When I decided that I was going to start running last year, I went to a running store that I’d heard about to talk to an “expert” re: shoes. A nice woman watched me walk barefoot, pulled out 4 different boxes of shoes, told me I needed inserts, and $160 later, I walked out the door feeling like a “real” runner. I’m an over-pronator! I need “guidance” shoes! And inserts! And I know all this because some lady told me so! Yay!
Fast forward to three months later, when I had shin splints and had been pointed in the direction of a different running store where they did “gait analysis” and all kinds of fancy stuff. After running on a treadmill in front of a camera, having my arch analyzed by some high-tech gizmo, and talking at length to another nice lady, I walked out the door another $120 poorer, feeling like THIS time, I had it right. I don’t need “guidance” shoes! I need neutral shoes! Yay me!
Fast forward yet again, to present day. Err, today. Took a short run this morning in my good ole “guidance” shoes (I returned the “neutral” ones after about a week, thinking that they didn’t feel any different than the “guidance” ones… because I still had shin splints. Never occurred to me to take care of the shin splints BEFORE trying new shoes… DUR.), and started thinking back over all the various aches and pains I’ve had, and how despite stretching and warming up and blah blah, my really good runs were few and far between. I seem to have more aches and pains than other runners I know, even “newer” runners. Maybe I’m not cut out for running. Maybe I’m too fat. Maybe I just suck.
Or maybe……. Maybe I need different shoes. Hrm. Could it be? Could the second lady with the fancy technology have actually been right?
So I finished my measly 3 miles, went home and cleaned up, and headed to yet another LRS to get a tie-breaking opinion. ANOTHER very nice lady helped me, and guess what? I’m back in neutral shoes.
I ran two miles in them tonight, just to test them out, and it was amazing. No foot pain. No shin pain. No calf pain. No ankle pain. NO PAIN. It was – and I don’t use this word lightly – AWESOMESAUCE.
So. Moral of this story? I *heart* Brooks! No, actually, the moral of this story is to not try new shoes when you have shin splints! Also, don’t wait nearly a year to try new shoes again! Dur. =)