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Old 10-27-04, 02:41 PM
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Running Shoes - Don't let yours be a pain in the feet

... my running/walking shoe buying & wearing experience.

The first year I did a long distance walk (about a 4-5 hour walk), I loved my shoes. Actually, I didn't think about them much, but, that's a good thing! I walked into a shoe store knowing not much more than that I should get a shoe with plenty of cushion in the heal and give in the ball of my foot part of the shoe.

It turns out I got lucky, because the second year I went to a store where they measured my foot, and I tried on pair after pair after pair. Although my foot measured 8 1/2, I was up to a 9 1/2 before the fit was decent - but not great. At that point, the shoe salesman said "These have to fit, your shoe size is 8 1/2!" I left the store with a pair of shoes that I thought fit o.k. and I hoped they'd fit better after they were broken in -- they never did and I had to read everything I could on preventing blisters (vaseline between the toes, silk socks layered with thick socks, mole skin, etc.).

It turns out that some companies run small in there shoe sizes. My friend told me she think that perhaps it gives those companies an edge when shoes are rated by magazines. Ratings usually take a standard size then compare the weight (and a bunch of other stuff) of all different brands that size. So, if your sizes run small, and your 8 is really a 7 - it's gonna be quite a bit lighter than all the other 8's - assuming that no other company has sizes that run small. Anyway, ....

Year 3 rolls around and I'm older, and wiser (don't laugh now, it could happen. ). I know where *not* to shop. I've talked to a few more people about shoes.... Apparently, a well-fitting pair of shoes should *not* give you blisters, even the first time you wear them ...

My friend also told me that different brands fit everyone a little differently. So, once she found a good fit, she sticks with that brand. Another friend said the same thing, she's noticed that when she wears "brand x", her knees bother her and "brand y" affected her lower back.

Anyway, I shopped at a store that was having a close-out. Running shoes were cheap! So, I bought 2 pair, different brands than I had tried before. They fit comfortably. One pair ended up giving me blisters, so I switched to the other pair which seemed fine for the most part. They never gave me blisters, though the right shoe seemed a bit smallish. I wore them on the long distance walk this past Spring -- and lost the toenail on my right big toe because of a huge blister that formed under the nail. I guess they *were* too small....

A couple months ago I found a store that sells the brand I wore that first year (last year's model, so cheaper than the brand new model by 20% or so!) And my feet are happy again!!! So, I found my brand.

There are two running shoe rules I pay attention to . I've read that cushioning wears out after about 500 miles and most articles I've read recommend retiring your shoes when they hit that mark. I go a little longer, but, I definitely get a new pair before the beginning of a new season of training for my long distance walk. I start wearing them about 150 miles before race day. So, I know they fit well, but, they aren't close to wearing out. I also wear my running shoes exclusively for running/walking. If you wear them for everyday activities, they'll wear out quicker. My old running shoes are around 1 more year, they become my everyday shoes.

I hope someone can get something out of this post that may prove helpful.

happy feet,

Wheezie
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Old 10-27-04, 05:08 PM
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Shoes are kind of a work of art Wheezie. I have experience the blister under the toe nail. It is not fun. One thing you can do to help is make sure your toenails our trimmed short. You can put vasiline on your feet to prevent blisters. Put the vasiline on then socks and the shoes. The vasiline allows your foot to move in the shoe without the rubbing. Hope that helps.
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Old 11-04-04, 12:52 AM
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I haven't bought running shoes for twenty three years. I bought my first pair of real running shoes at a speciality store in Toronto when I was just out of college. Either they didn't serve me well or I was very hard on my body. By the end I couldn't run much more than 25 miles a week and I had such high hopes of running my first full Marathon when I was finally forced to quit by the pain in my shins.

Today I shopped for running shoes and was it fun! I learnt a bunch of things but didn't have the time to take that information and shop it around.

I absolutely love the fit I have on the shoes I bought.

Apparently within any one brand it's often the case where shoes of different styles are built on the same "last". I didn't have many to choose from because so few people have feet as extreme as mine.

I was struck by how tightly my narrow heel was fitted to the back of the shoe and how roomy the toe box was. My toes are flapping around in the space up front. It's glorious to put these babies on. I don't think besides my Birkenstocks that I've ever felt so well fitted to the product as these shoes make me feel.

I'm headed back into consumerville tomorrow bright and early to compare more brands and consult with more runners.
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Old 02-17-05, 10:09 PM
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The foot can change in regards to the length and width as we get older (sorta like our presciption for our eyes...our eyes don't really grow, but you sorta get the picture), therefore I have learned to have my feet measured at least once a year while standing(both right and left). I have also found that foot deformities such as bunions and cocked up toes can require a deeper and wider toe box. If the foot pistons or slides back and forth in the shoe then pad the tongue with a soft material like an old piece of a wash cloth. This will keep the foot farther back in the shoe and prevent the toes from getting banged up so much.
Some foot types such as flat feet or a high arched foot may wear out shoes quicker and won't last a true 500 miles. Another way to look at your shoes is how they wear. If the back of the shoe tilts to one side or another when looking at the shoe from the back or heel and only has 400 mile on it, then I consider replacing the shoe. It seems that once the heel of the shoe begins to wear down on one side of or another, the more we run on that shoe the greater the risk of developing running injuries. The last thought I will put in is that a running shoe ( not walking or crosstrainer style) with a stiff rigid sole shoe that doesn't bend in the middle will protect the foot better than a flexable sole shoe.....sorry for going on so long...
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