My shoe journey
When I first started running almost six year ago, I wore Mizuno Wave Riders. I felt like I was running on clouds. When I moved and started running more hills because of where my apartment was located, I began feeling uncomfortable on my feet. I went back to Running Wild and told them I was nervous about rolling an ankle because I thought I was landing on the outside of my foot too much. So they sold me a pair of Nikes. I don’t remember which model.
I wore those for a few months and then got achilles tendonitis that was so bad I had to sleep in these horrible, uncomfortable boots (and then got knee pain from sleeping in them) and take anti-inflammatories. I couldn’t run for a couple months. My dad also has problems with achilles tendonitis and suggested I start wearing Vibram Five Fingers (apparently the model I wear is no longer available for women). I was skeptical. Those things seemed weird. And, at that time, I was a pretty casual runner and didn’t know much about running except that I did it sometimes.
So I started running in Five Fingers. My achilles pain went away. I quit wearing the boots. I didn’t wear added support in my shoes anymore. My feet felt stronger (and, oddly enough, looked stronger…I’d never known what muscular feet looked like) and I went two years without a single running-related injury.
I don’t recommend barefoot shoes for all people, but they work for me.
In February of this year I got a stress fracture in my right foot while training for a marathon. Many people told me (or not so subtly implied) it was because of my shoes. I asked my doctor and he said it was not (we’d already gone over risk factors for a stress fracture and I had a few…including training for a marathon, who knew marathon training was overuse?!), but he recommended I wear something with more cushion, at least for awhile. So I did. And hated it. After a couple pairs of shoes, I’m back in minimalist shoes and rotating between wearing a New Balance Minimus model and Vibram Five Fingers and pretty happy about it.
Everyone you ask about shoes will have a different opinion. Specialty running stores have people who know a lot about feet and shoes and can help get you the right shoes.
Here are some interesting articles about shoes:
- Study Shows Rotating Shoes Linked to Lower Injury Risk
- When to Replace Running Shoes
- The Once and Future Way to Run