Good shoes, no wait, I mean great shoes are extremely important when it comes to running. They have the ability to either make or break you, both literally and figuratively. I once assumed a running shoe was, well, a running shoe. Simply put, if they got me from the start to the finish and were lightweight then I believed that they were great shoes. Thus, my journey into the world of running began as a series of reality checks complete with acute pain in my feet, knees and shins. Although I believed such pain was absolutely normal and a necessary initiation into the world of running, I decided to research and found that shoes have a direct effect on the way you run and any pain associated with it.
After careful research I learned about under-pronation, over-pronation, high arches, low arches, and a world of overwhelming information that coincides with your running gait and the specific shoes needed (let’s be honest, I still don’t really understand). Translation: shoes are very important. But how was I to know what shoes were for me? I realized, from looking at how my shoes tended to wear toward the outside, that I have high arches and my feet tend to roll out when I run. Basically it means I am an under-pronator. Honestly, it is kind of sad telling people you are an under-pronator. To me it almost sounds like underachiever. I would rather be an over-pronator (overachiever), but I can’t change what the lord has given me. However, I have written him some very unhappy emails! What it all really means is that I have to wear running shows that provide maximum cushioning. This means the styles are a little more limited, which is very disturbing.
Anyway, I digress. In order to find the right kind of shoes for me I went to a real running store. When I say real I do not mean Foot Locker, or Foot Action or any of those kinds of stores in a mall where the only thing the workers know to ask is what shoe size you wear. Honestly, I had no idea that people at real running stores like “Luke’s Locker” or “Run-On” actually know what they are talking about. First off, they will ask you what type of running you are expecting to do. When you tell the marathon running and feel all proud of yourself even though you are scared to death they will then laugh at you and tell you that you don’t look like a runner. Just kidding, that would be very cruel. Actually, they will look at your current shoes and study them to see how they are worn. Next, they will have you remove them and have you walk back and forth to see how your feet look as you take each step. Then, as if to say, “Yes, I’ve got it,” they will go and get you a variety of shoes to try on for your specific feet. Next, if you choose, they will have you run on a treadmill inside the store so they can study your gait and see if the shoes look right for you…now that’s customer service. It’s because these stores are full of active runners, not people dressed like referees. They will help you get into the shoes that are right for you. Just leave the details to them.
When you are looking for running shoes trust the experts. Make sure the shoes are more than just comfortable. You will definitely save yourself a lot of pain if you go to a store that specializes in running and start with the right pair of shoes. Sometimes shoes that look like comfortable shoes are not always what they seem. I know I have benefited from going to real running stores because my feet no longer hurt and my knees are always thanking me.