When I started running I started off with Asics on the advice of my daughter. They were a great beginning shoe. I don’t remember which model I had at that time, but I really loved my Asics. I liked the way they looked and the way they felt. The model I had (purchased at a department store) was perfect for someone who ran (SLOWLY) less then two miles at a pop. When it came time to get a new pair of shoes I went back to the department store to get another pair. They didn’t have what I originally wore so in my uneducated world, I just picked another model of asics. At that point in time I was increasing my mileage a little bit (not drastically), which I’m sure was related, but shortly after I bought the new shoes I was halfway through my run and felt a big strain in my foot. It hurt! I ended up walking back home and never wore the shoes again.
I decided it was time to ditch the department store and go have my feet analyzed at Fleet Feet. They did a very thorough measurement of my feet, watched me run and walk to check my gait, and narrowed down the types of shoes that would work well for me. Out of the three or four options, I narrowed in on a Saucony (Triumph 11). Oh my goodness. What a difference that shoe made on my runs! I ordered my second pair of Saucony on-line once my first pair wore out. Perfect. I ordered my third pair on-line when I needed a new pair, but I selected a different color. Something was… off. It just wasn’t comfortable. I felt like my gait was wrong in the shoe.
Back to a running specialty store I headed. This time it was Big River Running. I switched away from Saucony and they put me into Brooks Glycerin. Oh my gosh! This has probably been my all time favorite shoe. I went through two pairs (and a few hundred miles) in those two pairs of shoes. Over the last month I’ve noticed tight calves, a flair up of my plantar fasciitis, and knew I needed a new shoe. So on-line I went to order a new pair. It’s a two year old model so I was having a difficult time finding that model in my size. Because I know that I really need to take care of my feet I headed back to Big River Running after my race (more about the race in a second).
They have a new machine that shows you pressure points as you run. It’s a pad on the floor and you take a bit of a jog and step squarely in the mat on your left foot then turn around and run back, landing squarely in the middle of the pad with your right foot, then again on the left and again on the right. It analyzes pressure points as you run. You know me and my love of data. I was geeking out over this process. BUT – I was upset by the results. It clearly indicated that I’m overcompensating with my strike on my right foot to alleviate the strike on my left foot (left is the one with the PF issues). I thought I’d been pretty careful to not overcompensate because I know the injury risks that occur when you do. And yet, here I am, doing exactly what I’ve been trying so hard to not do. Good piece of information to have. Now I know what I need to work on.
I wanted to stick with my Glycerins because I’d had such great luck with them, so he brought out a pair for me to try. My Glycerins were 13s. The new shoes were 14s. A newer model, which by all intents and purposes should be better, am I right?? Nope! Wrong. I went out and took a bit of a run up and down the sidewalk in front of the store and I could tell that they were different from the 13. I asked if he had recommendations and he said that he did have a few things in mind if I wasn’t opposed to switching models and/or brands. I wasn’t.
He brought me a Brooks Ghost. I’ve heard good things about them. He also brought a Nike. That was a big nope! And he brought out a pair of Asics. I did not like the Ghost. The toe box felt all wrong. I tried the Asics and the heel slipped. Other than the heel slipping, the shoe felt AH-MAZING! He said he’d tie the laces with a heel loop and see if that made a difference. Well, I’m pretty sure the heel loop just changed my life! I took them out for another run with the heel loop tie and, even after just having finished a race, it felt GOOD to run.
So… we’re back at the beginning with an Asics. Gel Nimbus -19. I can hardly wait for my runs this week! I’m super excited. I’m sure the new tenny-runners will make me run faster and jump higher, just like new tenny-runners did when I was a kid. Yay, toys!
OK – race day – I’ll be quick. Four minutes shaved off my time from last year’s race!
Told ya I’d be quick about the race talk – might recap the race later.
What’s your go-to running shoe? Are you brand loyal or do you change brand/models up? Do you wear one pair of shoes until they wear out, or do you have a couple pair that you rotate through (I’m thinking that I need to do this but don’t know if it’s smart)?