Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Shoe Saga

ok, this is really boring, but what the hell.

Was in the market for new running shoes. This need was accelerated by the fact that while at the gym, I left shoes above my locker when I showered and I accidentally knocked one off the ledge toward the back. I pulled up there and saw nothing ... except a big black hole in the corner that looked like a vertical locker could fit into it. I was the last locker before the turn and it seems that this hole in the corner behind the lockers runs 8 feet from the locker tops down to the ground. Maintenance guy couldn't get it either. Gone.

Went to the Competitive Foot in Western Springs, great store, knowledgeable people. Lessons to be learned: (1) listen to what they say, (2) if the one they don't recommend in the store feels ok on the test spin, it's probably still not ok, (3) people change from motion control to stability, or stability to neutral, even when their flat feet don't change, (4) Chi running-like techniques work.

They almost demand you bring in the old shoes to check wear patterns. Amy, the nice sales clerk/manager/whatever (and an ironman and multiple marathon finisher), saw a wear pattern on the outside, which is pretty odd for flat feet. And it was a stability shoe, so it should have offset the low arch to end up with a neutral landing. Seemed over-supported. Used to wear motion control before I took up tris, then after a couple of years of that moved to stability when I got off my heels.

These Saucony Hurricanes felt really good on the test run.

I went with them even though Amy said they were probably too much support. They had that denser inner half of the sole to keep the foot level. Went out one time, felt ok running actually, but couldn't walk well during cool down. Normal walking heel to toe almost had me rolling an ankle with the rotation off the inside. that's bc I tested them running out the door of the store, then back in, and didn't really walk at all. dummy.

The store is cool, if undamaged they'll exchange. So I went with these, the Saucony Omni, recommended by the guy working that day.

Yes, another Saucony. The brand was recommended due to the large range of support for different people. used to go with Brooks Adrenalines (3 straight pairs), but they made them "better" (a/k/a different) and added a really high internal arch. Odd for a shoe marketed for stability, since low arches need stability but the the high shoe arch could dig in. Well, these Omnis felt good, kinda like the old Adrenalines. BUT, it seems arch was too high here and cutting in. It didn't have that hard anti-roll sole but the little it had was cutting into arch. Felt good on the test run, felt good for 4 miles next day, then ... blister. They were ok to bring back, so I did ... again. I don't fault the guy for the fit, they seemed fine and only started digging on climbs.

Finally, the Saucony Trigon

It's a neutral shoe recommended by Amy which, of course, was the level she suggested I may need a week ago when this whole thing started. She said my stride is completely off of my inner foot and is probably bc I've become a better and/or stronger runner over the years. I've been trying hard to stay off the heels and lean forward like the books nowadays teach, which interestingly enough I started NOT to ease pressure off the feet, but to alleviate knee pain from the old football knee ligament(s) injury. Knee used to be in pain for a day or more after anything over 5 miles, but the new stride has pretty much eliminated that. Went 6.5 today, shoes felt fine. We'll see how far I've come and how the shoes work when marathon training starts.