Factors You Never Knew That Play a Role in Your Running Shoes

Factors You Never Knew That Play a Role in Your Running Shoes

There are so many small factors that play a role in how a shoe fits or the appropriate shoe for your feet.  No matter who you are, finding the right shoe can be tough and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a sizing issue, stability issue, or you’re constantly injured.  There are many factors that people don’t realize play a role when determining a shoe.

Factors You Never Knew Played a Role in Your Running Shoes

As someone who works in a running specialty shoe store, I highly recommend going to your local store and getting fitted.  Sure, you can ask the internet for advice, but they aren’t staring at your feet and visually watching you.  Bloggers might tell you it’s the “best shoe ever,” but they probably got it for free.  I have yet to see a sponsored post for the number one selling shoe in the industry.

Think of it this way, everyone has a favorite “different color,” and everyone has an opinion of the “best shoe.”  But in case you wondered, there is no best-running shoe.

So What are a Few Factors that Could Mean You’re in the Wrong Shoes?

Continuous Ankle Sprains: 

If you constantly have ankle pain or sprain your ankle, you might need a different shoe.  Maybe you need stability, or maybe the shoe has too much stability.  Too much support can lead to an injury just like not enough support.  Make no mistake, support and cushion are two very different features of a shoe.

Toes Going Numb: 

If your feet go numb, you’re not in the right in the right shoe size.  Maybe the shoe is too small, too narrow, or not the right shape.  Or maybe there isn’t enough padding in the forefront for you.  If you’re feet fall asleep while running, you aren’t in the right shoe.

The toebox plays one of the greatest roles in brands.  Not only is it best to find the shoe with the right support, but it’s also best to find the shoe that is best fitted for your foot shape.  If you have long narrow toes, short toes, or even a full toe box all determine how a shoe fits.  Some brands are naturally wider while others have a more pointy top to them.

This goes for examining your toes too.  If your second toe is longer than your first toe, you’re more likely to develop bunions or hammer toes.

If you get blisters on the tops of your toes or your toes go numb, the shoe is either too narrow or too short for you.

And no, you should not lose toenails while running.  It’s not a runners “badge of honor” it means your shoes are too short.

Your Feet Get Bigger, and No One Cares:  

As you age, your feet will get longer or wider.  This happens even if you didn’t put on weight, have children, or do anything different.  Women: this almost always happens after you have children.  What ultimately happens is your aches slowly begin to flatten which can create longer or wider toes.  If you’ve “always been a size 7” it will probably change.  And guess what…How many people do you actually ask their shoe size?  How many people’s shoe size do you actually care about?

Ladies: Stilettos  and Narrow Shoes Cause Bunions:

Look, I’m no stranger to stilettos, in fact, mine are more expensive than any running shoe I’ve ever worn.  But cramming your feet into stilettos and pointy pumps causes bunions.  I try to at least alternate between peep toes and pointy so my toes can breathe somewhat.  You don’t have the “worst feet ever”, you just have bunions.  Women’s shoes go up to double-wide to accommodate this now.

There are More Ways to Lace a Running Shoe than there are Actual Running Shoes:

I won’t pretend to know every trick and tip, but there are plenty of articles depending on your issue.  There is the runner’s knot that can secure your heal more into place.  Skipping certain eyelets in the shoe can alleviate stress for people with high arches.  How you lace your shoes makes a huge difference on how the shoe fits.  Heck, I’ve run in shoes 1-2 sizes too big by manipulating the laces.

I will always tell people to get fit and to shop local.  As someone who works in specialty, there are so many advantages of getting fitted versus buying online.   The store associates know brand shapes, sizes, and structures of shoes.  It might take you hours of research when it takes us 5 seconds to determine the most appropriate shoes. Plus, running stores help keep the running community thriving.  Anyway, these are just a few factors that play a role in your shoes. Having the most appropriate shoe for your foot is the best piece of advice.

There is no perfect shoe, just a perfect shoe for you.

Questions for you:

Have you been fitted for running shoes?

What are your favorite shoes? 


New Balance 1080v8 Shoe Review

New Balance 1080v8 Shoe Review

Truthfully, I haven’t run in a lot of New Balance.  Many moons ago, I was injured in my final year of running cross country.  I had been “fitted” for a pair of New Balance shoes, and they were the last pair of trainers before my cyst injury took me out in 2012. It wasn’t the shoes fault, but since then I haven’t found a lot of New Balance shoes that feel comfortable to me.

I’ve tried the New Balance 880 as well as the Fresh Foam Zante.  Both are quality shoes, but they both didn’t have the maximum and plush cushion that I prefer.

new balance 1080 v8 shoe review

Enter the New Balance 1080.

This has quickly become a staple in my rotation as one of my favorite shoes.  New Balance isn’t paying me to tell you that, and I’m not Emma Coburn’s teammate.  In fact, I’m as a surprised as you are of how much I like the shoe!

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v8 Fit:

As someone with a more full foot and toebox, I appreciate that the 1080 has a full, seamless, toe box.  It’s deep enough to hold an insert and wide enough to have plenty of space if you’re dealing with bunions or need extra space.  I wear anywhere between a 10-11 wide in running shoes, and the 10.5 regular width is comfortable for me.

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v8 Ride:

I’ve tried on previous versions of the 1080 but never run in them.  This is my first review of the 1080.  From my knowledge, the 1080v8 hasn’t been updated too much since V7 (version 7). Most people who have liked the previous versions, also like the V8.

For how much cushion is in the 1080, it’s much stiffer than other plush models such as the Brooks Glycerin or Saucony Triumph.  The stiffness allows a bit more responsiveness.  Another note is the shoe feels much flatter than many other plush brands and has an 8 mm drop.

One thing I appreciate is the flex grooves in the forefoot.  As someone who runs very far on their forefront, it’s support and flexibility I need.  I’ve run both on the treadmill and outdoors, and the shoe feels great.

New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v8 Conclusions

Although I haven’t worn previous versions, I know there aren’t significant changes to the shoe. If you like the previous version, then you will continue to like the 1080.  If you’re new to the shoe, like me, then you’ll enjoy how soft and cushioned it is.

new balance 1080 v8 shoe review

As you can see, my shoe rotation has currently changed, and I have a lot of shoe reviews to catch up on:

Easy Runs/Daily Runs: Brooks Glycerin 16, New Balance 1080, Saucony Ride ISO, Hoka Mach

Workouts: Nike Fly, New Balance 1400

Races: Nike LT Racer, Nike Fly

Questions for you:

What shoe brand are you “most loyal” too?

Do you like maximum cushioned or minimal shoes? 

Training Log: Rest and Cranking Away

Training Log: Rest and Cranking Away

Another week of summer training in the books.  As I mentioned in my July training log, August would be busy.  Last week proved that to me already.  I’m not complaining but it’s meant putting other things in front of running including sleep.   Like the week prior, I only meant for 1 rest day but ended with 2 as well as missing both a workout and race.  I ended with a solid long run so ending on a high note is always nice.

Since August is a low key month in regards to training, it’s not a big deal to miss runs.  I don’t want to start missing every run, but 1 or 2 a week is not a problem.  While I was sad to miss both a race and workout, the weather on Saturday was thunderstorming and pouring rain, so it wouldn’t have made for a fun race anyway!

So where to start?

Monday: Easy 45 minutes
Tuesday: Easy 60 minutes
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Easy 60 minutes
Friday: Easy 60 minutes
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: 15-mile run with 2X5k at 7:11

My easy runs were just that, easy.  I say that every week but for the most part, there isn’t anything thrilling about them.  It seems repetitive but easy miles are there to build a base. I wanted to race on Saturday but something popped up in the morning which made it impossible.  I could have squeezed a run in, but I didn’t feel like it between the weather and exhaustion.


I ran a 15 mile long run with 2X5k at 7:11 pace.  I personally like to add some of speed into my longer runs because they can get “boring”.  Some weeks I go with a faster finish but this week I decided to do a workout.  The workout itself is around a marathon pace versus half but I have no complaint of effort.  It was a feel like temp of 93 and dewpoint of 71.

Other then that, not a lot going on.  The next two weeks will be busy in life as well as work.  I’ll still log summer miles and hopefully workouts.  I’m looking at a few fall races as well.


As someone who blogs about running, it can be difficult to talk about just down weeks or even months.  That is what the summer has been for me.  I don’t “need” to be training for anything right now.  There are just periods of time where you’re healthy and living life, but not training for anything.  That’s where I’m at right now.

Posts from the Week:

July Training Recap

Under Armour Sonic HOVR Shoe Review

200 Diner Review Recap

Bridgeport Flyer Diner (Mildford, CT)

Bridgeport Flyer Diner (Mildford, CT)

Over the last few months, I’ve been to Connecticut far more than ever!  That includes going to a couple of new diners too!  Recently I was in the Bridgeport and Milford area and decided to stop at the Bridgeport Flyer Diner.  I was hungry, and it was close.

Atmosphere: A
When I arrived around dinner time, it wasn’t too crowded.  The outside is that of many diners.  It’s modern but clean.  There is nothing unusual or that stands out, minus the sign that says “busses welcome.”

When I went in, the waitress motioned to sit anywhere I pleased, and I got a fun locals vibe from it.  I chose a booth since they are my preference.

Coffee: B
There was nothing unique or unusual about the coffee, but it was good.  The waitress refilled it a few times.

Food: A
The Bridgeport Flyer Diner has many options whether you want all day breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  There was almost a full page of specials which caught my eye.  I decided to order the prime rib which came with salad, vegetable, and dessert.

Since I was hungry, I also ordered the Mezze platter which was a Mediterranian platter with chicken, gyro, olives, tomatoes, salad, hummus, pita bread, and feta.  In short, I ordered way too much food but had no regrets.   Very few mezze platters include chicken and gyro, so it was a nice treat.  The appetizer itself was great, and so much food.  It could easily be a meal for someone.

Bridgeport Flyer Diner milford ct

My prime rib was cooked perfectly.  I couldn’t have asked for better prime rib and was a thick cut, cooked medium rare.  I was pleased.  I chose French fries and carrots for my sides but was rather full for the fries.

Bridgeport Flyer Diner milford ct

Dessert: B
Since my meal came with dessert, I ordered the bread pudding.  It was decent bread pudding, not my favorite but not my least.  It was good, and I would order it again.

Bridgeport Flyer Diner milford ct

Service:  A
The waitress was one of the most friendly of any diner waitress I’ve had.  She was friendly, attentive, and seemed to know every local that stopped by.

Cost: $
For my prime rib, coffee, and mezze platter, it was about $35.  It was enough for 3 people.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come back:
I liked the Bridgeport Flyer Diner, and I would definitely go back if the opportunity presents itself.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: A
Dessert: B
Service: A
Cost: $10-20

Overall: A 

You can see all diner reviews here,

Questions for you:

Do you like prime rib?

Are you a local anywhere?

201: Chobani’s Diner and Restaurant (Pennsville)

201: Chobani’s Diner and Restaurant (Pennsville)

I know what you’re thinking, and the diner was not named after Chobani yogurt!  Just kidding.  While driving down to Charlottesville, VA last month I opted to go to Chobani’s Diner and Restaurant in Pennsville, NJ.  It’s about 10 minutes from the Delaware Memorial Bridge.  I hadn’t heard of Chobani’s until I made a stop at the Salem Oak Diner and saw it on my way.  All I thought was, YES another easy stop when going south (either to my hometown of Chesapeake, VA) or just south.

Atmosphere: B
Chobani’s is a well-maintained diner.  When you arrive, there are plenty of booths and tables.  They have plenty of desserts and do serve alcohol.  When I arrived, I was seated quickly.  There weren’t that many people in the restaurant.

Chobanis Diner Salem NJ

Coffee: B
The coffee was good, but there was nothing unique or unusual.  The waitress refilled it once.  I could have used more, but it was probably better since I was on the road.

Chobanis Diner Salem NJ

Food: A
I wasn’t sure what to expect for Chobani’s because there isn’t a lot of information online.  I wouldn’t be surprised if they had 5 options to choose from or 10,000.  Chobani’s has a massive menu, and you won’t find anything missing.  Chobani’s has plenty of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.  There are specials too.  There about 15 different salads to choose from if you want a healthier route.

Chobanis Diner Salem NJ

I decided to order a cheesesteak which came with fries and soup.  The cheesesteak was massive and had plenty of meat.  The french fries were excellent.  They weren’t great but not bad either.  Even though it was 95 degrees out, my chicken noodle soup was good as well.

Chobanis Diner Salem NJ

In all the food was good, and I would order it again.

Service: B

The waitress was extremely nice but the food took a lot longer to come to out than anticipated.  Since there weren’t many people in the restaurant, I expected it be a little faster.  Other than that, the waitress was friendly.

Cost: $
For my coffee and meal, the cost was $12.

Overall Thoughts/Would I Come Back?
I was pleasantly surprised with Chobani’s and liked it a lot.  If you’re looking for a quick stop near the Delaware Memorial Bridge, Chobani’s is a good one.

Atmosphere: A
Coffee: B
Food: A
Service: B
Cost: $10-15

You Can See All Diner Reviews Here.

Overall: A

Questions for you:
Have you been surprised by a restaurant?
Do you typically look up restaurants online?
I wanted to know more about the diner, beforehand but I couldn’t find anything online.


July Training Recap

Can you believe it’s already August?  No, ok me either.

July was one of the best months I’ve had in a while.  Not running wise, but life wise.  I had a kickass month. I got to travel to multiple states and celebrate my birthday running the hardest race I’ve ever done.  It’s hard to top that (literally because Copper Mountain was 12000 feet high).

under armour copper mountain race me running

This summer I’ve opted to just bee-bop around and not take myself too seriously.  To be honest, I don’t take myself that seriously anyway but I’m not training for anything.  My primary goal is to stay healthy and have fun while running.  It’s hard to PR when it’s 99% humidity so instead of forcing myself to train hard, I’m just relaxing.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100% still running but I’m not worried about pace, time, or distance.  I do workouts, much slower, and that is fine!  If you train hard year round, you’ll get hurt, a lesson I know far too well.

Miles Run: Around 200 but I haven’t been keeping great track

Range of Paces: 6:07-15:10-untimed (75% of my miles I didn’t time)

Rest Days: 6


Irish Festival 5k (20:25)

Copper Mountain 25k (2:58)


As I mentioned, this summer is all about enjoying myself.  If you had asked me 3 months ago if I thought I would successfully run a 25k that went to 12,000 altitude, I would have laughed.  I have enjoyed not having anything on the radar but still enjoying the moments.

August is going to be a busy month. In fact, in the last 2 days it already has been. Life is going to get a bit chaotic but nothing I can’t handle.  I’m still hoping to go run the Underarmour Killington Race (either the 10k or 25k) but I’ll make the decision as my schedule gets ironed out.

Posts from the Month: 


Vital Proteins Berry Blast Smoothie
Recovering from Workouts

What to Do When You’re Not Motivated
Brooks Glycerin 16 Shoe Review

Hiking High Mountain with a View of NYCHiking Indian Wells State Park
Walking around Belleplain State Forest

Questions for you:

How is your summer going?

Do you have any plans for August? 

Under Armour Sonic HOVR Shoe Review

Under Armour Sonic HOVR Shoe Review

My shoe rotation has almost entirely changed in the last 2 months.  Many of my favorites have been updated, and many of my shoes have gotten enough miles that it is time to be donated.  The next couple of months will be filled with several reviews.

Until recently, I had never run in an Under Armour shoe.  Most people know how great the apparel is, but the running specialty shoes weren’t up there.  Well now they are, and I’ve found myself pleasantly surprised with both the Under Armour Sonic and Horizon BPF (a trail shoe that I ran Copper Mountain 25k in).

under armour hovr sonic shoe review


The Sonic Hovr has a different fit than many other brands.  The knit surrounds the entire foot including the heel counter at the back.  It’s all one piece with the tongue attached too. The heal is not as “plush” like many other brands, but honestly, it doesn’t make a difference for me.  Typical I wear a women’s size 10-11 wide, and a 10.5 fits fine and with no sliding.

One thing I will include is that if using a custom insert, it might be more challenging to fit into the shoe without feeling like you’re sliding out.

What is “Hovr”?

Hovr is the technology Under Armour uses that makes up the midsole of the shoe.  Every brand has their own technology.  Adidas uses Boost, Nike: Air, Mizuno uses the Wave Plate, Saucony now uses Evverrun…every brand uses something different.

under armour hovr sonic shoe review


The weight of the Sonic is about 9.6 ounces and the heel to toe drop is 8 mm.  It’s a soft but well-cushioned shoe.  I feel as though I’m well cushioned in the beginning and throughout the entire run.  I’ve done a few workouts as well as a 15-mile run and haven’t had any issues.  The grip is also good, and I don’t feel as though I’m sliding in rainy or wet conditions.  In all, it’s one of the softer and lighter shoes I’ve tried.


The Under Armour Hovr Sonic is an excellent shoe for multiple purposes from everyday training to a “faster” paced shoe.  For me, it fits into a tempo shoe because I appreciate the lightweight but extra cushion it provides over a flat.  It’s responsive but fast enough that I feel as though I get a good turnover in.

I’m pleasantly surprised with the Under Armour HOVR Sonic.  If you had asked me a year ago if an Under Armour Shoe would be one of my current favorites, I’m not sure if I would believe you.

Shoe Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Brooks Glycerin 16, Hoka Clifton 5, Brooks Levitate 2, Diadora Fly, Saucony Ride ISO, New Balance 1080

Workouts: Nike Fly, Under Armour Sonic HOVR

Racing: Nike LT Racer, New Balance 1400

Trails: Brooks Cascadia 12 and Under Armour Horizon

Questions for you:

What is one brand you want to try?

Have you tried Under Armour shoes before? 

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