Well this is the post where I write a bit of a confessional, a don’t do what I did, and offer a bit of advice.
I had shared/whined a bit about an injury to my foot for the past month. I experienced some serious Achilles issues that wouldn’t go away and finally got some help from my awesome PT friend. We found the source of the issue on a physical level but two days ago I had one of those Aha! moments.
My friend has asked me multiple times what shoes I have been wearing and I confidentially kept pointing to my Asics. He asked if I was wearing orthotics and I kept confidently pointing to my Superfeet. I had also just been to my totally awesome massage therapist who was able to pinpoint the injury and grabbed my ankle and said something was going on there when I was running and he would love to know what it was.
I forgot all about that until I went for a much needed 7 mile run. It felt great mentally and physically except for the fact that my shoe felt rather loose. I wanted to tighten my shoes but I know that is what causes the extensor tendonitis. And then it dawned on me…
Flash back to a shoe shopping excursion back in April where I spotted some really fun looking Asics. The girl in the store pointed to my shoes and said, “Yours are a stability shoe and that is a neutral.” I shrugged it off and told her I didn’t buy them for the stability it was just the shoe I had been running in for 2 years. And then I bought the cool blue shoes.
You see, that space I was feeling, that extra room, was due to the shoe being “neutral.” For over a year I had been wearing a shoe that firmly held my heel in place. Changing this was the cause of that ankle and heel movement that my massage therapist was trying to pinpoint.
This running coach is the source of her own apparent self inflicted injury. All for the sake of fun colored shoes!
The lesson here? When you need a good pair of shoes go to the expert. Take the time to get properly fitted and find the shoe that works for you. Once you have done this and know what works you can then buy online or on your own. But stick to the parameters that work for you.
Ease into your new shoes. Don’t put them on and do your 20 mile Saturday long run for your first run. Walk around in them. Use them for short runs at first.
If you are training for a half or a full marathon consider buying two pairs at the beginning of training. Alternate between pairs and you won’t have to break in another new pair until after your race. You will be able to spread your mileage out between the two and have a sturdy but trusted pair for your race.
If you have had issues with your feet consider adding some support inside. I had a nagging bout of plantar fasciitis a few years ago. I found Superfeet to be a great help. They come in all sizes and levels of support. They even make ones for high heels and also for ice skates. I have a pair I switch in and out whatever shoes I chose to wear for various occasions.
Most importantly don’t buy a pair of shoes based solely on their color. This is not going to help your running and hopefully you are moving so quickly on the road that no one has time to notice what color your shoes are. This technique will only leave you feeling blue as you watch the green bleed from your wallet trying to fix your aching body.
Happy healthy running!