

2011 – Saucony Kinvara Citron

11-saucony-kinvara-citron-blackWeight: 8.0oz (size 9.5)
Drop: 4mm – Heel 18mm/Forefoot 14mm
Original Price: $90

2012 – Saucony Kinvara 3 White/Blue/Orange

12-saucony-kinvara-3-white-blue-orange-3-694x520Weight: 8.4oz (size 9.5)
Drop: 4mm – Heel 23mm/Forefoot 19mm
Original Price: $100

2013 – Saucony Virrata Citron/Blue

13-saucony-virrata-citron-blue-694x520Weight: 7oz (size 9.5)
Drop: 0mm – Heel 17mm/Forefoot 17mm
Original Price: $90

2014 – Skechers GoRun2

14-skechers-gorun2-850x496Weight: 6.9oz (size 9.5)
Drop: 4mm
Original Price: $80

2015 – Saucony Kinvara 5 Black/Grey/Citron

15-saucony-kinvara-5-black-grey-citron-846x520Weight: 8oz (size 9.5)
Drop: 4mm – Heel 22mm/Forefoot 18mm
Original Price: $100

2016 – Saucony Type A


Weight: 5.9oz (size 9.5)
Drop: 4mm – Heel 16mm/Forefoot 12mm
Original Price: $100

Over the years, I guess the Saucony Kinvara has been my go-to shoe with 4 out of 7 appearances. The original Kinvaras were awesome, and although Versions 2 and 3 kept many of the same great features, the newer models just don’t do it for me like the originals did.

The Brooks Launch in 2009 was the heaviest shoe I’ve worn, and also the shoe with the highest drop – 9.5mm. I was coming back off a stress fracture that year, and remember thinking I needed as much cushion as possible to protect my foot over the challenging 26.2 miles. Nowadays I can’t really imagine wearing a shoe as chunky as the original Launch, but it was definitely a fun, reliable shoe in its day.

My favorite shoe was probably the now-discontinued Saucony Virrata – I always felt fast wearing the 7oz Virrata, and the nicely cushioned, yet zero drop platform seemed to agree with me too. I really wish Saucony would resurrect the Virrata, and know several local runners who agree with me too.

The Skechers GoRun2 was probably the strangest shoe choice for the Cayman Marathon, but in 2014 the Kinvara wasn’t really doing it for me, and there weren’t many other decent shoe choices in my rotation either. Thankfully, they performed well on race day, and aside from wet shoes and socks from particularly humid race conditions, I had no foot issues whatsoever.

So, for 2016 I’m going with the Saucony Type A, which just so happens to be the lightest shoe I’ve ever worn in a marathon. I love how they feel on my feet and the outsole drainage holes should be a great feature for quickly removing water on race day. Wish me luck!

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