I’ve been training for the Chicago Marathon since mid-June, yet I’m still on a quest for the right running shoes. Or rather, I may have finally found my solemates—sorry, couldn’t help it—but I’m afraid of jinxing them. But let’s start at the beginning of my shoe saga before we get to those…
I beat down two pairs of Brooks PureConnects for my first marathon a few years ago. I loved those shoes ever so much. They were light yet supportive and came in cute color combos, always a plus. When the PureConnect 2s came out, they felt all wrong. I searched online for the original version so I could stock up, but none were available in my size. So I mourned the loss of my first marathon shoes, settled for some dependable Sauconys and moved on.
As I geared up for training this year, I splurged on some Asics. They were slightly heavier and more cushioned than what I was used to, but I trusted they’d treat my feet nicely as they logged their miles on city sidewalks. How wrong I was! My stride felt far too bouncy. After four runs of achy feet, I returned them for a modestly priced pair of the Brooks Transcend.
Great job, Leah! Another bad choice! (I really should go to a legit running store, huh?) Well OK, they felt fine at first. I could tell they were probably for someone more flat-footed than I am, but I liked the supportive feel. Soon though, the problems began. My narrow feet felt sloppy as I jogged, but whenever I laced them more tightly, I could feel the laces bruising and digging into my arches. I swapped the sturdy Brooks laces for the the softer ones from my old Sauconys, but my feet only wiggled around more.
When I ran the Madison Mini through obnoxious knee and ankle pain last weekend, I decided I had to transcend my Transcends. I’ve never had a running injury before, and I knew my shoes were the first to blame. Enter the Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit…
Hi there, pretty shoes! I bought this minimalist pair for just $60 at the expo before the Madison Mini. They nestled around the middle of my foot (but not too snugly) and felt wide enough in the toe box to prevent rubbing and unnecessary blisters.
Yesterday I took these new Nikes out for a 5-mile test run… and felt fabulous! That familiar twinge of runner’s knee nagged at me for the first half mile, but then poof! The more I ran, the smoother my stride was. And though I know I need to slowly break them in (and they have yet to face the 20-mile training run test), I have a good feeling about these fly ladies.