Purchasing the perfect pair of running shoes can be like finding a good man (or woman, depending on who you are). Difficult. Time consuming. And you’re likely to come across a lot who just don’t quite fit.
That said … I recently came across a really great, must-read article from Women’s Health regarding how to buy the best running shoe for you (How to Buy the Best Running Shoe for You | Women’s Health Magazine). It details a few steps and tips to help you make the best shoe for you and your workouts – and the most of your hard-earned money (because let’s be honest … good shoes aren’t cheap). Some of their suggestions? Shop at smaller stores, take them for a test-drive (or run), don’t assume you know your size (just like your favorite jeans, shoes can run a little bigger or smaller depending on the brand) … and don’t assume that you need all the bells and whistles.
As for me? I lucked out almost four years ago when I broke down and paid a visit to my local Pacers Running Store (in Pentagon City, in case you were curious). Since discovering the Mizuno Wave Inspire, I’ve virtually eliminated the blister and shin splint issues I’d been plagued with for years. I’ve gone through about 10 pairs since then, and I’m still lucky enough to say I’ve found my perfect shoe match (though I’m yet to find my perfect man).
What shoes have changed your life … or at least your workouts?
One of the most daunting tasks for a new runner can be finding the right shoes. Finding shoes that fit correctly not only make your run a little more enjoyable, but a lot more comfortable, too. And the right shoes will help you to avoid nagging knee, hip and ankle injuries (not to mention blisters and shin splints).
Which is why I was glad to come across this article from Men’s Health, which details what you need to look for in your next pair of running shoes (here’s a hint: comfort trumps everything else). Check it out – and don’t be afraid to visit a running store for a fitting. Shoes – and feet – change over time, and running stores employ expert runners with numerous miles under their belts. I still think getting fitted was one of the best things I’ve ever done. They may not be the prettiest shoes, but blisters and shin splints are no longer a problem for me!
My perfect shoe? The Mizuno Wave Inspire (I’ve gone through 8 or 9 pairs since I discovered them about 3 1/2 years ago). What’s yours?
Thanksgiving is now behind us … as are the Black Friday sales (no, thanks, I’ll stay in bed) … meaning that the holiday season is now in full swing. We’re about six weeks away from what I call the “resolutioners” crowding the local gyms – which makes NOW the best time to get a great deal on a gym membership or exercise equipment before the New Year.
What’s the best place to start? Making sure you have the most important part of equipment: good shoes. There are a lot of different kinds of shoes out there – running, walking, training, basketball, sports-specific – but most casual exercisers (and especially runners) are going to be best suited with running shoes. Finding a good shoe is kind of like finding the right significant other: you may have to go through a couple options before you find the right ones (on a personal note: I found my “solemates” almost three years ago in a Mizuno Wave Inspire shoe. I’ve since gone through seven pairs. Soulmate? Yet to be found, but heck, I went through 12 pairs before I found the right shoes, so I’m keeping hope that he’s out there somewhere. Though I’d appreciate it if he’d hurry up …).
Here’s what to look for when you’re in the market for new running shoes:
Finally, I’m a huge advocate of seeeking out a running store and getting fitted for shoes (even if you have done it in the past and maybe it’s been a while). It can make a HUGE difference – I’m a great example of a person who never realized until someone in the know helped me find the right shoes just how much of an impact the right shoes can have on your entire body – not just your feet. The right shoes can make your run feel better, which makes you more likely to want to keep running!
Do you have trule finding running shoes that fit snugly on your ankles? Check out this video for a quick little shoelace trick that can help keep your shoes a little more secure and comfortable. I’ve been tying my shoes this way for years – and a a person with thinner ankles and even more narrow heels, it’s been extremely helpful in avoiding blisters (which I’ve always been extremely prone to). Try it out – it could help you to more comfortable runs – and maybe even fewer injuries.
Confession: working out is the highlight of my day. And today, despite being a Monday, I had a little something extra to look forward to … the brand new Mizuno Wave Inspire 8s I had packed in my gym bag last night. They’d been sitting in my closet for a while, so I was excited to finally see what these babies could do for me.
So, how’s the new kicks do? First and foremost, I’m happy to report that the ankle has returned to the slightly lower cut from the 6s (the one change they made between the 6 and the 7 was the ankle … and it was terrible on the 7s). Other than that, they’re the style of Mizunos I have grown to love and need ever since I made that poor kid at the running store down the street pick out a dozen (yes, dozen) different shoes before I found the right ones nearly three years ago. And unlike the first pair I purchased, the colors are super cute (dark blue, dark pink and a hint of fluorescent green, along with the signature silver).
It was love at first run.
As for the run itself? Pretty good! The last couple months have been a little crazy from a teaching standpoint, and unfortunately, more often than not, teaching an extra class meant cutting out a run. Luckikly, I’ve been getting back into my groove, and after running a pretty solid 7 miles on Saturday (before 7:30 a.m. … way too early to be running on a Saturday morning), I figured I could at least try it again. It was a success: 7 miles down in 61:24. And thanks to the new shoes, it felt pretty great!
After close to two months of not being able to run (thanks, foot!) I finally got myself back onto the treadmill without pain this week. It felt great! Though I’m still not able to run as far as I’d really like to be – I’m doing it the right way and building myself up to avoid another injury – it’s so great to get back into that “zone” that I really only feel I can get into while I’m running.
So … in celebration of my triumphant return to the treadmill (wow, that sounds sad!), I decided to bust out the new pair of shoes I’ve had sitting in the closet since January (I didn’t really need them when I bought them, but they were a really great deal – close to half off!!) Nothing better than running in a new pair of shoes – it’s like running on clouds 🙂
Here’s the new kicks … I’ve been wearing the same shoes – Mizuno Wave Inspire – for a little over two years. These are, I think, my sixth pair. Great fit – and for my super-narrow heels, that’s hard to find. That said, my one bit of advice for today … if you’ve never been fitted at a running store for shoes, DO IT! I never really thought there could be that much of a difference in shoes, until I finally let someone who knew what they were doing pick out my shoes (instead of buying ones that were “pretty.”) Trust me, HUGE DIFFERENCE! I love these shoes.