Thursday, January 5, 2012

A tale of two shoes…

About a month ago, I was able to get my hands on the new Saucony Guide 5s. If you are a Saucony fan, or even if you are not, you may have heard of the re-vamped design. They are lighter and changed from a 12mm heel-to-forefoot drop to an 8mm heel-to-forefoot drop which is supposed to discourage heelstriking. I wore the shoes for a couple of races (a 10k and a half marathon) and then a few training runs, with the last training run being an 18 miler. After some of the longer runs, I noticed unusual foot pain across the middle portion of my foot. Around mile 12 of that last long run, my feet were in a lot of pain and I also had pain in my hips. All very unusual. I ran my next long run of 20 miles this past weekend in my older Guide 4s and had no issues so I chalked it up to the shoe.



As luck would have it, CR had given me a gift certificate to a local running store, Runners Fit, for Christmas. There are benefits to the fact that he works right next door to a running store. I headed over there at lunch with my Guide 4s, Guide 5s and the certificate in hand. My thought was I would just start from scratch and let them fit me for some shoes. I brought my older pairs of shoes along so they could look at the wear patterns if that would help in the fitting process.

I ended up walking out of the store with not one but TWO pairs of new shoes. I decided to use my gift certificate to buy a pair of Brooks Adrenaline. (Apparently, they are the worlds #1 shoe for women, who knew?). Not only did I get the Brooks Adrenaline BUT they took back my old shoes and gave me a new pair of Sauconys in a different size! I had my other Sauconys for about 6 weeks, they had probably 60 miles or more on them and definite signs of wear on the soles. I had no intention of trying to return them but they insisted on either swapping them for the Brooks or trying another pair in a new size. I ended up going with a new pair in another size so I could rotate pairs when I train. So unexpected and greatly appreciated!



The story on the size is this… I am kind of in between a wide and a normal width shoe. Half the running shoes I have purchased were wide width, half have been normal width. All have worked fine. The theory on these particular shoes is that due to foot swelling when you run, I am probably good up to 10 miles in a normal width. As I continue to run past that 10 mile mark my foot continues to swell slightly causing the normal width to become uncomfortable. It seems logical so I am going to go with that theory and see what happens in my new wider shoes.

While I was there, I also got an impromptu lesson on form. Remember how I said the new 8mm shoe was supposed to discourage heel striking? Well, guess where all the wear was in my shoe? Yep, the heels were starting to grind right off. Hmm… So much for the shoe geometry helping my form.



The store owner told me that I was most likely leaning back too far when I run so I need to work on being a little more upright (being careful not to lean too far forward) with my hips under me. I have been trying to be more conscious of my form when I run just based on things I have read on proper form so it was nice to get some advice from someone who could kind of tell what was happening and offer specific tips to correct it.

13 comments:

Ann said...

Sounds like you had an awesome experience getting the shoes you need! Yayyyyyyy!!!

Lora Abernathy said...

Wow! What a great store! Very interesting theory about the feet swelling. Nonetheless, here's to hoping these guys work out for you!

Ewa said...

There are very few stores like that. Wow!
8mm drop is still quite a bit, in my experience and top of the foot pain seems to be quite typical for many who transition from a regular to more minimalist shoe (or barefoot). Glad you found something that is working for you.
Happy running.

Carolina John said...

That is cool to get advice from the guy in the running store. They know way too much. This reminds me I dropped the ball on my "how I got fast" series without ever posting about running form. It is the key.

RhodeRunnerGirl said...

What a great store to have near you as a resource for information. I love running stores.

lindsay said...

My local running store lets people exchange shoes that were recently purchased too - I think it's super awesome of them! I'm sure the shoe heel theory does work, but it can't be the one fix. Like the store person told you - working on your form/posture will help.

Holly said...

That's great that they took your shoes back and gave you another--that's a rare thing.

I hate when they update a shoe and it no longer works and I have to find another model or brand--I've noticed that more with Asics than Mizuno though.

Rotating your shoes will be great for your body & your wallet. :)

fancy nancy said...

Sounds like a great trip to the running store!! They sound so helpful! I love when stores are like that....it keeps you coming back! Thanks for the tips on Galloway! I was nervous about feeling slackerish but I will try it out and see! I can get over feeling like a slacker if I rock my race! :-)

Kate said...

What great service! And coming home with two new pairs of shoes is a big win. :)

Laura said...

I love Brooks! That's all I've been wearing for the last 5+ years. Hope it helps with the odd aches/pains. Btw, I got my 1.2 mile swim in today... thanks for the inspiration to do it! :)

Glenn Jones said...

Yeah. Heel strike is a tough thing to correct. Have you read "Brain Training for Runners" by Matt Fitzgerald? He has several methods to help with the problem, will shorten your stride, and make you less susceptible to injury. Good luck!

Suz and Allan said...

It sounds like you guys have a great running store! I just talked my sister in law into trying Saucony running shoes and she's really enjoying them.

Amanda said...

Sounds like a great running store. Hope the new shoes help the pain issue.