What’s the Shoe for YOU?

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. IMG_5055

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. IMG_5054

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.

Pronation/running analysis on Vimeo.

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. shoes

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.

IMG_5068

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? 

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Elizabeth

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14 Comments

  • I have two pairs of Guide 7s, waiting for me in the closet, to getallthemiles onto my last pair of Guide 6s. I hope the 7s are wonderful for me. I liked the 4s, something was off with the 5s (so I jumped to a different brand), then came back for the 6s.
    Thanks for the review and reminder about getting fitted and how things can change.

  • I’m so glad you went to try running shoes on in your sparkle skirt 🙂 Mr. rUnladylike loves Saucony. He runs in the Kinvaras (neutral shoe). I’m still the biggest fan of the Brooks Pure Cadence, which is the stability shoe in the Pure Project line. I’ve never really liked the Ravennas as they don’t fit me quite right.

  • Sweet! I am glad you did that. There is definitely something to be said for feeling really confident that you are running in the right shoe. Did you get two pair to rotate or are you just running in the one? I found that my shoes last a lot more miles if I don’t run in the same shoe 2 days in a row. I am able to get 350 miles out of the Pure Project shoes, and they recommend only 250 – 300.

    Also, I really like the forma of this post…short, sweet and honest. Most people don’t know how to tell the story of their shoe shopping experiences (including me…WAY too many words), but this was perfect!

  • I have had the most luck with Newton Distance and Brooks Pure Flows… Speaking of, I need to retire a few pairs of Flows, and if I find a great deal I might need to pick up the Flow2 😀

    Saucony always felt to narrow in the toe box for me.

  • Hooray! I agree, I moved out of stability about a year ago, and it’s helped me a lot. I used to wear the Guides, but I didn’t like the 5’s, and switched to Brooks. Now I big pink fluffy heart the PureFlows.

  • I was in guides for almost 2 years. Unlike Kim, i loved the 5s, but I wasn’t inlove with them as I felt something was off. Sure enough I graduated from stability to neutral. I’m still in a quest to find a neutral love that fits my foot like a glove…

  • I was fitted for my first pair of running shoes last year. They didn’t have the cool gait analysis thingy though. They watched me walk up and down their mini “track” and decided what I should try on. I think I tried on Mizuno, Nike and something else (but can’t remember now). I fell in love with the Mizunos and have bought 2 new pairs of the same exact shoe since then. I like reviews, but in the long run it really matters how it feels on my foot and nothing else.

  • I’ve never been fitted for running shoes but with as many pairs as I have I think I have all my bases covered. I rotate my shoes A LOT and that helps keep my feet pain free I think. Hope you have many miles of happy running in your new Saucony shoes!

  • I used to fit people for running shoes. Jack of all trades, that’s me 🙂

    I’m a neutral, mid- to forefoot runner. I love how you say that what worked before might not work after awhile. So true. I have a really hard time finding the “right” shoe. The “nothing intrusive” bit is key.

  • I love going to the running store. I feel like I could stay all day talking about running. I do not buy the same shoe every time, in fact, it seems I never buy the same shoe or brand each time I buy shoes. I’m currently in a Brooks and I am liking them. Me and Saucony have never run well together but that’s not to say I’m not open to it in the future.

  • Great post! I’ve often wondered about shoe reviews too as shoes are so personal. The lost time I got fitted the store told me I should still wear the same type of shoes. I tried a bunch of different models on but my usual Asics Kayanos still felt the best to me so they advised me to stick with it. They didn’t have them in stock but it was great that they wanted me to be in the best shoes for me and not push to sell me something.

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