Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My New Kicks

This weather is fantastic. I'm taking full advantage of both the extra hour of daylight and the balmy temps, as you can see:

This is how I roll
While you're looking, check out my new shoes. They are rather remarkable for a couple of reasons. First, they are awesome and really comfy.  Second, I just bought a pair of shoes back in November, and I sure as heck haven't put 500 miles on those yet. I'm generally pretty frugal, so it is pretty unusual for me to buy a new pair of shoes unless the old ones are starting to wear out (which they weren't).

My shoe-buying extravaganza was prompted by a trip to Fleet Feet about a month ago, when I learned that I have high arches and underpronation (aka supination). Armed with this new-found knowledge, I declined the $450 inserts the Fleet Feet guy was trying to sell me and turned to the internet for further research.

Well, it was a little embarrassing to see that I'm learning something so fundamental to running (shoes and stride type) after 10+ years of engaging in the sport.  Me so smart. I've noticed that my shoes always wear down first on the outside heel edge, and just thought this was normal. Apparently this is one of the major signs of underpronation.  To make matters worse, I've always gravitated toward trail running shoes even for road running, because I like that they have a little extra grip and that they usually come in darker colors, as I usually quickly irreparably stain my shoes (I am attracted to mud). Well, trail shoes are usually more stabilizing than your typical running shoe. A stability shoe is not what you want if you underpronate like me--you want a neutral shoe to encourage movement of the foot during the stride. And with lots of cushioning to absorb the increased impact high-arched strides put on the heel and forefoot.

The Asics Nimbus kept coming up in my Internet meanderings as one of the best shoes for supinators such as myself. (Asics in general seems to get good marks for people with high arches, it seemed). I decided I'd check them out at Dick's. They felt great, then I checked out the price tag. $125!! I've never spent that much on a pair of shoes. In fact, I usually go to Marshall's and get whatever running shoes they have that fit (usually in some wild colors, but I don't care as long as it isn't too crazy).

But I decided that my poor feet were worth it, and bought them. And a $20 pair of high arch inserts to stick in them, too.

I can't say that the hip pain went away (if it has gone away) because of the shoes, but it could very well prevent the inflammation in my hip from occurring again after the cortisone shot. Also, I know that by helping to compensate for my stride, this will help my running efficiency, which is by itself an excellent reason to get properly fitting footwear. And did I mention, they're awesome?