If you’ve been reading this blog for a few months, you know that I’ve been going through some Running Shoe Blues. Here’s a quick recap:
- I had been wearing Saucony Mirage 4s for two years, but they were becoming scarce, so I decided to try something new
- Local Fleet Feet fitted me with Saucony Guide 9s, which gave me horrible blisters
- Tried to exchange the Guide 9s, but didn’t get much help in the store. Decided to have them special order the Saucony Mirage 5s.
- After two weeks of no communication from the store, called them only to find out that the shoes had never been ordered. Finally actually ordered them.
- When I finally got the Mirage 5s and started wearing them, I ended up with a quad strain and pain in my right foot due to not enough room for my toes
- I have been training ever since in my old Saucony Mirage 4s and dreading more forays into shoe shopping.
A couple of weeks ago, Fleet Feet emailed me that they were having a sale where if you brought in an old pair of running shoes, you’d get $20 off a new pair. Now, I know I said I didn’t think I’d shop at Fleet Feet again after the above saga, but it was a good deal, and a good opportunity to get rid of the Mirage 5s, which I had definitely worn too much to do a full return.
I went in on a Saturday, and started from scratch–I was measured and observed by a staff member (who couldn’t have been more than 18 years old), and she determined that I could wear neutral shoes, which I pretty much already knew. I tried on 7 or 8 different pairs, with a big focus on trying to find something with enough room in the forefoot/toebox that my big toe wouldn’t rub like it did with the Mirage 5s. The two pairs I liked best were Brooks Launch 3s and Nike Zoom Vomero 10s. I chose to go with the Nikes because the material in the toebox was much more flexible, whereas the Launches were a bit more stiff, and I was worried about my toe rubbing.
After having put about 13 miles on the Nikes, I’m already pretty sure they won’t work out. After every single run in them, I’ve had varying degrees of pain and tightness in my right Achilles and calf–especially after my 5 mile leg of the 100 on 100 Relay. I think this can be attributed to the fact that for the last 2+ years, I’ve been running in a shoe with a 4mm heel-toe drop, and the Nikes have almost a 13 mm drop. I probably should have factored that in more closely when trying shoes on, but I was just so happy to have enough room for my toes that I didn’t really think about anything else.
I’m planning to go back this week or next and exchange the Nikes for the Launches, which still have a higher heel-toe drop than I’m used to, but smaller than the Nikes. I also remember distinctly feeling like there was less under my heels in the Launches. I just hope that my toe doesn’t end up rubbing.
I’m just so frustrated. I feel like back when I was only running 10-12 miles a week, shoes didn’t make so much of a difference. I just bought a pair of Nike Frees at Olympia Sports and ran in them. I didn’t know anything about cushioning or heel-toe drop or minimal vs. maximal and I was FINE. I didn’t have any injuries or pain for the first year I was running regularly. I have to wonder how much of my shoe issues this year are due to overthinking things. Like, is it really the shoes that are the problem, or is it my over analysis of the shoes’ potential impact on my body that’s messing with me? Somehow it feels like having more knowledge is actually more of a burden than just being clueless and buying some random shoes and going with the flow.
How long did it take you to find your “perfect” running shoe?