I’ve been running for almost five years. Over the years, I think I have tried every shoe brand out there, but I have been the most loyal to Brooks and most recently Mizuno. When I first started running, I needed a stability shoe. I had weak hip issues/IT band issues in 2011 and with the help of my PT, worked my way out of a stability shoe.
Laura, my pilates teacher, had mentioned my ankles were weak. Something I had thought was going to happen with my lack of training (running and strength) post-surgery. Out of laziness, I was using my running shoes from January (Brooks Defyance) but decided that was obviously not the smartest idea. I didn’t want to risk another injury by not running in the right shoe.
What I have learned over the years is that your body changes and so do shoes. Just because it worked 3 years ago, or two shoe versions ago, doesn’t mean it works now. I’ve also learned that just because the shoe works for someone else, it doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you (isn’t it interesting to think about when you see SO many shoe reviews on blogs these days?). The key to finding the right shoe, is getting fitted.
The other week I went to my favorite ATL running store, Big Peach Running Co, to get fitted. There were a few steps involved.
We actually did step 2 first. This machine is super cool. You step on a scale-like thing and then it takes an image of your foot. It even figures out your shoe size. It showed higher arches and more emphasis on my forefoot. My salesperson, Bob, asked if I was a forefoot runner. I’m more midfoot with a tendency to heel strike, and he thought the pressure points could be from adjustments post surgery.
Next step was running on the treadmill to watch for pronation. Again, more technology. It tells you what you are before you watch the video.
My intuition was right, back into a stability shoe. I pronate when I run. Bob (at the midtown location ATL peeps) was awesome. We literally tried on every shoe that would fit what I needed. The key, according to Bob, is finding a shoe that doesn’t feel intrusive. It should feel like nothing is on. I didn’t really know what that meant until I felt the difference in every shoe.
I could give you a review on how each brand fit me, but in reality, that isn’t quite fair. Like I said before, what may work on my foot, may not work on your foot. No one has the exact same feet. So if you need a stability shoe, you may find the Mizuno’s rock your socks off. Or that Brooks fits like a glove. You get my drift. And, I can’t really give you an opinion on a shoe that I ran in for all of 1 minute on the Big Peach “track.”
Each of these above just felt off. Something odd in the arch, or tight in the toes, or too heavy. I didn’t really think I would “know” what was right (again, for years I would just go in and buy the same shoe over and over again). But I was wrong. I put on the Saucony Guide 7 and fell in love. It felt light and not like the other stability shoes-nothing was intrusive.
Bob said that Saucony made a lot of improvements to the Guide with this version. It’s been a long time since I’ve been a Saucony runner, but so far I’m very happy with my purchase (yes, purchased below on a Halloween Run). I’ve put about 30 miles on them and love them.
If you need a stability shoe, I definitely recommend trying these out. Again, enjoy the reviews you read and what Runner’s World says in it’s shoe review, but go get fitted and see what works for YOU!
Have you been fitted at a running store for shoes? How often? Do you buy the same shoe over and over again? Do you buy based on reviews you’ve read from other bloggers and magazines?