In my training session last week we chatted a fair amount about injuries. My trainer said he had suffered with foot injuries, too and found one factor was shoes. He said he had to buy new shoes every six months. I have heard that before. In fact, I planned on it... when I was running.
But I sat there nodding and thinking quietly, "That's nice, Chris, but it doesn't apply to me. I haven't been running in these shoes... Not really, anyway. I got them in the fall... about the same time as I got the knee injury... and have hardly run at all."
Today I was at the gym, noticing my shoes... A few plastic bits on top have cracked, the lining is worn to threadbare inside and they were looking... well... saggy. I shook my head and said, "Girl, you are in such denial. You SO need new shoes!"
Running or not, I walk a lot in them... and work out in them six days a week for a couple hours a day... They get used on cardio machines, weight machines... they have jumped on the bosu numerous times... And outside the gym, they've been walking all over campus... through malls, through parks, and... well... all over the province, actually... They're not completely worn out... but you can bet they don't exactly have much support or cushioning in them any more either.
How can you wear out a pair of running shoes without actually running in them?
I'll just go have a look, I thought. I won't buy anything... I don't really need them yet... Not till I'm back running. (Denial is a happy, happy place.)
So, I went to my favorite store for shoes... Forzani's on 4th St. I go in. I scan the wall with shoes. The clerk comes over to me, looks at my feet (stuffed in my worn out runners) and says, "Looking for replacement shoes?"
"Umm.... Just looking, really." But she knew. She took one look at my feet and knew. Replacemenet shoes needed. Denial in process. We chit chat... running, injuries, the weather...
Then... I see them.
They had MY shoes on sale. I swear by Sauconys. I was fitted with my first pair a few years back, long before I ever started working out... I just wanted something good quality that fit well and so forth. I've never looked back.
Sale. Good sale. Getting rid of old stock to make room for new versions, kind of sale.
She hauls my shoe off the shelf. I look at it. I look at my feet. I see the difference. I sigh and say, "Size 8."
She comes back with them and as I'm taking my orthotics out of my old runners to try in the new ones, she says, "You have othotics? You shouldn't be wearing a stability shoe! The shoe you have is designed to correct pronation... Which is what your othotics do. If you wear a stability shoe with orthotics, it can cause over correction! That could be part of the reason you're still injured, actually... I'm not a doctor, of course..."
Why hadn't anyone (othotics maker, physio or anyone else in my battery of health professionals) mentioned this before? And don't you love how people always add in the disclaimer about not being a doctor, when you and they both know full well that they probably know exactly what they are talking about? Sad, really, that people have to do that...
"I just got the orthotics in April," I say.
She continues, "You need a neutral shoe."
"O.K.... I'll try one... But I'm pretty used to these ones I have now," thinking about how comfy they are... How I am not ready for any kind of new shoe at all, really... I like the ones I have... They fit like a dream.
She pulls down another pair of Sauconys for me to look at saying, "I'll get you an 8 to try."
Moments later she's back. I try them.
Heaven. Pure bliss... Much, much better than my trusty old saggy ones. And $20 cheaper than the pronation control ones, to boot.
"I'll take them." I say, as I am walking around the store, adding that they actually feel much better than the ones I have on.
"I'm not surprised," she says. "I think you'll find the neutral shoe works much better with the orthotics."
I leave with the Saucony box tucked under my arm, thinking that despite not wanting new shoes... despite being in denial... despite not being a big fan of the "new runner" look (too white!) ... that I was lucky to find a sale... especially on Sauconys... and even luckier to find a sales clerk who knew her stuff... and how this is a good sign... Running shoes for running... Soon, precious, we'll be over the injuries and testing you on the roads... Soon.