I work at a running store and I love it. I don’t love every single second of anything but I do really enjoy my job.
I cannot tell you the amount of times it baffles me the amount of people that come into the store and say one of the following lines:
- This shoe injured me. It’s the worst running shoe ever.
- I hate this shoe. I don’t understand how anyone would ever run in it without getting injured.
- I read the reviews to this shoe online and it’s terrible. Me: How did you feel when you ran in it? Customer: I’ve never run in it.
- My feet are the worst or weirdest feet you have ever seen (they aren’t…because mine are).
The first three statements are blanketing a running shoe. The most important factor for running shoes is the way a running shoe is designed and your foot. If a shoe is designed for a neutral gait and you overpronate, the shoe is not a good shoe for you. Of course you are going to get injured with it. It isn’t a bad shoe but it’s a bad shoe for you. For instance, The Brook’s adrenaline is a great shoe but not a great shoe for me.
If the shoe is too small, it’s not an appropriate shoe for you.
If the shoe is a minimalist shoe and you are injury prone, it’s probably not appropriate for you either.
The minimalist trend has got to stop. Running shoes are not designed to injure you. We all cannot be as light on our feet as Meb or any elite (other wise we would all be winning Boston). The Nike free, The Go Meb Sketchers might work for Meb but they don’t work for the majority of the population. Are they bad shoes? No but they aren’t appropriate running shoes. Minimalist shoes are great for those they work for but unfortunately that is not most of the running population. Most need a little bit of cushion and support to run.
I think describing a running shoe as bad is a poor idea. I think a better idea is describing a running shoe as not being appropriate for you. Although I do work in a running store, I think all runners should go to a running store and get fitted for a pair of shoes. That way they know they have a proper pair of shoes for them. They know that running in the wrong shoe wasn’t the reason they missed their first race.
Yes it is a bit more expensive then buying last year’s clearance model online but you know the shoe is working for you. The deductible you pay insurance for a stress fracture x-ray is more expensive then a pair of running shoes anyways (believe me I know).
There is something invaluable about having personalized attention on your feet and making sure you have the correct pair of shoes. It’s not just about a wider foot or high arches, there is a lot more including gate and knowledge of actual shoe design that goes into the process. Do you need a shoe with a fuller toe box? Do you need a thinner trimmed shoe as well? Did you know you actually wore a wide with mild stability?
I’m not harassing everyone to go get fitted for the proper pair of shoes (or visit me at work), I’m just saying as a runner you should know what shoes truly work for you and what kind of gait you have. You shouldn’t base your choice on what was on super clearance online and think it is the magic shoe to end your problems.
Question for you: What kind of shoe do you run in?