Importance of Running Shoes

In Running Gear on March 29, 2009 at 10:37 pm

I first started training for a marathon in 2001. After September 11th, I found myself running in the New York Health & Racquet  Club a lot. It was a 6am brain child of mine. If something sounds like a good idea at 6am, it has to be a good idea. Well, I could run 4 miles in 32 minutes no problem, but every time I tried to increase my distance, my feet would start to feel numb.

With my personality, I figured I would just keep running through this. As my distances increased to around 10k, it became unbearable and soon thereafter I lost interest.

Speed up to January 2008, when I again decided to run a marathon, I had the same problem. Once I got myself in good enough shape to run any distance, my foot issues loomed its ugly head. I was very discouraged. After speaking to a number of people, I visited a shoe store with some real professionals.

I began to explain my problem, and he interrupted me (which made me angry). He asked, “Did you play hockey or ski?” Stunned, I replied “both.”

He immediately stated, “your shoes are two sizes too small. I can see your toes putting pressure on the front of them.” Ridiculous, I say, I have been wearing the same size 8 shoes since 7th grade and my feet have never grown. Well, it is true that I had wore the same size 8s, but apparently my feet grew sometime after I started wearing them. I was a size 10. No matter how many times I stood on that damn scale, I was a size 10. I was amazed. I never had my shoes measured since the 7th grade.

Apparently, this is a common problem with people who partake in sports where you want a tight boot. You want the skates to fit very snugly for optimal performance. The same is not true of running or every day shoes.

I bought a pair of size 10 shoes, and all though I have made slight alterations to the type of shoe I wear since then, it has made all the difference in the world. When I ran my half marathon, I could not believe that I never once thought about my feet. Oh, they were sore when I was done, but the tingling and intense pain was never an issue.

Take the time to get your running shoes sized every so often. If you work in a running store, size everyone’s shoes. It will be worth the 5 minutes.


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