I can count on one hand the pairs of sneakers I’ve owned in the past 15 years. Actually, half a hand. Up until a few years ago, my athletic shoes rarely did anything remotely athletic. (In fact, I’m not even sure why I had sneakers in the Before Time – pre-running – other than to have something to wear with yoga pants during my brief and tragic flirtation with Pilates in 2004. But that’s another story.)
There’s no denying that runners need great shoes. Expert types say sneakers should be replaced every 350-400 miles, depending on how hard you run. Considering my rate, current achievable distance, and tendency to walk when things get tough, that’s good news for my footwear budget!
But I have never had a proper sneaker fitting. And I figured if I am going to continue to masquerade as a runner, I should at least do it in appropriate trainers. I have a hunch that my old method of shoe selection – “I’ll take the pink ones” – was slightly flawed.
So Hubby and I visited Marathon Sports in Norwell, MA, along with members of his YMCA marathon training group, for a shoes/winter running apparel clinic (we had the store to ourselves!). Fascinating stuff. I thought I learned how to dress myself when I was little, but it turns out I know nothing.
We both had a gait analysis, which involved striding in socks across the store so the analyzer could observe what was going on with our tootsies.
It turns out we are both moderate over-pronators (we’re not special: 50-60% of runners do this). It means our feet roll too far inward as we move and our arches collapse, providing no support. (Alternatively, runners with a neutral gait only pronate a small amount, while supinators’ feet roll outward.)
Over-pronators are prone to injuries such as Achilles tendonitis, arch pain, knee pain, and hip and lower back pain. One of these I am very familiar with, and the others just sound nasty, so I figure I had nothing to lose by investing in a new pair of shoes.
I need some stability in my life
Because I am an over-pronator (sadly, not quite the same thing as an overachiever), I need shoes with extra support at the inner arch. So no minimalist footwear for me (and I was so hoping to move on to those freaky sneakers with the toes).
After trying on a bunch of different models and testing them on the in-store treadmill (excellent idea), I settled on the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11 for no other reason than they were the most comfy. Some of the prospects felt like they were giving my foot a wedgie (riding up the back), others like I was teetering on five-inch platforms (I don’t do heels).
I was sad they weren’t pink, but I’ll get over it.
They certainly look fast. Although I fear, as with my CW-X tights, I can’t possibly live up to their awesomeness.
Stay tuned to see whether or not I do.
I don’t want to sound like a shill for Brooks, but …
I am a sucker for clever design and marketing, and the box the shoes came in was so cute, I thought it deserved a shout-out.
Herewith (part of) the lid and under the lid. See what I mean?