Monday, August 16, 2010

Running Shoe Blues

A blog or two entries ago, I briefly mentioned my new running shoe buying fail.

I need some advice. Seriously. Any advice you runners have, tell me.

I went to Fleet Feet, had my gait looked at and foot measured, yadda yadda. The Sales Associate stuck me in some Stability shoes- she said, which I already knew from my self-analysis, I slightly overpronated. Cool. So I was hoping she'd put me into a shoe that could correct this issue for when I run, but be comfy. Every shoe I tried on I didn't like. I ran outside in about 8 pair. No, it wasn't a long run- just up and back down the sidewalk. None were comfortable to me- They made my legs and shins feel like they were being pounded on with every step. WTF?!

I did the wet-foot test at home where you can see the type arches you have. I have normal arches, which look like the "Normal" foot on the far left.
Supposedly, this type of foot needs a Stability shoe- which 'ole girl put me in and that I didn't like.

According to this, and several other charts online:

STABILITY (LOW TO NORMAL ARCHES)
Recommended for runners who are mild to moderate overpronators and who generally have low to normal arches. These runners tend to need a shoe with a combination of good support and midsole cushioning.

Suggested Stability Shoes:
• Brooks Adrenaline 10
• Mizuno Nirvana 6
• Mizuno Inspire 6
• New Balance 1225
• New Balance 760
• Nike Equalon+ 3
• Nike Structure+ 13
*This sounds perfect for what I need, right? I don't even know if she put me in any of these because she didn't tell me any of the names- damn.

CUSHIONED (NEUTRAL - NORMAL TO HIGH ARCHES)
Recommended for runners who need maximum midsole cushioning and minimum medial support. These shoes are best for biomechanically efficient runners (minimum pronation) and midfoot or forefoot strikers with high or normal arches.

Suggested Neutral Shoes:
• Brooks Glycerin 7
• Mizuno Wave Rider 13
• New Balance 1064
• Nike Vomero+ 4
• Nike LunarGlide+
• Nike Pegasus+ 26
* Let's be real. I'm not little. I'm 5'10 and weigh over 170 pounds. I need cushioning for all that weight surging into my poor feet. This kind of shoe would seem to help with that.

I have cushioning shoes now. Adidas Bounce, here. I really like the cushion and "spring" they give me. My knee used to REALLY hurt me a year and a half ago when I would run. I don't have pain in my ankles, shin or knees anymore since I started 10 miler training 4 months ago- and I think this may simply be because I've gotten smarter with my running since a year ago (i.e. more stretching, taking care, etc.- and I'm running more miles these days, no knee pain.) The SA suggested that if my current shoes aren't hurting me, don't try to fix what's not broken.

So what should I do? Should I try a shoe that is suggested for my arch/gait type, or simply stick with the ones I have?

An athletic trainer friend of mine ALSO told me that if my shoes I currently run in don't give me problems to stick with them....Hee hee- a small part of me just likes the thought of a new and different pair of running shoes.

I can always return the shoes if I end up not liking them, I guess, but who wants that hassel.

So, people who run- what do you run in (ANY OF THOSE MENTIONED ABOVE?) and what is your foot type? What do YOU suggest?

Happy Monday. It's a muggy one here in Alabama today. Surprise, freakin', Surprise.

13 Comments:

Erin said...

I've been running in the Mizuno Wave Nirvana 6's for about 6 months now (was in the 5's before that). I LOVE LOVE LOVE these shoes! I have a really high arch, one bad ankle, and severely over-pronate (both ankles turn inward at an alarming rate). These shoes have helped me so so much. I never really had any pain or transition time in them even at the beginning - they've always been comfortable. I also love Fleet Feet because even if you hate the shoes after running in them for a month, they'll take them back. Hope you find some shoes you love! :)

Kayla said...

I'm not sure the exact shoe I have right now but they are Brooks and once I got used to the fact that they're a little heavy... I absolutely love them. I've had less issues running (I alternate from outside to treadmill so shin splints happen often) and they have held up for a long time. Not sure if this helps, I'm not an expert just a fellow girl trying to run comfy!

Ramblings of a Small Town Girl

Kathleen said...

Aw finding shoes is probably the hardest part of running! I went through a few years where they kept discontinuing or changing my shoe every year and I kept having to find a new one.

One big mistake that even the specialty running stores make is to assume that slight over or under pronation requires a stability shoe. It really doesn't. I slightly over pronate and wore cushioned/neutral shoes for years. Last year as I increased my mileage, I ended up having to ditch the cushioning and use a firmer insole. Now I don't know how I ran in the super cushioned shoes that I once did.

The most important thing is that you are comfortable! Ask to try on some neutral shoes for comparisons sake and if something doesn't work for you, try to explain why so the consultant can figure out the problem.

As for when to get new shoes, most would recommend switching shoes every 300-500 miles. You can stretch that out a bit longer if you alternate shoes every day (rather than wearing the same ones every time). A good rule of thumb is that by the time your shoes start to LOOK old, the shoe has probably been dead for a long time and isn't doing your running any favors.

I think the consultant is probably right though. If the Addidas shoes are working for you, buy another pair and wear those. I stockpiled Asic Gel-Nimbus 8s for three years (I seriously bought every pair in the world because I hated the new 9 model) and I didn't want to have to switch shoes!

Good luck!

Becca said...

I have a normal arch as well and run quite a bit during the week. I recently bought Asics GT 2150 after doing a lot of research and am VERY happy with them! SO comfortable and have awesome reviews from many runners and running mags/blogs/etc.

I have always been an Asics shoe girl. I think I've tried just about every type of Asics there is and have never had a problem with any of them. When I switch brands, I have issues. I have a normal arch.

meghan said...

I overpronate also. My first shoes that I loved were Brooks Adrenaline. When my first pair died I bought my second pair and they killed my poor feet! I guess they changed the model or something and I felt like there was no cushion at all. Now I run in Adidas shoes. I'm on my 3rd pair and I love them because I feel like they have a bunch of cushioning in them. I'm not sure what the ones I run in are called, but on the bottom of them it says pro-moderator...I got them at Fleet Feet. So if you like the Adidas you run in now, maybe you should check out some Adidas stability shoes.

I have pronation problems too--bad! And my knees hurt if I don't have good cushioning. But I have found two shoes that work for me, and I alternate between them (both so they'll last longer, and so my body has a chance to recover from any strangeness of gait caused by a pair). One is the Asics Gel 1140, and the other is the Saucony Omni ProGrid 7. If you're at all interested, both are slightly older models (I stockpile when I find something I like, just like Kathleen) and you ought to be able to find them for cheap at Sierra Trading Club or its ilk.

Oh, and something that has helped me is to look at Runner's World's annual shoe guide. You can find the right issue at the library if you don't subscribe.

Let us know what you end up with! Good luck!

Beth

Girl i'm HORRIBLE with shoes! I found the Nike pegasus (listed above) and fell in love. I'm only worn those for the last 2 years (numerous pair of the exact same shoe - even the same color!) Best of luck - i'm sorry i'm not more help!

I'm an overpronator, former clydesdale triathlete that is still learning to run. That said, I run in neutral newtons and vibram bikilas, as well. I am no longer a fan of shoes that "manage" my foot's attempts to move me thru my running gait.

And while I know everyone is different, I would sugggest that you maybe look into adding in strength building exercies that are focused on your core areas and your lower legs. Jumping jacks, jump rope, quick feet drills, etc...have all helped me deal with what you described about lower leg pains while running.

Good luck...

spiffy said...

I am an under pronator so I wear down the outsides of my shoes and I have super high arches - I am also in running shoe limbo as the ones I have been using are just simply too soft and cushy and giving me back pain. I don't think you need a stability shoe if you are a neutral runner- there are a ton of neutral shoes out there and I think the adidas you are currently wearing are one of them. It also depends on your mileage. I can run up to an hour in cushioned shoes, but anything after that I need more stability. It's trial and error babe, good luck :)

Blake said...

I have wide feet and I am a slight over pronator.

I don't prefer a lot of cushioning, but prefer a lot of support (I find that a lot of support help keeps everything "in line" and I have less hip and back soreness) I have run two marathons, and countless shorter races. Ideally, I run 35 miles per week with one speed workout on a track per week, although it is unfortunately usually closer to 25 miles per week.

My go to shoe used to be the Brooks Adrenaline. I have probably had 10 pairs of Brooks - sometimes the exact same shoe, sometimes they change up the color a bit from year to year. I've tried the Brooks Ghost and liked it because its lighter, but I find that it has much less stability.

I'm currently running in the Nike Pegasus (nice, simple, basic old school shoe, but gets the job done). I like the Pegasus and would consider getting another pair.

I've also tried the Nike Zoom Triax, but never went back. It was a decent shoe, but didn't love it.

I would say, if you find a running shoe you love, there's no need to change it up unless its for a specific reason.

Good luck!

Genesis said...

i totally missed this post over the weekend and just saw you mention it in your most recent post.

ive given up on trying specific shoes. i have actually moved to minimalist shoes, like the nike free's and the air zoom line. for a long time I wore asics that was supposed to help with shin splints, then I also got orthotics...none of them helped me run with ease or with less pain, and thats when I decided that I was just gonna try the minimalist approach because what else have I got to lose? and you know what, shin splints GONE! seriously. now Ive also been doing other stuff like foam rolling to help with that, but seriously, minimalist shoes are seriously lighter. try it out though just to see how it feels.

ledz21 said...

This is a good idea for me because I'm looking for a good running shoes. I got lots of idea in this post. Thanks!!!

keens

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