Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Not All Shoes Are Created Equal

I am currently running in my second pair of Brooks Adrenalines - after experiencing shin pain after running the Earth Day 5K I knew it was time to retire my old pair.  They were a great pair of shoes and took me through my second and third half marathons and my first full marathon but my body was telling me it was time to put them to pasture.  We had had lots of fun together and I really liked this pair and had no issues with them whatsoever so the following weekend I went off to Breakaway Athletics in search of a new pair.  Brooks had recently updated the model to the 13 (my previous pair had been a 12), so I asked for those when I got there, tried them on to see if they fit, and then paid and walked out with my new shoes.
Hello girls :)

Me and my new shoes had lots of work to do training for the Dumbo Double Dare so we became buddies really quickly and for the first month I had no problems.  But then, it started....

First, it started off with some VERY mild IT band pain.  It wasn't enough to stop me from running so I did what I thought was the smart thing and began rolling the areas with my foam roller after runs and this really seemed to help.  Then it moved back into my shins.  Big time.  I thought this wouldn't happen with new shoes????  Boy was I wrong.  Now, I was still able to run but I had to tape it AND foam roll it and I just couldn't figure out why I was having these issues with my new pair.  Then I noticed generalized knee pain on the lateral side and again, nothing that keeps me from running, but it's enough to be annoying and worrisome at the same time since I have several big races already on the books.  

I decided I would seek advice from my friends at Kindrunner to see if they thought my shoes might be the culprit.  Kindrunner can provide you with a 1-on-1 shoe fitting by simply filling out the form on their website and they will evaluate your replies and call you to provide you with feedback and recommendations on shoe choices.  The form is incredibly easy to fill out and all you have to do is upload a picture of the bottom of each of your shoes and they will take it from there.  It honestly took me all of about 5 minutes to complete.  They also ask you what time you prefer your callback.  

I filled out my form online on July 4th (since I was home and Morgan was napping) and requested a callback the for the following day since I was off work.  Unfortunately I missed their call so I got an email from Patrick asking me when would a good time be for them to try again, so I replied to him and set up a call from them yesterday.  As promised, I got a call from Joe yesterday and he spent about 25 minutes talking to me about what they had seen from my shoe pics and making recommendations tailored to meet my needs.

First off, I had NO IDEA before my conversation with him about the science behind running shoes but apparently not all shoes are created equal!  Joe said he could tell from my pictures that I have been heel striking when I run, on the lateral side of my foot, which would explain my IT band/knee/shin pain.  The Brooks Adrenalines are a structured shoe to provide support for my overpronation but Joe (and Patrick too) felt that perhaps my running has evolved to the point that the Adrenalines are providing too MUCH correction and that a less structured shoe with a lower heel drop might be better for me.  We discussed several shoe options and we even talked about having different pairs of shoes for different types of running (i.e. a pair of shoes for long, slower runs and a pair of shoes for faster/speed running).  In the end I felt extremely confident with the recommendations Joe gave me and to top it off, he emailed me a recap of our conversation shortly after we got off the phone with links to the shoes we had discussed.

Talk about customer service!

The shoe that Joe felt would best suit me is the Saucony Guide - take a look at this beauty:


And yes, I want them in THIS color too :)  Unfortunately they do not have them in stock right now but ask and ye shall receive - they will order them for you if they don't have them!  I cannot wait to give these girls a try.

There is no charge for Kindrunner's Custom Fit - they are just kind that way.  I highly recommend trying this service when you are in the market for new shoes (or having issues with your current pair like I was!)

**I am a Kindrunner ambassador but I did not receive any reimbursement in any form for this review, nor was I asked to do it.  I just had to share because I thought it was that great.  Be kind!


QOTD:  What are your favorite pair of running shoes??

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