Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Shoe Experience

Yesterday I was checked by a very hunky athletic guy. He was blond with very short hair, blue eyes, beautiful face who was also running the London marathon each year. Unfortunately he was only interested in just checking my feet since I was there to get new fitted shoes.

OK, let me start from the beginning. I’ve been complaining about aches I’ve been having in my right foot after going running. One of the very fundamental rules regarding running is to have the proper kind of shoes. What I had till now was a pair of Asics Gel that looks like the ones in the picture. I bought them from ‘Decathlon’ almost a year ago when I first started going running. I didn’t know exactly what to buy back then and I went for neutral comfort, price and style. Since they are almost a year old and I am increasing the mileage of my runs, I knew it was time to change them and I wanted to go to the specialists to find my next best running shoes.

So, I went yesterday to the ‘London Marathon Store’. I was told that they run tests on your feet and you can get what’s best for you. It is a small corner store next to Covent Garden in the centre. You can’t miss it since there is a big countdown clock above the entrance to the next London Marathon in two months. I went into the store and found one of the people working there (the guy previously described) and I explained to him the issues I’ve been recently having with my foot. He listened to me patiently and then suggested we run some tests to see if the problem was related to my shoes or it was something more serious.

He took me downstairs where they run the tests. He made me take my shoes and socks off, lift my jeans and do some squats. I was happy to oblige and from that he was able to see that I have high arched feet. Of course I’d have the least common of the three cases (I like being special). That meant that most likely I need special shoes and that the problem to my feet was caused by not having proper support when running. In order to test that theory I wore my (very soon to be) old Asics and hit the treadmill. They had a camera next to the treadmill focusing on the runner’s feet from behind and I started jogging. It didn’t take a professional’s eye to see how wrong it seemed. My ankles didn’t seem straight and there was an angle between my foot and my leg (pronation) and I was not running properly.

Then, the guy gave me some shoes that provide better support to try on the treadmill. The change in the way my running looked was tremendous. There was still a small angle formed but it looked so much better. That convinced us that the problem was the old shoes I had, that needed to be replaced. After trying three different pairs I bought a new pair of ‘Mizunos Nexus Wave 4’ (a brand I didn’t even know existed). I can’t wait to go running with them but I first need to try them on a couple of times to stretch and soften them.

I am quite happy about the whole experience. I feel more confident now regarding my running and I can’t wait to try them on. It was a bit of a revelation knowing about my high arched feet and pronation. These are things that I didn’t know before but at least learnt before more serious harm was done.


  1. I need to do something similar. I went to RunTex, a place that does something similar a couple of years ago when I picked up running casually to get my current "running platform" (i.e. my Brooks Adrenaline GTS VIII's). Now that I'm serious about it, I want to have someone do a true stride analysis so I can figure out what strange things I'm doing wrong so I won't hurt a knee or twist an ankle.

    And on this note, I should get off my butt and go run on the treadmill. Six miles, here I come. :-)

  2. The Brooks look good. If you have them for long you might need to replace them like mine.
    I can't run far on a treadmill. I get bored too easily. I prefer outdoors, even in the rain.

  3. Now this is interesting. I never thought about going to a specialist before - you made me wonder.
    At least the new runners looks amazing!
    Let us know if it was worth it and then I might think about going to some marathon specialist as well (got check if there's some in Malta).

    I actually got 2 pair of Skechers last week and I felt a huge difference on my running.

  4. That's cool - on all levels. I applaud your running. It was never my thing.

    Four years of running in high school and I hated every single moment of it. I never achieved that runners high.

    Now I use the plate and nine pins in my leg as an excuse not to run, when in reality it isn't a problem.

  5. @Pedders Yes, it was definitely worth going to have my feet tested and measured. My new shoes are amazing. I can feel that my run is more stable now.

    @Blobby Ouch. The plate and nine pins sound painful. As you can see I'm really enjoying running. I like the feeling I get when I finish a long run so much...