I have been a loyal Asics girl since I first started running. I happened upon the brand by chance, and I totally fell in love.

For the past couple years, I’ve been wary of trying anything different. What if a different brand doesn’t work for my feet? What if I get injured because of switching? What if I absolutely hate them after spending $150 or more?

But recently that feeling of absolute brand loyalty has begun to crack, especially after trying out a Mizuno pair that I ended up falling in love with on the first three-mile run. Plus, I tried on some HOKAs at an expo recently and can’t wait to buy my first pair.

Here are some reasons to wear different brands of running shoes:

Working your muscles in unique ways:

Different brands (and even styles within a specific brand) work your foot and leg muscles slightly differently, making you less likely to get injured from the repetitive motion of running.

You can find a new favorite:

You won’t ever know if a pair of running shoes is the absolute best fit and feel for you unless you try other kinds. Plus, you should have more than one pair of running shoes anyway — why not make them different brands?

Lots of lessons on shoe weight and other specifics:

If you’ve ever browsed through a running shoe guide, you’ll notice things like weight, heel to forefoot drop, stability, cushioning and flexibility listed under each shoe’s chart. As you run for more and more years, you’ll learn which of these are more important for you, especially in the injury-prevention department.

Long runs and higher mileage mean you need more cushioning:

If you’re running a lot of miles at once or during the course of the entire week, you’re likely going to need some extra cushioning to keep you feeling good and injury-free.

I’ll typically only do long runs using my more cushioned shoes rather than those that don’t have quite as much cushion or are more worn out.

Style and color:

OK, so those aren’t the best two reasons for picking a shoe to carry you through miles and miles of pounding the pavement, but that doesn’t mean you won’t take them into consideration.

Different brands’ logos and seasonal colors may appeal to you more than others. I love my bright purple-pink Mizunos that have teal accents — the colors make me happy each time I put them on, and that only pushes me out the door faster for my morning run.

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