October 29, 2012

get the right shoes

Last week I mentioned that I got a brand new pair of my shoes for the half, and it made a huge difference in how my legs felt.  Then I was asked how you go about picking the right running shoes.  Best option?  Head into a running store.

If you go to a running store they usually will have you walk or jog in front of them, sometimes on a treadmill, depends on the store how 'intense' it is.  Then they will evaluate your stride and how your feet fall, and determine what type of shoe you need.  Me?  I need all sorts of support.  I have weaker ankles and my feet tend to roll in when I step or run (not a ton, don't imagine some weird crazy walk please, ok?  :o)  So I need a shoe that will help keep that from happening.  For the last 18 months I've been in Brooks Adrenaline GTS 12's.  The shoes work great for me.  The only downside is so far they don't come in any awesome cool color combos.

Yep, sometimes you have to pick function over looks.  I know it sucks to not be able to go in and pick the shoes you think look the best, but in the end it is better to have something that will work with your foot.  I love the look of Nike Free Runs, I have a pair in a neon orangish color.  So much fun.  But I absolutely cannot run in them, not more than maybe a mile anyway.  They just don't offer enough support and my legs end up KILLING me.  So they are strictly strength shoes or a pair of sneakers to wear around.

Something else to keep in mind when purchasing running shoes is to make sure you get them large enough.  I can wear a size 7.5 or 8 shoe.  But if I intend to run in them, especially for any sort of distance, I need an 8 or 8.5.  When you run your feet swell, and you don't want your toes pounding into the end of your shoe over and over and over again (goodbye toenails).  When they first told me I needed to go up in size for running distance, I was a little frustrated because I was having problems with the heel slipping.  But they were able to show me how to tie the shoes to prevent the heel from sliding around, while still having enough length in my shoes to keep all my toenails intact.  I believe I have at least a finger's width of room at the end of my shoe.

Can you get by just going into the store and grabbing a pair of shoes that you think will work?  Probably.  I wore a random pair of Nike's for probably the first six months or so that I was running.  But if you plan to work up to long distance running, I think it is very beneficial to go into the running store to have your stride evaluated.  Your legs will most likely thank you.  If you won't be going to a running store, I found this tool online that might help you pick the best shoe for you.

Don't forget shoes only last 300-500 miles, don't hang on to your shoes too long!  It sucks to have to buy new ones more frequently, but again, your legs will thank you!


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Megan said...

I have been running in Nike Free Run's and my chiropractor recently told me they are most likely the cause for my back pain during and after my runs. She told me to try out Saucony's, have you had any experience with those?

Crazycurls said...

Thanks so much for your post! I may have to ask for this for Christmas!

Amanda said...

It is almost time for my to replace my Brooks too! Although I do not run nearly as much as you do! I think Brooks are the way to go, I have the Trance 10.

Kim3278 said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Brooks. When I started running a few years ago and I got fitted that is what I owned. I then migrated down to an Asics. When I went back to get started again just recently, I scored my second pair of Brooks. I've decided I will no longer live without them!