Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Great Shoe Debacle

Last summer when I first started running, I wore a random pair of New Balance shoes that I had sitting around the house. They were awful. My feet got really hot (and, consequently, stinky) and the shoes rubbed at a spot on my right ankle which left me with blood dripping down my foot after each run. So, on the advice of, well, everyone, I decided to go to a local specialty store and be fitted for running shoes.

Now, my town has a couple of different running stores. I picked the one I was most familiar with and went for it. The guy who helped me looked at my feet, looked at my shoes, and talked to me about my running habits (where, when, how far, etc). He brought me out several pairs of shoes and eventually, I ended up with the Mizuno Waveriders - a neutral shoe. They were great. From the start they were comfortable and supportive. I was in love.

Fast forward to the beginning of February. I noticed that my knees were aching after runs, even relatively short runs. While trying to figure out what the problem was, I realized my shoes were probably shot. I had been using them consistently for 8 months or so and it was time to replace them.

In a moment of disloyalty to my original choice of running store, I dragged my husband out to the newer, shinier running store with the "video gait analysis" - designed to find your perfect shoe. My first clue that this was not going to end well should have been the fact that the employee assisting me looked to be about 12 years old.

The child looked at my arches and then had me run barefoot on a treadmill while he recorded my exploits. After reviewing the video in slow motion, he told me I was a moderate to severe overpronator. Accordingly, my "special helper" brought me several pairs of shoes to try on, all of which felt like bricks strapped to my feet, especially after wearing the Mizunos for the last several months. Eventually, I decided to go with the Asics Kayano because it felt the least brick-like of the shoes I tried on.

They.were.Terrible. Yes, capital T terrible.

The first time I went out on a run in them, I ended up with a huge blister on my left foot and a lot of tightness in the right ankle. The tightness in my ankle stuck around for the next run, joined my pain in my left knee. By the third run, I realized the shoes were forcing me to run on the outside edge of my right foot, which in turn was forcing my left knee to bear all the weight on my runs. The ball of my right foot was barely even touching the ground.

Luckily, the store has a pretty liberal return policy so I was able to get a full refund when I took the shoes back. My next step is to go back to Store #1 and buy a new pair of Mizuno Waveriders.

I am sorry my love. I was wooed away by the fancy-schmancy "video gait analysis." I've learned my lesson, and I won't stray again.

1 comment:

Angie Eats Peace said...

How frustrating! I am glad you finally got shoes that work for you.