Monday, September 5, 2011

To Fleet Feet for New Running Shoes!

The time has come again for new running shoes.  I bought my last pair of running shoes in March and in the last two weeks I have noticed that the cushion and support are not as strong.  Those shoes have been with me for the last four weeks of half marathon training, the race itself, the GOTR 5k, the Women's Race 10K, the Champions Run 5K, and all my weekly runs (including a few in the rain).  My legs have been sore and achey so I knew it was time for some new shoes.   
I think the process of getting new shoes is so fun and informative.  I headed to the local Fleet Feet store (with my handy $10 coupon from the Women's race) to get fitted this past Friday.  I met with Margaret who asked me about my running, if I was experiencing any pain, and then watched me run back and forth through the store.  She had lots of information to share with me.  I told her about my "runner's knee" issues and she offered up a few exercises, that I was not aware of, that could help.  She said I had really good arches (yay!) and was overpronating just a bit.  I brought in my old shoes which are Asics Fortitudes, which is closer to a neutral shoe.  She decided to bring out some with a little more stability to help with my pronation.  
Margaret came back with the Nike Lunar Glides, Asics GT 2160s, and Adidas Supernovas.  The Nikes were first.  The color was a super bright and bold blue.  I got laced up and did a short jog through the store.  They felt good, but I was not sure I could pull off the bright blueberry shoes.  Margaret said that I was still pronating a bit and that the others might correct that.  
Next were the Asics.  I did a short jog again.  They were a little tight on the sides, but otherwise felt good.  I finished up with the Adidas, which were just OK.  My foot didn't feel very supported in the shoe during the jog.  We got the next size up in the Asics to see if that would feel better and they did.  We both agreed that they were the best bet for me.  They have more stability for my inner arch which will likely help with any leg or knee pain.  Plus they are a really cute plum color.  I like them!

As Margaret was lacing up my shoes she showed me a different way to lace them.  Essentially you make a little loop using the last two holes of the shoe and run the ends through.  After tying the laces I noticed that I felt more secure in my shoes, which I liked, so I think I am going to lace my shoes like that.  I thought it was interesting and wanted to share. 
Saturday I decided to try out the new shoes on a real run along the lake.  They were wonderful!  I got out there a little later than I wanted to, so it was a bit warm, but ran five miles and ended by my favorite farmer's market.   
My nice new shoes!
The right kind of shoe makes all the difference!  I think getting fitted, at least once, is important, so you know what kind of shoe will be best for you.  Six months or 300-500 miles is usually how long a running shoe lasts.  Over time the cushioning and tread of the shoes wear down and decrease.  I definitely notice a difference in how my legs feel after a run in older shoes.  After my run Saturday and Monday my legs feel good and I don't have that aching feeling anymore.  Yay for new shoes!    

I have been itching for a longer race to do next and am thinking about the Hot Chocolate 15K that is coming up in November (it is coming to a few other cities too, if your interested).  I have never done a 15K before and this sounds like a good one.  I am working on getting a training schedule together right now!

Have you been fitted for a running shoe before?  What's the next race on your calendar?