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Monday, December 12, 2011

shoe love

Here is the story of my shoes.  It is a very boring story until now (and you may actually argue my story is still boring, but I personally think things are getting quite exciting around here).

When I started running back in the year 2000, I found myself in the Asics Gel Cumulus, a neutral shoe with cushioning.  I wore the same shoes for close to 9 years.  I would try other shoes on every now and then, but just kept going back to the Cumulus because it felt good and I had no problems with injury or anything.

Then, about three years ago, I made a very silly (because it was mindless) decision and switched to the Asics Gel Nimbus.  This is also a neutral shoe but with a lot more cushioning.  I think I wanted a change, and this felt like a safe one?  Or I switched to it because my sister was wearing it and it cost more money and I thought it must be a "better" shoe if it is more expensive?  I honestly have no idea why I switched, but I did.   I shudder at the thought of it now ... what a dummy.

Anyway, thankfully the Nimbus worked just fine for me and I had no problems wearing it.  Until this past training cycle.

I started to develop this weird little bump, almost like a cyst, on the front of my ankle.  I only noticed it when I put on the Nimbus - I seriously would not even feel it if I was wearing any other shoes or if I was barefoot.  I noticed it in early September and bought a new pair of Nimbus a few weeks later, thinking maybe it was just because it was time to get new shoes, that pair had enough miles on them.  But no such luck, my "bump" (I don't know what else to call it) was still bugged by the shoe.  It was totally tolerable, more of an annoyance than anything, but it irritated me and I knew that after MCM I would be shoe shopping.  It was time to say goodbye to the Nimbus and find a new shoe.

And then I started thinking through it more and realized I didn't want just one new shoe.  I wanted a new shoe that would be good for longer training runs and I also wanted another, lighter shoe for my tempo runs and track workouts.  I've been intrigued by all the lighter, lower heel drop shoes out there and feel ready to give them a try.  Ready to start easing my way into a more minimal shoe, carefully and patiently.

So a couple of weeks ago I met with Meghan Ridgley at =PR= and she spent some time with me talking SHOES.  I ran on the treadmill in the store and we determined that a neutral shoe was still the way to go for me, but that I did not need quite the amount of cushioning that the Nimbus has (surprise, surprise).  I tried on several shoes from various brands and in the end guess what I wound up with?

Brace yourself, this is a shocker ....

The Cumulus!

ta-da!
My feet are so happy in this shoe.  I really think we were made for one another.  And though I do not buy shoes based on the colors, I was truly happy when I saw all the pink on the newest model.  I love them.  And also, it is very nice that the bump on my ankle is not bothered at all when I wear this shoe. I can tell it has less cushion than the Nimbus - it feels lighter on my feet and very comfortable.  It will be my shoe for all of my longer training runs (for now).  Decision made.

So .... for the lighter shoe.  I tried so many shoes on and found myself torn between two shoes I really love:  the Saucony Kinvara and the New Balance 1400.  I brought both pairs home with me.

Today I did my tempo run on the treadmill in the Kinvaras.  You guys, I have a CRUSH on these shoes ...


That is the best way for me to describe my current relationship with this shoe - a CRUSH.  I want to be in this shoe all the time, but I know if I do too much with it too soon, I will regret it and get hurt.  I want this relationship to last - and I even have thoughts of the romance becoming long term and think eventually it could replace the Cumulus.  I want to run a marathon in this shoe some day.  But I know I have to be careful because the lower heel drop and less cushioning is new for my body and I need to ease into it to avoid injury.  I am going to do this right though.  I love this shoe.

And the New Balance 1400?  Well, that shoe just makes me happy.  They are more of a "fling" than a crush.  I won't ever have any intention taking this relationship much further than the track or a few fast miles.  When they are on my feet I feel fun, I feel light and I feel free.  I haven't taken them out of the box yet, but plan to give them a spin tomorrow.  I have 5 easy miles planned on the treadmill and am going to wear them for just 1 mile of the run.  I really REALLY need to be careful in these - they have basically no heel drop and practically no cushioning.  They will cause me a lot of trouble if I do too much too soon in them.
 

Okay, so my shoe story is riveting, right!?  That is all I have for now.  I'm excited to be trying new shoes and to be mixing it up a bit.  Tell me what you have on your feet!  Do you wear the same shoe for all of your runs and workouts?  Have you tried out shoes with less cushioning and lower heel drops?  I would love to hear about it!

8 comments:

I train in Nike Lunar Elites (right now). I've run mostly in Nike Lunar Glides, but got a good deal on Lunar Elites this year. I may go back to the Lunar Glides though, they have a bit more cushioning. I do all of my training in one pair of shoes. I used to race in the same shoes, too, but got a pair of racing flats this year (the NB1400s). PR'ed both times I wore them. It was definitely the shoes.

I know nothing about heel drops so I can't help you there!

yay!!!!!!!! I feel the same way about my Brooks Glycerin. I moved to a less stable shoe after the Sports doc suggested that might be part of what happened to my tendon .. it was immediate heaven and I will never go back and they are pink too :) Right now I am in the same ones but am going to get another pair soon. I do have my Brooks Adrenaline that only have about 100 miles on them but I love my Glycerins so much I just cant bring myself to wear anything else :)

OMGOSH yet another Kinvara fan. I tried these on just YESTERDAY and I am dying to get my hands on a pair. I keep talking myself out of it though... "maybe i'll wait until after the pregnancy" or "maybe i need to try different shoes just in case".

Right now I'm in Asics 2160s [and skyspeeds that I've used like twice and want to sell] and I feel very 'meh' towards them. They work, but I would like explore other options.

Obviously. :) And girl, I could talk shoes all day long!!

I do personally think your shoe story is riveting!

That ASICS hot pink is a speedy shoe! That is what I wore for the 50 miler! I have all 3 colors, but the good thing about the pink is that is has that gray mesh which doesn't show a lot of dirt which will be good in the winter. The only problem I have noticed today and yesterday is that my toes get so cold. I am think about trying one of those wool socks.

I am convinced that my Brooks Glycerins were causing my injuries. As much as I thought I loved them. Like you, I was sold on the extra cushioning and how if they were $$$, they must be better shoes.

My coach advised me to rotate between 4-5 pairs of shoes to prevent "repetitive motion" injuries. So far, this plan has served me well. During my injury period on the Alter G, I transitioned to a lower drop shoe. I now rotate between Saucony Cortanas (LOVE), Saucony Shadow Genesis (good solid work horse shoe), Brooks Launch and Brooks PureFLows (LOVE). It's a toss up as to which one I'll be running my marathon in: Cortanas or PureFlows. At any rate, I feel GREAT now. AND FASTER!!! I hope that you transition well to the Kinvaras. I've heard really good things about them. That may be shoe #5 for me!

I think you had a Ganglion Cyst. I used to have one and I think it was from tying the shoes too tight. I switched to YANKZ laces and the problem went away. I rotate shoes. My favorite shoes are the Mizuno Elixir, but because they aren't very supportive, I only wear them for races and speedwork. Long runs and easy runs are in Brooks.

oh shoe stories. i wish mine had a better ending. i have such problems finding the right shoes. seems like you have found yours :) so happy for you

Sorry, for the late comment!!! first of all, are those sequins on the new balance toe? Heck, sequins to shoes is what lulu ruffle skirts are to running skirts. Love it! I feel like such a rookie when it comes to shoes. Wish I had it figured out. I obviously need to do some homework on the right shoes for me. In Brooks ghost 4s but just ordered adidas again, in a model I haven't run in before. probably not the best move. We'll see...

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