Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ugly Feet and the Shoes They Wear

The first and most important rule of running is simple - get the right shoes. 

Go to an actual running store and have someone size you properly. Ideally, this person will also ask you questions about how much you do (or plan to) run, on what surface, what you are looking for, etc. Maybe you are looking for a minimal shoe, or something with a wide toe box. Maybe you need stability inserts. Who knows? The running store people. They know.

Are they perfect? Nope. But they know more than the average newbie and certainly more than me. 

So why is this rule hard for me to follow? Why is it every time I am due for new shoes, I go back and try on a bunch of new models, hoping for a new winner to emerge?

Because I don't love my shoes. Maybe it's a vanity thing, but I adore the fun colors that many running shoes come in.  And the smooth, sleek designs of some of the new minimal lines (like the Brooks Pure Project) are awesome.  AND i want comfort. I want my shoes to feel like puffy clouds carrying me along.

But guess what?  Cute shoes and wide, messed up feet don't get along. Bah. 

Early on, I was fitted with Brooks Adrenalines.  I was lukewarm from the start. The shoe fit right - I grudgingly agreed with the store employees.  But when you need a D width, there are no cute colors - just the basic. And when you have a collapsed arch, you need some support - and support is heavy. Not sleek and stylish.  I so, so wanted to be able to wear a more minimal shoe. I loved the idea and the science behind it all.  I did a bunch of research and thought that the Altra Zero Drop Intuition would be perfect. 

I bought them right before Colombia. I loved them. They felt wonderful on my feet. I walked a ton in them while in Colombia (still in love!) but didn't get a chance to run in them until I got back. The first few runs went pretty well. Different, but do-able. Unfortunately, it actually went downhill from there...

I wrote about my feet going numb on NYE.  That has happened every time I have run in those shoes since then. I have tried to integrate them more slowly and only for shorter runs. On Saturday, I decided to run the first part of my long run in them and see how they went, planning to change them at 4 miles. My feet were already feeling super tingly by mile 2. : / 

I'm not giving up, but I am starting to move on. I can keep slowly working on my Altras to see if I can train my feet and calf muscles to handle them.  But in the meantime, I have a marathon to train for and I don't want to injure myself over stubbornness! So, I bit the bullet and headed back to the running store yesterday, once again planning to try on a few different options. I asked for the new Adrenalaines (I've been running in the 12s, 13s came out in the fall), as well as the Brooks Ravenna, Ghost and Pure Cadence. Pure Cadence are adorable, but tight. No wide width in the Pure Project line. Even sizing up wasn't going to make it work. Sad. The Ghost and the Ravennas felt pretty good, but the new Adrenalaines just felt better. I knew I had to stick with them. So, Perry and I took the new pair out for 4 miles last night. Well, he let me wear the shoes.

I still don't love them. 

But they're growing on me...

1 comment:

  1. Hey Cat! I am a Ghost wearer, so I feel your pain!