Last night didn’t go as planned. I ended up working later than I had intended. Thus, NOT getting home in time to update the blog. Sorry. But here I am.
Anyways, yesterdays morning mission:
Nothing annoys me more than a dirty house.
Mid-afternoon snack before work:
Apple Berry Banana Smoothie
2 ounces apple juice
2 ounces Milk
handful of berries (I used blackberries!)
1 scoop protein powder
1 cup ice cubes
Pour ingredients into a blender and blend on high until mixture is completely smooth and frothy. Pour into a tall glass, Enjoy!
*Did you know? The more ice cubes you add, the thicker your drink will be.
Did you also know that perhaps when your blender doesn’t blend ingredients anymore it’s not your fault, but the blender itself?
Dear Mr. “Hamilton Beach”, you did not assist me near as long as I thought you would have. RIP:
Hello, Ms. Rival…please please last longer than Mr. Hamilton:
I was looking through some of my photos over the past year.
Do you see a pattern?
(I’m not THAT terrible.)
Alright, moving on to a more serious topic:
Well, I decided that I really want to be careful this time and I KNEW my tennis shoes were way over due to be replaced.
Embarrassingly enough, yesterday afternoon, I took my old sneakers into a shoe store (Movin’ Shoes-I looked at reviews online to decide where to go.-AMAZING place.), and got an evaluation done.
The store manager was soo thrilled that I had soo many questions to ask him.
He had me walk up and down a strip and evaluated my gait.
He said that I have a high arch with very flat feet, which is unusual.
My feet when I run tend to collapse inward(overpronation) because of the arch I have. He also said that my old sneakers had no arch support whatsoever.
Arch supports hold your foot up in an upright position, preventing your feet from collapsing inward as you walk/run.
Basically, he said choosing a shoe and support is mostly an individual process of elimination that the person themself has to do because no one else can feel for you.
There was a little confusion on my shoe size. I didn’t realize until later why a half a fingernail length was so confusing to determine my shoe size. (I’ve always had this problem, I just spaced it out.)
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have a secret to share with you:
You see the length difference in those puppies? Yup, especially since the “little piggy that stayed home” on the left foot missed his growth spurt. This has become a problem when deciding what size of shoe I wear. But I am proud to announce size 10 is the official!
Buying Running Shoes:
What kind of shoes do I wear? What kind of shoes should I buy? I asked, and I asked ALOT!- These are very hard questions to answer because everyone’s foot is different!
If you don’t know what shoes work for you, it’s important to get fit at a running store where the employees can perform gait analysis. This simple process involves looking at the shape of your foot and arch, then watching you run. Based on shape, stature, arch, and pronation, they can suggest a variety of shoes that may work for you.
Many runners have heard of pronation, which you can find explained more in depth here. Once you have your gait analyzed, you can choose a shoe in the pronation category that fits your gait. The best thing is try a lot of shoes and run in them to test how they feel. Compare one of two pairs on each foot to feel the difference – your shoe should feel natural, with nothing poking or rubbing the wrong way.
Here are the three basic types of pronation, briefly (here’s how to tell if you pronate):
- Overpronation – The arch collapses and the foot rolls inward, throwing the “kinetic chain” of ankle to knees up to hips out of alignment, which can cause pain and injuries.
- Underpronation – The arch is likely stiff, and the person runs on the outside of the foot. The person should wear a neutral shoe.
- Neutral – This is ideal and efficient running form. The foot hits the ground and rolls inward slightly but the knee tracks straight directly over the ankle.
The two main elements of running shoes are support and cushioning. Shoes are made with a mix of these components, be it a high cushion neutral support shoe or a regular cushion heavy support shoe. The word “support” refers to the denser material on the medial side (inward side) of the shoe that prevents overpronation. Therefore, if you do not overpronate, you will not need a shoe that is highly supportive. Most brands offer shoes in neutral, light, moderate, and heavy support.
Seen above, Asics uses a denser material in gray that you can see on the medial side of the shoe. They call this material Duomax. The 2150 is a popular shoe in the light-moderate support category.
This shoe from Saucony also uses a dense medial post in gray to show a wider band of support. This shoe, the Saucony Omni, is in the moderate support category.
Here is an example of a neutral shoe from Adidas called the Solution. The medial side looks no different from the lateral side, as there is no need to force the foot back from overpronating. This shoe would be appropriate for someone who has a neutral gait, thus not needing overpronation support.
Here is a shoe from Mizuno called the Nirvana. Mizuno uses a plastic piece called the “wave plate” to provide support, seen by the amplitude of the waves. This is one of their moderate support shoes.
Once you know which support category you need, you also have choices in cushioning. Shoe brands use different cushioning to absorb shock. When a shoe is old after 300-500 miles of running, the cushioning is what wears down. You feel that a shoe is “dead” when it feels flat and too close to the ground. All types of cushioning do the same thing, but they can feel quite different.
Here is a brief overview of the cushioning systems used by the brands:
- Asics uses gel, which has been described as having a “sinky” feel to it.
- Saucony uses Progrid, which is like a tennis racquet type of material that feels springy.
- Nike uses air, which feels light and soft.
- Adidas uses foam, which feels pillowy and soft, similar to the Nikes.
- Brooks uses Hydroflow, a liquid compound that feels firm.
- Mizuno uses the wave plate, a firm plastic piece that feels close the ground and firm (and is the same basic material used for support.)
Once you’ve tried running in various shoes, you may find that you prefer a certain cushioning. You can also choose whether you want a high or regular cushion shoe. A high cushion shoe costs more because it uses more material to absorb more shock. These last a bit longer, and are good for those runners who are heavier or are prone to joint pain or shin splits. Some prefer the feeling of more material under the foot, while others prefer a lighter shoe.
This shoe is the Glycerin, a high cushion neutral shoe from Brooks.
Hopefully you now have a good sense about how running shoes differ in support and cushioning. I will leave you with this short list of general tips.
1. Run in a running shoe ONLY, not a tennis shoe or cross trainer. These have no support for forward motion and will almost certainly cause you pain.
2. Don’t be cheap. You may need to spend about $100 for a good pair of shoes, or around $140 if you want a high cushion shoe. I cannot tell you how many times someone came in to the store complaining about pain from their $40 shoe. Invest in yourself and your running!
3. Many people think Nike does not work for them. Give them a chance! Nike makes a LOT of shoes, and many are for style, not running. Stick with the “Bowerman Series” shoes from Nike, this is their best running line.
4. Everyone thinks they need a shoe with “the most support.” What they really need is appropriate support and cushioning. Not everyone needs a heavy support shoe, only severe overpronators. A shoe with too much support can be stiff, heavy, and uncomfortable.
5. Every brand updates their shoe models about once a year. The Saucony Guide 3 replaced the Guide 2, and the Brooks Adrenaline 10 replaced the Adrenaline 9 as the old models were phased out. The shoe changes color, design, and sometimes fit. This can be frustrating for those of us who find a shoe we like, however, the newer models have the same support and cushioning levels, so the shoe will still work for most.
6. Make sure to wear the proper size. Your running shoe should be a half to a full size bigger than your regular shoes. As you run your forefoot expands to absorb shock, and without enough room at the front you can get blisters and lose toenails.
Lastly, remember that everyone’s feet are different. Some people are prone to pain, have bunions, or other foot issues. These people will have to try on many shoes and may only find one model that works for them. Others have it easier and can wear many styles. The bottom line is: find what works for you and stick with it. Learn the name of the shoe so you can buy it anywhere, or bring it to your local running store if you want to replace it with the same pair. Your feet and body will thank you!
So I’m sure you’re all wondering what shoe I settled on. After much deliberation and walking around I settled upon the Nike Zoom Fitsole 2 Structure 14: (prepare your eyes for brightness!:)
Why PINK? I can read MomHHH‘s mind right now, “Oh my GOSH…!”- I had the choice between white/blue or these pink ones. I choose pink because my first look at them immediatly sent me into happy land and I felt like I would lace the brightness up much faster than just plain old white tennis shoes.
Basically, they put a smile on my face and I knew they would uplift my mood at anytime, much more than white ones would-too boring for me!
Time for C25k to be DEMOLISHED!