Friday, August 22, 2014
The Shoe Guide For Runners
Earlier this week I listened to one of my single friends talk about some of the dates she had gone on and how after one date, she could tell that she wasn't really into him, but thought that maybe she should give it another try. As she was talking about her dating experience, I kept thinking about my running shoes ( even though I WAS listening to what she had to say). I thought how my experience or relationship with my running shoes has been very similar to her dating stories.
Even though you don't want to judge something ( or someone) on the outward appearance, it is still what catches our eye first. There are several shoes that I just wanted to like so badly because of how they looked, but the feel was just off so I had to admit to myself that it just wasn't "The One".
I've taken a few shoes out for a run and with in the first four miles I knew that they weren't for me. Yet I felt bad about making that decision only after the first run and thought that I ought to give them another try. But really if they weren't comfy after the first 4 miles, did I really think things would change?
I have to admit that when I first started running I never had a problem with shoes and each one that I tried on was a good fit. Since I've started running longer distances, I've had such a problem finding the perfect shoe. I blame this on knowing a little bit more about running shoes now then I did back then. Perhaps I am over analyzing things a bit too much. One thing that has been helpful for me is that I am an Ambassador for the Altra running shoe brand, therefore I've been able to test out different styles of their shoes.
You may have seen the campaign going around Social media called "Embrace the Space".
This is to show how unique the toe box is in the Altra shoes and how it gives your toes room to "Spread Out". This is my favorite feature of all the Altras and the one thing that has made it hard for me to find another brand of shoe that I like.
I believe that each of these shoes may be the perfect shoe for someone out there but not all of them were the perfect shoe for me. I am just giving you a brief description of what I thought of them......Here goes!
2. The Olympus: Thick shoe? Odd looking? Yes and Yes. This shoe is made for trail and road running which I thought would be perfect for me since half my training runs are on trails. I was a little taken back about the odd look. I was hesitant to where them in public at first because of that so I was going to make them my treadmill shoes. All this extra cushioning was like Heaven on the tread mill. I couldn't just feel like that on the mill so I decided to start taking them outside to run. I love how this shoe has a wide foot bed and its shape gives me a great "push off". Something I need since I struggle with a flared out knee and ITBS. I got this shoe in a full size larger than my normal size. It's a keeper for sure!
3. The Intuition 2.0 has arrived. I have been wanting a pair of blue running shoes for over year but could not find ones in my size or that fir properly. Since I was a fan of the Intuition 1.5 I was excited to get these. After wearing them to a running clinic I was told that these shoes did nothing to help my form and that they were too "flat" for me. I agreed. the fit was good, but I didn't really "feel good" when I ran in them. I needed a shoe that gave me a better "push off"
4. The Torin- These were the shoe that were suggested to me for that "push off" motion I needed. I found this model to be more of a sleek and fitted shoe. I thought the foot bed seemed too narrow for me and the arch was a bit high. I felt like I was running on the side of my foot. In an effort to "want" to like them I think I may have taken them on 2 runs. I'm wondering if this contributed to that foot pain I had in my arch for a few days?
5. The Paradigm was another shoe that was suggested to me that would give me the "push off" motion I needed. It is said to be similar to the Olympus, which I loved. I REALLY liked the look of these shoes ( loved the color combo). They were cushiony as I liked and had a wide foot bed. They are the lightest in weight of all the Altras I have tried yet when I ran in them they felt heavy. I thought maybe I was just having an "off" run. Later that week I walked the trail in them and felt the same way. It almost felt like I was just "clomp, clomping" along. ( Like I was trying to walk in shoes that were too big for me). Later that month I read the review of them in Runner's World and they confirmed what I was thinking. These shoes didn't have the flexibility or the motion I was seeking. I do not think they are like the Olympus.
(Review from Runner's World Magazine)
So my verdict is that the Olympus are my favorite. Although things are not all perfect in Shoe land with me right now. I received another pair of Olympus in the mail this week , same style, same size, just a different color. And guess what, these seem too small. The foot bed is perfect but I feel my toes are hitting the edge. I just can't seem to get this shoe thing down!
What has your shoe dilemma been lately?