Monday, March 19, 2012

New Shoes

After getting super inspired cheering for the all the Marathoners running the DC Rock and Roll Marathon this weekend (including my awesome cousin Jennifer, who ran the 1/2 marathon! She is such an inspiration!), I went out to buy some new shoes.

I always go to a running store to buy shoes, because the people at general sports stores are usually pretty clueless and it's a great way to support local business. Running stores in particular are usually really involved in the communities they serve. They host group runs, support local athletes, and are generally more interested in your satisifaction than anything else.

Here I am sporting my fav frees. Pro-tip, ultralite shoes are awesome for hiking because you can put them in your pack when you need a break from your hiking boots.

However, I'm constantly fighting with the knowledgeable employees at our neighboorhood running store to give me a lighter shoe, even though I pronate like crazy and really shouldn't run in anything but a clunky stabilizer. The last time I tried to replace my 2-year-old Nike Frees, they talked me into a pair of extremely chunky Brooks shoes. The muscle pain I'd been experiencing went away, but I was hating what the heavy shoes did to my gait and my energy. I eventually stopped wearing them and went back to my trusty frees.

This accurately describes how I felt trying to do morning runs in my "stabilizer shoes"

So this time, the sales/running expert and I agreed to compromise. She would find me the lightest possible race shoe that still came with some cushion and support for my ridiculous heel striking tendency, and I would stop trying to injure myself by trying minimalist shoes. We ended up with the Adidas Boston 3. I've only taken them on two 3 mile runs so far, but I like them! They're quite light, but much more supportive than the Frees. I'm excited to try them out on a longer run next weekend!

The Adidas Boston 3

Of course, the Grige had to one-up me and get himself a pair of the New Balance Minimus shoes. They are new to the barefoot market and brag a neutral heel position, which his high arches and perfect gait can handle. They also look extremely cool. I am way jealous.

New Balance 00 - MR00RB - Men's Minimus Road Shoes
Sexxxy Red!
Of course, via my verbal contract with the staff member helping me, I'm not allowed to try them for myself. Tears of an Emily, because they look awesome and the ladies version come in the prettiest blue! Maybe if we take another big hiking trip, I'll buy a pair of the trail version to wear around camp sites and on day hikes, but shhhhhh, don't tell!

Luckily, the Grige reminded me of the drawbacks to wearing a barefoot shoe less than two days after our purchases. The most importanting thing about making the switch from a regular running shoe to a barefoot or minimal running shoe is to ease in really slowly. I've heard recommendations of starting with only a quarter mile at a time before switching shoes.This helps your calves adjust to all the extra work they will be doing in a barefoot gait. The Grige (because he is invincible) went out and ran 2 miles on the first go. I got to watch him limp around the apartment all day yesterday as a result. Poor guy! I guess my chunky (by comparison) shoes aren't so bad after all!

1 comment:

  1. Ok, you don't want to hear this because your a Nike Free wearer, but have you ever tried Mizuno's? I usually wear the Brooks Adrenaline GTS (and by usually, I mean I have owned 9-10 pairs), but I went through a rough patch with injuries and I wore the Mizuno motion control shoe for awhile -- the Wave Alchemy. It's lighter than my Brooks even though it was a step up in support. They're well known for being incredibly light flexible.