Blog

Blog

Monday, August 20, 2012

Running Shoes - Friend or Foe?

     People ask me all the time for shoe advice, where to go, what brand is the best, etc.  It is different for each person but there is no denying that for a runner, the absolute most important piece of equipment (unless you are a barefoot runner) are your shoes.  They can make or break a run... in some ways I didn't realize how important it was to be 100% properly fitted to your running shoe.  My first marathon I went into the Nike store and pretty blindly picked out a pair of shoes, they worked like a charm and so comfortable! Never blistered, never lost a toenail, both of which are pretty unheard of for marathon runners. 
     
      I finally found this amazing running store, Runner's High 'N Tri, a few years ago and have been going to them for all my running shoe and triathlon needs!  They watch how you run, do gait assessments, look at the wear patterns on your previous gym shoes and then set you up with an amazing pair of shoes.  They introduced me to the Newton brand a few years ago with the most amazing pair of bright pink shoes! I absolutely LOVED them!! I literally ran them into the ground and wore them as long as I possibly could but I finally decided that I needed a new pair for Chicago Marathon training.  I got Newtons again... this time an awesome blue...

   Shoes don't get much cooler than these!  What I didn't realize at the time was that these shoes were slightly modified... They felt great when I tried them on and jogged around the store but disaster struck when I really started running in them.  I went out for a 3 mile run, which is really nothing in the world of marathons, and my heels started to bother me, when I looked down I realized that they were bleeding.  I thought maybe it was because I was doing a speed workout.  I'll spare you those pictures...  I cut my run short and then re-laced my shoes when I got home, thinking maybe that had something to do with it.  After that I seemed to be fine in 3-4mile run.  However... a few weeks ago I needed to do a longer run and decided that 10 was a good distance.  I wasn't even 5 miles into my run when I was in some major heel pain again and discovered yet again that I was bleeding!  I stopped running and thought maybe I needed more room in my shoes, so I took my socks off and ran without them, it helped for a little while but I realized that my entire stride was thrown off because I was trying not to make it worse!  Naturally I had decided to do a big loop that day, so I was at the furthest point in my run, so I couldn't even cut it short!  I stopped again and took my shoes off and ran barefoot for a while, which certainly helped the heel problem but it was on asphalt on a 90+ degree day and I was slowly burning the bottoms of my feet.  I eventually finished my 10 mile run but my pace was at about an 11minute mile, which is NOT typical for me. I was so frustrated! 

    I finally decided I would go back into the store and talk to them, maybe they had a suggestion on how I could fix the situation.  They were incredible!   They told me that I should never bleed with shoes, maybe blister but never bleed!  For a while I thought I just needed to break in the shoes.  After talking with them we discovered that the shoe was slightly modified from my previous pair.  I apparently over pronate, which means my foot rolls in more than the ideal 15% when I hit the ground.  So in order to accommodate this I need a shoe that has a little more stability... I had NO idea!  Newton changed the heel support in the blue shoes, which resulted in my heel rubbing on the back of the shoe until I started to bleed... not fun!  They were so great and since they didn't have the old shoe in stock, they ordered it for me! 

    I got the new ones about a week later...
     It doesn't get much better than Pink!!! Aren't these awesome?!  It was amazing, I didn't realize how just putting them on I could feel such a drastic difference.  But really... the test is in the run!  So I decided to crank out another 10 mile run... I felt great!  I was running down the street when I suddenly saw a car on a side road stop and just watch me... always a weird feeling... Then the woman in the car got out and came over to me.  She said that she saw me running down the street and loved my shoes so she made the driver turn around so she could ask me about them!  That was a first!  I ended up running 10 miles at a 7:40 pace! I've never run that fast!!! These are like "magic shoes"!  They are such a better fit, no blisters, no blood! Just a happy runner!

   So a few things I want to leave you all with...
       1.  Don't assume that all shoes from the same brand will fit the same!
       2.  Go to a shoe specialty store like my favorite - Runner's High 'N Tri - had I gone to a department store or a Sports Authority type of place, I probably would have been screwed and not been able to get the right shoes!
       3. Figure out what you specifically need... I now know that I over pronate so I need shoes with a little more stability.  Knowing how you land on the ground makes all the difference in the world!
       4.  Your running shoes should make you want to go for a run, not dread a run just by looking at the shoes!

A HUGE thank you to Runner's High 'N Tri for helping me to get the right pair of shoes!  I'm gonna dominate the Chicago marathon with these magic shoes! :)

Alright... I'm out to go do a long run!

13 comments:

  1. I am struggling right now trying to find a new pair of exercise shoes. First I want the look but then I want them to function!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow, I just LOVE the retro vibe- takes me back to the 80's, these are wonderful! Also, they are very safe for those who like to run at dusk or early morning!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great advice! I got the worst shin splints running in bad shoes. I threw them out and made the investment in a good pair and never looked back

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm not a runner, but can definitely understand how the right pair of shoes can make all the difference in a workout. I recently spent weeks looking for new sneakers to wear to the gym because the ones I had, while nice (they were New Balance), had too wide of a toebox for me and were heavier than I liked. There were days that I spent hours looking for the right pair and once I found them it was great!

    I think it's awesome that your running shoe store ordered your right shoes for you! That's amazing customer service that you just don't seem to find any more!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Love the colors and love Nike! I wear Frees when I run and can't image wearing anythign else!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Sounds like a great store. I always go to my New Balance store (where the employees will be honest, even if the recommendation isn't New Balance.) What pains me is the price - I go through a new pair in about three months!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I always have the hardest time finding the right pair of runners and always wear them out within four months, but I wind up wearing them for closer to a year 'cause its so hard finding the next great pair, lol. Great tips! The best luck in finding my next pair has mostly come from a smaller franchise called the Running Room.

    ReplyDelete
  8. OMG I want some of those shoes!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I had to switch to a different brand of shoes after the company slightly changed their style so the side of the shoe hit my ankle bone. I was so disappointed but it goes to show how you have to try on your shoes and even then there is no guarantee they'll fit right until you get out and run in them. We just moved to the Chicago area so I'll have to check out this store! Good luck in the Chicago marathon - I wanted to do it but it's closed so I guess I'll need to volunteer!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I want these shoes so badly. I am a big runner so this would be great! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I need a new pair of sneakers. The ones I have are great for completely flat surfaces but not for hills or mountains they hurt my feet. They are EasyTone ones and I feel like I am going to fall overboard. Plus they are really heavy.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by and reading Running Design! I'd love to hear from you with tips, suggestions or your stories about running and design!