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!

1. The Intuition 1.5:  This was the first Altra shoe that I tried. This was the first time I experience the wide toe box and I loved it. It is a neutral shoe that is flexible and I felt it really moved with my foot. it has moderate cushioning. I realized that these shoes do run small. I got a half size larger than my normal shoe size. After getting a blister under my toe nail after the Princess Half Marathon I realized I should had got a full size larger. I still wear them for training runs though.


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?


 


43 comments:

  1. I've never heard of Altra before. I'll have to check them out!

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    1. I had actually not heard of them before last year either!

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  2. I think that we are going to get my husband a pair of Altras this weekend but now I may have to check out a pair for myself.

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  3. Great analogy! Haven't tried the Altras yet but I keep hearing about them.

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  4. Haha I love how you compared running shoes to dating!

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    1. Both are a pretty big commitment, don't ya think?...lol

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  5. All the pretty shoes. I may have to take a look at them (in men's versions of course) next time I get fitted. I plan on my next pair of shoes refitting from scratch.

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    1. They have some pretty sharp looking men's shoes!

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  6. I love my Altras! I tried the Torins after reading a post from April @RunTheGreatWideSomewhere, and they worked so well for me. It only took a few weeks to get used to the zero drop, but they have made a huge difference for me. Love the toe box, and the zero drop has made a huge difference in my form - and no more lower back pain. I loved 'em so much, I had to get the Olympus in that great neon pink/orange color. Love those too. I have to do all my run/walking on the treadmill, and they both work really well for me. They do run short, but I can't recommend them enough. I will say, though, that I had to wear them several times to be sure. But I've never had running shoes that I didn't have to run in a few times to see how they would "settle in."

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    1. I wanted to like the Torins so badly but alas I think my foot was too wide for them!

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  7. LOL I laughed pretty hard when you said you were thinking about your shoes while talking to your friend about dating and then compared shoes to dating! Too funny! :0)

    As for embracing the space, I actually wear the 'wide' version of shoes in my Asics and makes life so much better for my feet!

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    1. I've actually heard of some girls buying the men's version of shoes because of the width. I might check into that next time.

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  8. I, too, loved the comparison of finding shoes to finding the right date - so true in so many ways! :) I have been pretty settled in my particular brand and style of shoe for MANY years; I often seek out new shoes for track work, so that's the only time I'm willing to experiment. I figure if it ain't broke...Thanks so much for interesting post and I hope you have a great weekend!

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    1. Yup, I totally agree. If you have found one that fits, why change. I just had the opportunity to try other styles so I figured I'd try them all while I can.

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  9. I've never tried Altra's before, but my friend who teaches Yoga swears by them.
    I think all their shoes are zero drop or minimalist, is this still correct? Which means although they are great for some people, sadly not a brand I can try with my high arches:)

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    1. They are all drop zero, but that doesn't always mean minimalist. I think people get that confused ( I know I did at first). Have you seen the cushioning on those purple ones?...lol No way they are considered minimalist! I think you would actually like the Olympus considering some of the foot problems you've had.

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    2. Thanks, I'll have to take a closer look at them. As long as they are not completely flat, and have some rise in the heel then it's for sure one I can look into, or I can always add a heel wedge in them, LOL that is what I had to do with a pair of low drop shoes I bought by mistake a few years ago:) My Dr. has forbid me from any type of flat shoe for life:) I even had to buy flip flops this year that had a heel lift to them, haha.

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  10. I've never even heard of these before. They look so 'round'
    I keep getting blisters so I need to do something about my shoes.

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    1. Yes, they do have an odd look to them, but I have made that exception for the comfort..haha

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  11. Haha- you are welcome- it is a good analogy! It FITS, pardon the pun:) I remember reading something a man wrote to advise women on dating- he said that you wouldn't make do with clothes that were a bad fit so why would you continue to date someone who is a bad fit? Same with shoes I guess- you either know it or you don't!

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  12. Yes, it's important to have the right kind of shoe for the activity!

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    1. Absolutely! I have different shoes for just walking then I do for running!

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  13. i have a pair of altras that are super comfortable walking around but i've been a bit nervous to test them out running. do you think since i've spent so much time walking in them,i still have to take the transition easy?

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    1. Which Altras do you have? I'd still take it easy. I did have some calf pain when I started to run in mine!

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  14. Great shoe information. I love the Olympus! So retro and youthful. I have lived in my Nike 5.0 free's, always ran in the with no socks. Such freedom! That ended training for this next trail ultra; I purchased a pair of sturdy Asics, my first marathon shoes way back when. I definitely like the idea of a wider toe box, although I have a narrow foot. This leads to online heel buying where shoes slip right off my feet. So not cool when walking along campus during my teaching days. I am so glad you visited my blog!

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    1. I love my olympus as you know. I now have 3 pair but they each fit differently!

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  15. Great info. I've never tried Altras but I LOVE the idea of the wide tow box!

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    1. I have a hard time wearing other shoes now!

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  16. I really like the idea of extra space for your toes, but I have never tried Altras. I think a lot of them look kind of odd, though not because of the toe box.

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  17. I've got perfectly good Mizuno Wave Sayonara, but really want to try the Wave Sayonara 2!

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    1. My mom wears Mizunos and has been happy with them too!

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  18. My shoe dilemma is that I've been hearing about Altra's and I'm wondering if I should try them! But I'm going on my 4th pair of Brooks Pure Cadence - if it ain't broke don't fix it right?!

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  19. I received a pair of Altras for being a Zooma Ambassador. I can't wear them to run unfortunately because i need a 12mm drop and the drop on these is too low, but I do love them to wear around with the kids to the park! I'm impressed with your shoe collection :)

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  20. Very interesting ! I have never tried this brand. Not sure we can get it in France....

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  21. I had a huge shoe dilemma back in April. I tried a pair of Brooks (I think the Pure Flows) and I knew they weren't for me. But like you said, I wanted to try them a few times. Yup, definitely not for me! That's okay. It just reassured me that Nikes are for me :)

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  22. I've heard such good things about Altra. I am on my fourth pair of Asics, a model my running store suggested. They work really well for me, but the only thing is that they wear out pretty fast. I've been wondering if other shoes last longer.

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  23. Love this review! Thank you! I'm going to need new shoes come January and want to experiment with different ones. Does the zero-drop of the Altras take some time to adjust? Any suggestions as to which model is best for minimal stability (step up from neutral)? I've been in Brooks Ravennas for over a year and a half and love them but would like a little "less shoe" if I can find it

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  24. Oooh, the Altras look so comfy! I'll have to get my hands on some in the future - my feet are genetically wide in the front but narrower in the back, which makes shoe-finding quite difficult at times.

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  25. My biggest shoe dilemma is wanting to buy the cute ones, but having to buy the sensible ones...

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.

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