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These Shoes are Made for Running

February 21, 2008
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My knees hurt so badly after that race that I couldn’t have run another mile in my old Nikes. Sorry, I loved those shoes–they’re the first pair I called myself a runner in–but they were hurting my joints and my feet (I’m still losing a toenail to them). I went to Fit2Run in the Mall at Wellington Green, where I knew they could help me find a running shoe that would actually fit my needs. Sure enough, the kid that was in the shoe section started asking questions right away–what ditance are you training for? How many miles a week do you run? What surface do you train on? What’s most important to you in a shoe? First, he mapped my foot (really!) on this nifty little machine just to tell me what I already knew–I have a flat foot. He suggested that, whatever shoe I bought, I would also have to buy $60 orthotics. “We’ll see about that,” I thought. Then he loaned me a pair of “neutral” shoes and had me run a little on a treadmill so he could observe what I also already knew: my foot rotates outward sligtly when I run–in other words, I supinate. He then asked me how much I wanted to spend on shoes. I said between $80-100. He brought out the Nike Structure Triax 11+, the Brooks Adrenaline 8, and the Asics GT-2130. The first one I tried was the Nike, and it felt like a house slipper, it was so cushioned. Then I tried the Brooks and the Asics. The Asics were pretty much out of the running right away; at that point it was between the Brooks and the Nikes.

The triathlete kid pointed out that the 8s were way too small–we tried 8.5’s–still too small, especially when I pointed out that I was starting to run in Throlos, which are particularly thick socks. We moved up not only to 9s, but 9 wides. As I kept trying the shoes on and running around the store in them I realized that I liked both the Nikes and the Brooks, but the Nikes were just so much more cushioned. I decided on those. I also invested in New Balance shoelaces, which are shaped kind of like sausages and make it unnecessary to double-knot your laces–why aren’t all laces designed that way?
What I thought I’d like to do, in two months or so, is buy the Brooks too, and just rotate them. Runners’ wisdom says that rotating between two models of shoes prevents injury by allowing preventing repetitive wear of the exact same places in your joints.
Final tab for my first-ever “real” runner’s shoes–ouch!–$95.

Modified to add: as of March 6, three weeks and 55 miles later, this breaks down to $1.72 per mile.


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