November 15, 2012

My Ridiculous Shoe Dilemma...

I have shoe issues.  I'm not talking about my obsession with buying shoes (which is very real and very much an issue...).  I'm talking about my current running shoe major issues.  This is a long one, but I seriously need your help!!!!  Some back story...
I have weird feet.  I also have a really weird stride.  I'm positive this is why I'm always injured  and yes, I know, I need to change my form.... Anyways, when I run I do something weird with my right foot when I hit the ground--I don't really understand what I'm doing  but when I've had my feet filmed on the treadmill at the running store, you can see something a little weird happening with that right foot.  Somehow I think this is connected to the fact that like 90% of running shoes run my right ankle weirdly and uncomfortable when I run in them.  Just the right side, which is why I think it's a stride thing.  I don't really know what I'm doing and therefore have no idea how to change it.  It makes buying running shoes tricky though!  Every pair of Asics, Sauconys, and Mizunos I've tried has rubbed that ankle and been immediately ruled out.  New Balances are hit or miss.  Nikes don't bother me there  but I just don't like them--I think my old nikes were the reason I used to get so many awful knots in my calves.  Since switching to Brooks, I haven't had any issues with calf knots, and they used to be seriously out of hand awful.  I even had a brief membership to Massage Envy to get them professionally kneaded out back when I was training for my first half--only now do I realize it was partly because of the damn shoes.
These Nikes got me through my first 13.1, but they were NOT the shoe for me!
The only brand of shoes I've had consistent luck with has been Brooks.  I bought my first pair of Brooks Ghost 3's back in May 2011 and loved them.  I bought another pair last November and cycled between the two before retiring the first pair.  In May I added a pair of Brooks Pure Cadences to the mix.  I LOVE those shoes.  I still have that second pair of Ghosts because they even after a year they have under 250 miles on them.   I only run 3 days a week since I've been pretty much wearing the Ghosts only on long runs and Cadences in shorter runs during the week, so they've lasted awhile.  However, they are at the end of their lift.   I know some people can get 500 miles out of their shoes, but I can tell these shoes are just DONE.

I saw it coming a few months ago and ordered a pair of Ghost 4s online, figuring they'd be the same as the 3s.  WRONG.  Oh my gosh wrong.  They tweaked them a little bit and now they rub my darn ankle too!
Ghost 4s...They will always look this bright and shiny... :(
GAHH!  Brooks!  You've let me down!  I scoured the internet to try to track down another pair of 3s, but seeing that Brooks is already on Ghost 5s, it is pretty much impossible to find 3s anywhere.  Bummer.
I LOVE my Pure Cadences, but I've never worn them over 5 or 6 miles.  They aren't really a minimalist shoe since they have nice cushioning and a little stability, but they are a lightweight and have a 4mm heel toe drop, a change from Ghosts.  I wear would like to make cadences my primary running shoe because I love the feel of them so much, but planned to do the smart thing and wait until after the space coast half to transition into them. 
Love these shoes.  Love my stretchy laces for triathlon too :)
I planned to make my ghosts last long enough to run the half marathon at the end of this month, then take a trip to the running store to experiment with some new shoes while simultaneously building up mileage on the cadences before the Disney Princess half in February.  

Well, after Saturday's 10mi race, this plan doesn't seem as foolproof as it did before.  I had weird aches and pains in my feet throughout the entire race.  Not fun.  Now, 2 weeks out from the half, I am torn.  Part of me knows it's crazy to run a race in shoes I haven't trained in, but part if me knows that it could be worse to run in dead shoes that are hurting my feet.  What to do???

Option 1: run in the ghosts and cross my fingers that my feet make it through unscathed.
Option 2: run in the cadences and cross my fingers that I don't jack up my feet/legs because I didn't transition to them properly.
Option 3: ???
What do you guys think?? I am leaning towards the cadences.  I've run up to 5/6 miles in them comfortably, and after reading several blogs where runners said they didn't really need a transition period to adjust to Cadences (the worst case I read was some calf achiness...), I'm thinking I should be okay in them.  Not only do I not want to search for a new basic neutral running shoe this close to the race, I don't really have time!  But the injury-phobe in me knows that running a 1/2 marathon in ANY shoe I didn't train consistently in is a mistake...ugh.  Please weigh in...


  1. I just felt like you were talking about me except it was my inside left ankle and I had to wrap it...I tried every brand. However, since I broke it my shoes don't rub anymore. I don't recommend breaking your ankle though.

  2. I've had similar issues. I would start using your Cadences for your runs as you still have 2 more weeks of training. Do you have any compression socks? If not, go to Pro Compression and order some! They have a 40% off sale with free shipping right now (check out skinny runner's blog for more details). Remember that your calves will be sore no matter what shoe you wear; you just want to minimize your pain! :) Good luck!

  3. I love the Ghost 3s too! I had 7 prs of them and have one more that has a little left in them. I would buy them eBay after they stop selling them in stores. Occassionally I will look on ebay to see if someone puts a pair up again. I found the 5s to closer to the 3s than the 4s. When I am not running in the Ghosts - I now have transition most miles to the PureConnects. I love them and for me they are a better fit than the other Pure shoes. Also I would add in some AIS to keep your calf muscles loose. Good Luck and Run Happy!

  4. What a tough situation. I would say try to run in your cadences. Hopefully that transition will be easy.
    This reminds me that I really need to go buy a new pair of running shoes. Mine need to be retired.

  5. I had this happen before my first 1/2 as well, and ended up wearing shoes I hadn't done my long training runs in and brand new inserts to help deal with an injury.

    I would go with the cadences for all your run's the next few weeks leading up to the race and go with them for the race. Running on dead shoes is not going to help you out at all.

  6. I agree with the in the cadences. You definitely do not want to run a half marathon in old shoes. Your knees and feet will hate you! You have a week til you're tapering, right? Do you have a run longer than 5-6 miles scheduled in your training plan? If so, wear your cadences to see how you feel.

    As for 500 miles, I get about 350-400 miles in my Asiscs. I've run in them for 8 years now though I've tried Sauconys, which gave me wicked PF and Mizuno, which caused 6 toenails to fall off (although it was pretty cool!). I'm a neutral runner with a mid-foot strike and my shoe is the Nimbus. Have you tried Asics at all? Some running stores will let you try them for a week and if you don't like them, you can return them. I think Runner's Warehouse does this (it's where I get my

    On a side note...they tell you to never race in new shoes however, I ran a marathon (St George) in a brand new pair of Asics...fresh out of the box and not one issue. So, you never know really, until you experiment for yourself.

    Hope this helps!

  7. I would use Cadence..if you have ran 6 miles I think you should be fine with more..if it was only 1 or 2 miles I would say don't do it. :)

  8. If your in the Chicago area, which I think you are check out Naperville Running Company for your next pair! They will let you return shoes and are super knowledgeable. You may even want to call for thier advice now! Bought 20+ pairs there-good people, good shoes! All employees are well trained and know what's up but ask if Midge is around-she's my personal favorite! But they really all know what's going on and will help you develop a plan to tackle all the running shoe nonsense that shoe companies put us through! :)



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