I’ve never had a running shoe problem. Almost since the day I started running more then two miles, I went to a specialty running shoe store, was fitted with a pair of Brooks Adreneline and wore them though five marathons and countless other races. I probably went though 25 pair through those years and should have counted!
About two years ago, I had another gait analysis done because I was getting some pains in my foot as I was revving up to break a 1:30 half-marathon. I was told at that time I didn’t need all the stability the Adreneline offered and was outfitted with the Brooks Revenna. They were pure bliss from the start with just a hiccup or two when they made “small changes” to the upper.
All runners hate when the shoe companies make these “small” changes because sometimes it ruins the shoe for you forever and you start stalking running shoe web sites where you can find the old version, and you stockpile them like the apocalypse is coming, since it feels like one when you are a shoeless runner.
Last January I started training for my sixth marathon. I was turning 40 and had not run a marathon in eight years. I’m not sure if those two things have something to do with my current shoe issue, but I’m guessing they do.
I developed peroneal tendonitis in my left foot and my right one was going numb around mile 15 or 16 of my long runs. It’s hard to run well on two bum feet.
I did a ton of physical therapy for the left foot and discussed with my coach getting a shoe with a wider toe box, to help with the numbness, as soon as possible.
Two weeks ago, I walked into the Fleet Feet in Longmeadow, MA. Sometimes when you’re on a quest for the perfect running shoe, you have to go to another state. Actually, because Connecticut is so small, and because of where I live in the state, going to the Fleet Feet in Massachusetts is closer then going to the one in Connecticut. Go figure.
I planned to arrive at the store when it opened at 10am. Now, I’m not sure if you read about how I feel about being on time, but it especially applies to businesses. If your store window says you open at 10, then you open at 10. I was there at 9:45 but, I have issues.
10:05: I start re-checking the store web site even though I’m staring at the store window with M-F 10am written on it.
10:10: I’m getting super pissed off because I have another appointment (with my coach!) and obviously cannot be late. I call the store and decide at the last minute not to leave a nasty message. It took a lot of willpower.
10:12: Two people finally roll up in a convertible who look like they may own the store.
The woman apologizes profusely and proceeds to tell me they were in a meeting discussing a new client they are going to sponsor though a race. The client represents a battered women’s shelter and she actually took them to one so they could see exactly what raising money for this organization would mean. She is visibly rattled and I feel like an asshole. Luckily I’m used to this feeling so I quickly move on.
Walking into a running shoe store for me is like a real housewife walking into a plastic surgeons office – endless possibilities. I love seeing all the shoes, sports bras, socks and hydration systems in such pristine conditions just waiting to be abused though countless miles of sweat and strength. I know. I have a problem.
I block all of it out and with tunnel vision I explain my history, issue and what I need in a running shoe. Jill is the woman’s name, and she immediately throws her stuff down and jumps in to help me. She has me walk barefoot, up and down the length of the store, as she watches from ground level. She takes several measurements of my bare foot, both sitting and standing and explains to me the reasons for each.
She tells me I need even less stability then the Revennas and, this is always the best part of getting a new and different shoe, descends down the stairs and then reappears with several boxes of shoes she thinks will work for me.
Now I get to run in all of them like Cinderella.
She saves the best for last but prepares me for the shock:
Jill: So, I have another shoe that I think will be great for you. It’s non-traditional but this company is really upping it’s game with running shoes.
Adidas Energy Boost
Me: What the…??? I’m not playing soccer, I’m training for a marathon.
Jill: I know. I get the same reaction every time but just try them on.
And that was it. It was down to a pair of Sauconys (I was so close to getting them Tina!) and the Adidas. I was desperately trying not to judge them by brand name so I put one Saucony and one Adidas on each foot, and headed out the door.
It was no contest. Hands down Adidas. I’m still in shock.
So I am now running in Adidas running shoes (which is just weird to write) and loving them. There is absolutely nothing in the upper to cause a blister, my feet are staying awake for the duration and I actually love the color because it’s really no color at all and therefore matches everything. Win.
I have done speed work, a 14 mile long run and have run on trails and roads with zero issues.
I have learned two things:
- Don’t judge people for being late.
- Don’t judge a shoe brand before you’ve run in them.
I guess I could add “don’t be so judgmental” but that’s just silly.
Learn from me people. Go forth and wear Adidas!
FYI – Adidas is not yet paying me to write posts like this.
For all the locals, Fleet Feet in Longmeadow kicks ass.
What do you run in and why?
Did you have any clue Adidas made running shoes?
Are you judgey about being late and/or certain brands and products? I totally was so this is a safe space.