Friday, May 21, 2010

12 Pairs...

A few of you have asked me about shoes the last few weeks. What kind? How many pairs of shoes will you need? How do you know when you need to replace them?

Fewer external things have as big of an impact on your running success as good shoes. Get the wrong ones and a variety of problems occur. Blisters for sure are a big indication of the wrong fit or style of running shoe. Muscle strains, foot bone problems and other maladies can also result from not getting your kicks right!

My best advice is that you should go to a professional running shop that does stride analysis and foot strike analysis. A good shop can do a variety of tests to determine if you need support, better arch design, different widths etc. Trust me, it is worth the time to do this before you drop a Benjamin on a pair of good shoes.

I have tried probably every shoe known to man. Asics, Nike, Mizuno, New Balance, Saucony, North Face, Montrail...I have tried them all and all of them are "good" if you get the right fit. I have only had one bad experience (Pearl Izumi...felt like they used plywood instead of rubber on the bottom. I ended up donating three pairs to the Salvation Army!).

My favorite shoe is made by Newton ( I started running them about two years ago. They position you to run on the front of your foot, simulating a more natural running stride. I love them! I can take a brand new pair out of the box and run 40 miles without a rub or ache. They are a little expensive...but so are doctor bills! Newton has helped me out a little bit on this adventure...but even if they were not so generous, I would be telling everyone who runs to give them a try.

So how many pairs will I go through during my training and run? I calculate 12 pairs! 1 pair every 550 miles or so. I am going through a pair every other month.

How do I know when to change them out? How should you know when to change? Experts say that you should replace them about every 500 miles or so. Based on my experience the last few years, I agree. I can always tell a difference in the bounce and cushion after retiring a pair and putting on a new one. I also look at the bottoms for excess wear.

What is on tap for the weekend? I am going to run about 45 total this weekend. I have a few things I need to do that will keep my time constrained!

Have a great weekend.

p.s. Shame On Floyd Landis...two years professing his innocence for blood doping, taking $1,000,000 in donations from the public for his defense, writing a book professing his innocence for profit....and then this week confessing that he was guilty all along...and then fingering other people in the sport as dopers and steriod abusers. Shame. Shame. Shame. Are there no honorable role models left these days?

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