Oct 27, 2011

Still a Brooks Girl

The training schedule called for 8 miles today as my long run. I ran 8.6 miles. And then did the last session in Stage 2 of NROLFW. And I'm going to yoga tonight. And then after that I SWEAR I'm going to start taking it easy and start carb loading with beer and potato chips whole wheat spaghetti and veggies.

OMG that would be amazing!!

Ok. Confession time.
I have 4 pairs of Brooks Adrenaline sitting in my closet, and I've bid adieu to countless other pairs of Adrenalines that I've run my heart out in. Yet... I was never fitted to my beloved Brooks.

When I started taking running seriously in college, I went to a running store, tried on some running shoes, and decided the Adrenalins fit me the best. And they worked. So I kept buying them.

When I went to the running store with David a few months ago for HIM to get fitted, they asked if I would like to get fitted for shoes as well. I politely declined, saying I had already found the shoe that works for me. Secretly, I was afraid they would tell me I was in the wrong shoe and the $300 worth of Brooks in my closet would be obsolete.

Ok yeah, and my one pair of New Balance...

Aside from the one black toenail and a few small blisters, my feet have done pretty well. When I crossed the Grand Canyon, I expected a little discomfort in my shoes because, well, I've never hiked 23 miles with a 4,000+ foot descent/ascent.

I wasn't expecting to get blisters on the bottom of my pinky toes bigger than the toe itself, or blisters in between my 3r and 4th toes either (I had to string tissues in between my toes to keep them from touching they hurt so badly). My mom joked that I should take pictures of the blisters to put on my blog. A) I would never subject you all to that, and B) I couldn't contort my sore legs at that moment to get a good camera angle. You're welcome.

I'll just say this: when I drained the blisters, the fluid squirted pretty high in the air.

That's about as close to my feet as I could get...

Ok, moving on. During our last evening in AZ, we stayed in Phoenix. We just happened to go out to dinner at a restaurant that was right next to Road Runner Sports. My dad and I order shoes and gear from roadrunnersports.com, but had never seen an actual store before (I thought we just ordered stuff from a remote warehouse in Runner's Land). When we turned the corner and it came into view, it was almost as if a ray of sunshine was beating down on it and we could hear a choir of angels singing in the background.

I didn't have to do a whole lot of convincing to get everyone to go inside. We were met by some really nice people, who offered to do shoe fittings for everyone. I jokingly said, "hey, maybe you should check me out since my shoes gave me horrendous blisters! har har har!" The next thing I know, I was being measured, calibrated, fitted and thrown on a treadmill with a camera on my butt. Err, feet.

It was awesome.

I have high arches and no pronation. My toes tend to come out as my foot strikes. I'm a mid-foot striker (I asked if I got a gold star for not being a heel striker...).

But the most surprising piece of information for me to find out was: I should be wearing a size 9.5 WIDE instead of the size 10.5 REGULAR that I'm in. Oh yeah, and Adrenalins are all wrong for me.

Say wha?!

I tried on some Nikes, Brooks, Asics, New Balance, and Saucony, but when all was said and done- the Brooks worked the best. See? I knew my heart would always belong to Brooks. I settled on the Glycerin (but I didn't buy them at the store, I went back to our hotel room, looked up last year's model and bought them for half as much). I did purchase the insoles they made for me though.

So that's the story about how I have been running in the wrong shoe all these years. I know they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. And really, the Adrenalins weren't very broke. But they haven't been complete smooth sailing for me either. So far the Glycerins have treated me well and I'm hoping they'll carry me through to the finish line in Savannah.

And I hope I'll be able to find a pair here and there that are on sale so I can slowly build up my stash of running shoes. And maybe try the Cascadia for trail running?

Have you been fitted or shoes? Did your results surprise you?


  1. I love Brooks. I have been fitted and am a neutral runner, mid-strike. I loved the Saucony Ride 3, but they wore too quickly. The Brooks Ghost 3 is what I wear now and I love the wider toe box as I have wide fee.

  2. I have never been fitted before and should really get on that. I've heard really good things about Brooks.

  3. everytime i buy new ones i get fitted...not really sure why, but i may as well.

    i know they say if you gain or lose some weight you should be re-fitted.

    other tips you should have at least a thumbs width of space between your toes and the front of the shoe.

    my newest trainees had some major issues with their feet and shoes, so i told them to go get properly fitted (they were all against it because of the cost) but the one that actually did go is singing the praises of her new shoes.

  4. It seems like every few months, I need something different from a shoe. I was originally put in neutrals, then went to some stability, then light stability, then regular stability with insoles... lol. I guess as I get faster or do different kinds of workouts, my gait switches up. I'm still a relatively new runner, but I have a nice collection of shoes that are all wrong for me!

  5. Carb loading has pretty much been debunked as of any real benefit. Good old common sense and reasonable nutrition is your best bet.

  6. I love my Brooks Ghost 4s which I was fitted for in late July. I'm also neutral and strike mid-foot. I needed a 7.5 wide, whereas I'm usually a 6.5 regular. I got one brownish big toe in my New Balance before I switched, and now I have no toe problems at all. Trouble is, since late July I have put 400+ miles on these 4s and will need to replace them soon. They do start to seem pricey, but boy they are worth it to my toes. I'll be thinking about you this weekend! Good luck and have fun!!!