Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Not a Fetish


I've got shoe issues. Not a fetish or anything. I just have this extreme fear and dread about getting new running shoes. I somehow believe that if I get the best shoe possible for me, then I will be the best runner possible (for me). If I get the worst shoe possible, I will be the worst runner and someone who limps around with blisters, bunions, black toenails, plantar fasciitis and fungus.

In prep for my marathon training, I tried on too many shoes to count. I ended up with the New Balance 1224 (stability) because the dude at the Boulder Running Co told me that I pronate and that I need stability (if he only knew how much stability I really needed in all areas of my life - geez if a shoe could only fix that problem). Anyway, he also said it was a good shoe for distance running. And did I mention it just happened to be one of the most expensive shoes in the store? ($139 - ouch).

So off I go in the NBs. They worked pretty well. Hell, they got me through my training, my marathon, my half marathon and many miles between. At certain points I got killer blisters, a sore heel and a black toenail. A sign of bad shoes, or a sign of the fact that if you are going to put that much time on your feet, bad stuff is going to happen to your feet.

So here I am today. In desperate need of new shoes. I've tried on a few including the infamous Gel Kayanos, but ended up just ordering a new pair of the NBs. I ran in them yesterday. Only five miles, but I wasn't feeling it. It was like running on cardboard. I could feel the start of a blister. My knee hurt by the end. Is this in my head?



Seriously, you seasoned runners - tell me what to do. I've done the whole gait analysis several times. I am a moderate pronator. My left foot is slightly larger than my right, so I have trouble with the right foot slipping. My feet are average width. I have recently tried the Asics Gel Nimbus. Not a stability shoe, but the cushioning felt wonderful.

How do you choose your shoes? Comfort alone? How do you know by just taking a jaunt around the block or the running store that this is a good shoe for you to run super long distances in? How important IS the shoe anyway? Hell, people run barefoot. Maybe I will just start doing that. I would look like an earthy girl without a care in the world (except the shards of glass in my heel, the dirty syringe sticking out of my big toe and the used condom stuck to the sole of my foot).

18 comments:

  1. I wish I had some life changing advice for you, but I don't. I have to put all my trust into the shoe guy at the running store. It was trial and error for a little while until I found the 'right' shoe. Once I started logging more miles I got inserts (again, recommended by the shoe guy). Belive me, I have tried to get rid of them.

    My feet are all jacked up too. I have a blister the size of a quarter on the ball of my left foot and it never goes away. Just changes form from time to time. I have also lost my share of toenails. I think for those of us who were not blessed with the perfect running feet it is just something we have to deal with.

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  2. As I mentioned a few days ago in my blog:

    Back in 1989, Dr. Bernard Marti, the leading preventative-medicine specialist at Switzerland’s University of Bern (along with his research team), discovered that runners wearing top-of-the-line shoes are 123% more likely to get injured than runners in cheap ones.

    Take it for what it is worth.

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  3. My GT2130s served me well for so long, & all of a sudden, I think I need to go shoe shopping again! I know the right shoe makes a huge difference, having run in the wrong ones for a while. When I finally found THE ONES, it was like a miracle.

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  4. I just switched shoes as well since my traditional shoe that I went through 4 generations of (asics nimbus) has a new version with a silly design that irritates my big toe. So I put my trust in the shoe guy and tried every pair in the store before making my decision. My boyfriend told me after we left the store that 2 hours was too much time to pick a shoe, but for me it is almost a bigger decision than a new car.

    The new shoes are still brand new. I took them out for a 2km stroll and they felt pretty comfortable but I'm waiting for a training opportunity that I don't mind cutting in half if something goes awry before giving them a real test drive.

    Go with feel and gut instinct. If you can pick a pretty color then good but I'd rather have comfort than style.

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  5. I'm with Kristen...the man at the shoe store put me in Adidas Brevards, and I've been running in that brand for the last 3 years. I guess I got lucky and they worked!

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  6. Oh man. I think it is just luck sometimes. I have had no problems, and can wear almost any shoe, but my husband seems to have a problem with EVERY shoe he tries :(

    I guess keep trying! I wish there was a way to do that for free - put a few miles on the shoes to see if they work then take them back if they don't.

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  7. I wear the kayano 15s and LOVE LOVE LOVE them. they are so cushiony and havent given me any problems at all. it took me a few tries to find them though. luckily my store you can take shoes back even when worn.

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  8. I depend on Brooks Adrenaline GTS and smart wool running socks. I'm serious about the socks. I NEVER get blisters when I wear them. I ran my half marathon in them and my feet came out perfect (well...except for the bunions, but those are from genetics)....no blisters. Definitely try them.

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  9. I had to LOL at several things in you post. Just hilarious. The shoe totally depends on the runner. I've dropped money on shoe brands that felt great in the store and then on the long run I just didn't feel it and they now sit in my closet. It's been trial and error for me.

    I love my running store b/c they push what works - not what's most expensive. I run in a middle grade shoe (about $80) and love it. I'm a fan of the Saucony Glide or Ride and the Asic Gel Nimbus

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  10. Wish I could help. Was running in NB for years and they were great. This spring they changed them narrowing the shoe for a snugger fit. great since I got them for their wider fit. Just about finished with my last pair of older ones that I stockpiled before they were discontinued. I expect I too will be in shoe hell for the next few months as I try to find a new shoe that works for me (i hope its not years)

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  11. I'm having a super shoe crisis too. I currently have the Gel Nimbus 10s, but I think they're giving me arch problems. I don't want to go to Brooks (not cute), but I'm thinking I might. Let me know if you crack teh code!

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  12. I got lucky and found Saucony right away and just keep getting the same shoes over and over again. My running partner is a head case about shoes, though, so I can feel your pain.

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  13. This is like the question of the decade for runners. After running in the wrong shoes for about 600 miles I finally discovered my Mizunos. I dont have stabilty issues (in running, def have s.i. in life). I love them so much I keep buying the same ones. I will be devistated if they switch them up. Might buy 2 pair next time, just in case. I'm due for a new pair very soon.

    Good luck. You gotta just try them on a few shorter runs then buy out the stock when you find something that works for you.

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  14. They say that the best advice one can have is from his his/her own self. This is like one of the dillemas that runners are always asking. . Well, you have a lot of friends here. LIsten to them. ; )

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  15. If someone discovered that runners wearing top-of-the-line shoes are 123% more likely to be injured - aren't they also the people 123% more likely to be running more? Skewed statistic. If one shoe slips due to slight size differencial, I ask - how do you lace/tie your shoes. Many women find better comfort with Lace Locking: http://www.fieggen.com/shoelace/locklacing.htm
    My daughter couldn't find any shoes that fit right until my husband locked the laces and the back of the shoe stopped slipping.

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  16. There is nothing worse than shoes that aren't comfortable and/or cause an injury/irritation.

    Shoes are so personal. If it's not a sure-thing, run in your new shoes on a treadmill. Try to log 3-4 miles at least, maybe even twice. Most running shoes worth their salt will allow you to return them.

    You have some great suggestions here. Buy an extra pair immediately once you know you like it. Alternative lacing helps with blisters... You're not alone!

    [Sorry I've been absent. Crazy week!] :-)

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  17. I'm late to the party on this one, but I think the whole running shoe thing is overrated. As I got more and more interested in running and logged more and more miles, I worried less and less. I finally ended up just looking for a lightweight trainer that would work. There are plenty of good ones. I've even logged a lot of miles in beat-up racing flats. By the way, I've been formerly diagnosed as "mild overpronator" as well.

    So, for the record my answer is DS-Trainer and the occasional run in racing flats.

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  18. I feel your pain. I know that is not what you were looking for - no great advice here. I just went through this same thing about a month ago when I found out the NB Shoes I had been running in were discontinued. I searched high and low and couldn't find anybody with them in stock still. Luckily the model that replaced them did work for me.... but that was after trying two other shoes and being really stressed about it.

    Good luck!

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