Let’s Talk Running Shoes!

For years I wore my old standby ASICS for both training and races. I was fitted for them at a running store way back in 2010 when I started running again. For a long time, you couldn’t have convinced me there was another shoe that would work well for my super flat feet. Then, I started losing toenails, reading studies about running shoes, and seeing the variety of options my friends were wearing. So, I wondered if I was getting it all wrong.

Last year I read a study that concluded that injuries were reduced by 39% when participants alternated running shoes. Specifically, two totally different brands of running shoes. Some experts also say there is still some benefit in injury reduction if you wear the same brand, but alternating them gives the shoes time to dry and bounce back to its usual structure. Even after reading all this, my stubborn self went out and bought another pair of ASICS.

Then, I started losing toenails consistently after races. I even had some numbness in a couple toes after my 3rd marathon that took almost 2 months to return. Discussions about shoes started to take place during runs…everyone had their “favorite” shoe, but so many of my friends who are great athletes wore a variety. Minimalist, maximum support, neutral, moderate stability. Long run shoes, race shoes, track shoes. The options seemed endless. I decided to go back to a running store and get re-fitted. It had been nearly 8 years in the same shoes. Maybe it was time?!

I went to Fleet Feet with an open mind. Tried on my first pair of “not” ASICS. First of all, my feet had grown, and I was wearing a half size too small (I am told running shoes should be 1/2 – 1 size larger than your usual shoe size). Apparently getting older as well as running multiple marathons can change your shoe size. I tried on a pair of Brooks Revennas. What a difference! The same level of support I need for my flat feet (I am told I should never run in neutral or minimalist shoes…bummer). They felt 2lb lighter than my old clunky ASICS. A month later, I was so enthralled by the discovery of new shoes that I went back and bought another pair, this time Nike Zoom Structure. These were to be my new track shoes, and I loved the Brooks for long runs and racing.

Kimberly owns a pair of Nike Pegasus and loves them. Erica has loved her Altras over the years. Running shoes only last 200-500 miles depending on type and use, so no doubt all three of us might have shoes on our Christmas wish list this year. But really, do we need any excuses to buy more running shoes? I think not.

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