My Reasons

My Reasons

This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Roadrunner Files: Shoes

In 2000, when I first started getting into distance running, I had a hard time finding a shoe that worked for me. Blisters, shin splints, and sore foot muscles and bones were driving me crazy! I talked to a few people that told me to look online. I went to the runnersworld website as well as others, and searched on their shoe finders. I found some adorable shoes, but soon learned that "cute shoes" weren't always the same as "functional shoes." The one's I did find, I thought were ok as far as looks, but the function could not be beat. I bought them, and was thrilled with the result. Ever since then, I have been running in these.

The Saucony ProGrid 3. They fit like a glove, the cushion makes me feel like I am running on the clouds, the foot support is phenominal, and they last a LONG time. I love these shoes!

The past few months, I have found that my toes have been hurting during runs. Weird! During the 1/2 marathon a week ago, my toes really hurt. And finally during my long run a few days ago, they were killing me! I finished my long run on Saturday, only to find that my toes had literally broken through my shoes! No wonder. This has never happened before. So weird.

This has me abolutely freaked out at the moment! Breaking in a new pair of running shoes, just one month before a marathon is NOT recommended. Even if you don't get blisters and the obvious pain from bad shoes(or shoes that don't fit your foot style), the change in shoes forces your muscles and bones to adapt to the new feel, and it can cause some problems with gait and running performance for a while. Shin splints, and sore muscles can occur. Not good a month before a marathon! I have been pretty irked with the whole thing.

I have always wanted a running shoe that not only performs well, but that I am also in love with as far as looks. Saucony has amazing shoes, but I am not a fan of how they look. I am such a girl. I have stayed with them though, because for me, these shoes might as well have my name written on them. They fit me that well.

Today at the shoe store I decided to branch out and look at and try on other brands. I ended up laughing at myself as I landed right back where I started, in the isle with the Saucony shoes. I guess I am just a very loyal customer to that brand. I know they work, and I trust the shoe. And, I found a shoe I thought was cute!!! Finally.

They have two new running shoes out right now, and I am still torn between the two.
There is the Saucony Mirage, which I think is adorable. I love the colors.

It is lighter than the shoe I am used to, and more flexible (which is the new big thing for running shoes right now).

And they have the Saucony ProGrid 4.

Which is the exact same shoe I have had for years, with some great upgrades.

I tried both pairs on and ran around the store, over and over and over again. I just can't decide. They feel different from eachother for sure, but they both felt good, in different ways.
Do I want the shoe that I know will work, and that is even better than what I have already had, but isn't as cute, or do I want the shoe that is a new and upcoming style for running, is more flexible, and is a color and style that I really like?

I was crunched for time, so I came home with the pink and black mirage. Now that I am home though, I am having second thoughts. New things scare me.

I am taking them to the gym tonight and that will be the deciding factor. I can return them after one "trial" workout according to the sales clerk. So we will see.

Aside from my own shoe ordeals, here are some tips I learned about choosing and wearing a running shoe.

If you have a high arch, loosen your laces, it makes a big difference.

Try to buy your running shoes at least a half size bigger. A full size bigger is preferred. I don't know the reason for this, but it really works!

Yes, there are different shoes for trail running vs. road or treadmill running. Make sure to tell the sales clerk what you usually run on.

It greatly matters if you turn your feet in or out, and there are shoes for both.

Shoes should never give you blisters, even if they are brand spanking new. Blisters= a shoe that is not right for your foot.

Even if you feel like an absolute idiot, run around the store with both shoes on AND LACED UP, before buying any pair of running shoes. Walking in them will not show their true ability or lack of.

The average running shoe should be replaced around 300-500 miles. A lot depends on if you run inside on a clean smooth surface, or outside in dirt, water, rocks, etc.
I can tell I need new shoes by the fatigue in my legs after a run that would normally be easy for me. I also keep track of miles I put on my shoes.

There are shoe stores out there that will watch you run and help you find the perfect shoe for you. If you prefer that, go for it. It may be more expensive, but in the long run (no pun intended) it could be worth it.

There are also numerous websites out there with info on how to pick running shoes. This one is excellent.

I am curious to see how my shoes work for me. I will let you know tomorrow!

What shoes have worked or haven't worked for you? Any more tips or tricks from you runners out there when it comes to shoes? Let me know.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

very intersting Becky!! I actually heard from a friend that you buy them a size bigger because when you run your foot flattens or something like that--that was a great thing to learn since my toes before that would always fall asleep! Next time I buy running shoes, I'll have to check out that website. Good luck with the new shoes!