I want to preface this post by saying that I love shoes... to a point where I'm sort of pathetic about it. I can shop online for hours just looking at them, when I pick one up at a store I usually hold it as though its an ancient masterpiece, when I buy a new pair of shoes I'm giddy for over a week and sometimes wear them to bed. Like I said, sort of pathetic.
The really pathetic thing, is how sentimental I am about my running shoes. I brought my training shoes to my first marathon because I felt like even though they were shot and unwearable, that they should be there for me at the finish line (I have yet to get rid of them). I can list off all my old running shoes as if they are old friends and could probably tell you when I wore them and what races I ran with them. Like other runners, I often get mine at specialty stores, or race expos, and I talk it over with one of the workers and research the top rated shoes online.
This is important because I actually have extremely flat feet and have gotten tendinitis multiple times and should wear my orthotics everyday. I only really ever wear them running and when I know I'll be walking a lot. I cringe remembering all the blisters I got from my custom-made orthotics while training for my first marathon. I need to bring the orthotics to the store and I run around with them to get a good feel for how they fit in the shoe. Right now I'm wearing Saucony ProGrid Triumph 6, I bought these because they didn't have much of a heel, plus they were light, flexible and with light cushioning.
I also thought they were pretty (especially in the green and silver).
These shoes costs $125 and if I remember correctly I had a 20% off coupon, but still shelled out some big bucks on them. I've always strayed away from brands like Nike, having been warned that you're only paying for the name. In my limited 6 years of running experience, I've gotten different advice from everyone. Some say distance runners need stability shoes, while others say that density just adds weight to your feet. One person says you need light, flexible shoes, while someone else recommends one with what looks like a 2-inch heel. I know I can't have much of a heel to mine, since my orthotics add even more of one, and its taken a few trials to figure out what works and what doesn't.
Today's Time Magazine article on their wellness blog Do fancy running shoes do more harm than good? reminded me of the $30 pair of running sneakers that I bought at a running expo. They were an obscure brand that I can't remember, but I wore them from Nov 2007 until April this year. They stuck around so long since I didn't do any long distance training during that time. Not only did they last, but I ran a quick half-marathon with them, logged quite a few miles and, get this, I survived! I didn't get tendonitis, extra hip or knee pain, and really couldn't tell the difference between them and my old Ascics or Sauconys. I'm not planning on taking up barefoot running anytime soon (that's a bit extreme), but its not like I've ever heard a theory that the reason Phidippides didn't survive his marathon was because he wasn't in state of the art running shoes.