Sunday, February 12, 2012

Finding the Right Running Shoes

The whole family has been sick for 12 days with everything from ear and throat infections to the puke bug. Not good. Really not good. As a result, I've got practically no training in since coming back from California almost two weeks ago.

But yesterday, I escaped the sickness for a few hours to go to an amazing shoe fitter who spent two hours with me along with two other customers helping us find the right shoes for our situations. I learned so much! He has some very informative videos on YouTube so check them out!

I learned that I'm wearing probably the best insoles you can get off the rack (obviously in this guy's opinion, but I sure like them!), but you can always benefit from some customization. For three times the price, I can get the same type of insoles custom molded to my feet. It's not in the budget right now, but it's way cheaper than medical orthotics and something I'll plan for in the future.

I learned that changing the way you lace a shoe can change its fit entirely! It was really neat. I'd put on a shoe and say that it felt a little uncomfortable in a spot, and he'd re-lace them in some crazy way and suddenly they felt amazing. Apparently, traditional shoe lacing puts pressure in the wrong spot on our foot and prevents it from moving correctly as we run.

I also learned that my shoe size is a 9.5 Wide. What?!?  My first pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11s that Road Runner Sports fitted me for in the spring was a size 8.5 wide. When I got a new pair in October, I went a half size up because of a constant black toe nail on my left foot. The black toe nail never went away and the other toes on that foot began to get badly blistered. My other foot was always fine. Turns out of my left foot is my bigger foot. No shock. But I now need a full size larger than what I started running in! This definitely contributed to my development of plantar fasciitis.

New Balance 1080 v2
After trying a number of shoes in a number of sizes laced a number of ways, I was torn. I tried these on and they felt really great except being a little narrow because they didn't have a wide in stock. But, then I found out, they are a neutral cushioning shoe opposed to a stability shoe like I've been wearing. I definitely over pronate so should I switch from a stability shoe? They felt sooo nice, though!

When I voiced concern over the stability issue, he recommended going with the Brooks Adrenaline I've been wearing in what we believe would be the correct size, 9.5 wide. He said whether I should try the neutral shoe depended on how much money I wanted to spend to experiment with shoes. Hmmm, I admit that at that point Road Runner Sports VIP 90 Day Wear and Love Them Guarantee was pretty appealing, but this guy had given me a lot of good information and I like buying local.

Either way, he'd have to order because neither was in stock in my size. I was really undecided so we decided to order both. I paid for the Adrenaline but if i like the New Balance better when they come in I can go with those instead. The other factor with the Adrenaline will be Adrenaline GTS 11 versus the new Adrenaline GTS 12. I am unsure which he was ordering and the store suddenly got busy, but I've never tried the 12 and am not sure how they'll feel.
I might have fallen in love with the NB 1080v2 when I discovered I could order this color.
I'm waiting the week or so until the shoes come in and then I'll go try them on to see what I think. Of course, if I'm switching to a neutral shoe that opens a wide world of possibilities. I'd love to try on Brooks neutral shoes as I've liked Brooks a lot, or maybe their lesser stability shoes would be a better transition. I have no idea.

I learned a lot, but I still have a lot of questions! I might drive the poor shoe fitter nuts before all is said and done.

On an unrelated positive note, I think I've found a chiropractor I'm really going to like. We decided to switch practices, but I really wanted a sports chiropractor who could help me with my plantar fasciitis and anything else that comes up. I think I found him! He's Active Release trained which was part of what I was looking for and certified in Spider Tech taping and sounded confident he could help me.


  1. I got fitted at a local running store. The guy who fit me was AMAZING - he has done the BEST job the few times I've seen him, and he also fit Jay and my mom for shoes. And I just recently learned... he ran the Olympic Marathon Time Trials and finished in 2:06. Ummm, yeah.

  2. Did he let out a little gasp when he saw you feet? Or, what there a subtle head shake? I am glad you found someone to help you out. I like the orange ones.

  3. Ann - Ummmm yea. LOL! That's great. I've been fitted by running stores a few times, and most recently by Road Runner Sports who does the whole foot analysis thing but turns out for me they were way off. Go figure. So awesome that you havesuch an awesome resource.

    Stacie - ha, you know you're at a running specialty place when he didn't even blink an eye at my feet! haha.


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