Sunday, September 5, 2010

A good shoe . . . the sneaker edition

Like I said in a previous post, I have come to appreciate a good shoe.  For exercise especially, a good shoe is terribly important.  I believe that it is because I was wearing the wrong shoe that I injured my foot a few months back.  I'm still dealing with somewhat unsightly edema from that incident although thankfully, there is no pain.  

I'd been wearing a pair of of Adidas running shoes I bought at Costco for everything fitness.  These were actually a great pair of shoes and I didn't have any issues with them.  They felt comfortable and provided adequate support--although I realized after injuring myself, not nearly enough.  The first time I went for a run though, I dragged out my ancient pair of Champion (aka Payless Shoesource) sneakers, not wanting to mess up my Adidas and knowing the Adidas were old and lacked cushion and support.  Boy was that a big mistake!  I might have done much better with the well-worn Adidas! My ankles were so sore after that--and I was running on a trail!  I was glad I hadn't tried to run on the pavement with those Champion sneakers!  Later, I tried to run with the Adidas and had no luck. at all  I then tried running in the Adidas with my orthotic insole and it was better but still not good.  So I realized that I needed to do something about my sad sneaker situation.

I decided to get some sport specific shoes but initially I didn't want to put out a lot of cash especially since I didn't know if I'd keep up with the running.  So I went to www.onlineshoes.com and purchased a pair of New Balance WX710WS cross trainers which came out to about $60 with a coupon I had.  They were horrible!  I ended up returning them and then doing some serious research on sneakers.  I settled on another, slightly pricier pair of New Balance shoes, the WX840SB and these were perhaps the best sneakers I had owned up until that point.  They hold my feet right, have great arch support and provide lots of stability for the side to side movements of step aerobics or plyometrics. 

For running I went back to Costco and bought another pair of Adidas running shoes for $40.  They were the Adidas Litestrike EVA.  Since I'd lucked out with the first pair I'd bought there, I figured I could stick with Adidas for a running shoe.  Turns out this was not the case.  They were horrible for running!  Just terrible.  I tried to switch things around: use the New Balances for running and Adidas for aerobics but both sneakers were just manageable for each sport.  The New Balance is definitely  a shoe for aerobics.  The Adidas are more suited to running.  But not to me running. 

So a few weeks ago, I bit the bullet and finally listened to the advice that I had heard from multiple places: I went to a running specialty store to get fitted. Best decision ever!  I ran on the treadmill, tried on thirty thousand shoes and then I decided on the Asics GT-2150.  

They were pricey (about $100 all told) but I know that if I am going to continue running injury-free, I need the best shoe for my feet.  They fit my insoles perfectly and provide awesome cushion and ample support.  They make running that much more of a pleasure.  Six miles and it's not my aching feet and ankles that make me want to stop!  I love them and can't recommend them enough.  I want to say Asics is my running shoe of choice although I will never again just assume that all the different shoes a brand makes will work for me.  But I am certain that when I need a new pair of running shoes, I would buy these particular ones again.  The fact that they are all black is just a bonus!

So yes, I spend a huge chunk of money on fitness.  It's a high priority right now.  I've come to see myself as an athlete.  And just as a serious cook needs high quality equipment, a good athlete needs high quality equipment.  I won't be skimping on my equipment from here on out and I have learned to always go and try on my shoes before I buy them--no matter how convenient online shopping is.

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