ohmigah, SHOES.

Side note:  if the title of this post looks familiar, this you tube video might be be to blame: “Ohmigah, shoes.” Anyone remember this gem? I find it hilarious… (Warning: I only recommend watching the first 2 minutes… after that it just gets way weird, and not to mention the profanity… but I digress).



Hooookay, moving on to a more important topic.

When it comes to working out, a proper fitting pair of athletic shoes is so So SO important. I cannot stress this enough. Especially when it comes to running.

I’ve seen people who think they can wear their gym shoes for 3 years (or longer) just because they still look fairly “fresh.” As in… not dirty, still white (or whatever original color they came in) and with okay-lookin’ treads.  Well, newsflash, hun… the rubber of your shoes prooobably wasn’t made to hold up that long. Overtime, the rubber that makes up the soles of shoes breaks down, leaving you with less support. And let me tell you, support is key when it comes to preventing injury.

Think of the shoes you wear  as the foundation that supports not only your feet… but your ankles, knees and back, too.  Ever complain of lower back issues? Hm, maybe it’s your shoes…


Sorry, these babies ain’t gonna cut it

So if you complain of an achy back, why don’t you see what kind of state your shoes are in? (And this is not just limited to athletic shoes… this applies to your  the shoes you wear to work, to church, out and about on the town (ahem, high heels, ladies?) and flipflops (because we all know how much support those have).

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but really… finding shoes that fit correctly is such an important consideration.

Case in point.

This past August, I bought a pair of running shoes from the pro- shop located in my YMCA. The man who sold them to me ensured me that they were the same exact style as the current gym shoes I was wearing, but just in a different color. Since I usually buy the same brand and style of Asics shoe, I knew that this was probably true, since Asics does tend to have different colors of the same line of shoe. So I totally agreed since the numbers were the same on the tongue and I went ahead and bought the shoes. Little did I know that this new pair of shoes were actually not the exact same kind of shoe as the kind I have been wearing for who knows how long…



Note: These are all in my donation pile. I still have an additional 3 pairs of Asics I currently use… one to run in, one to lift weights in, and one for doggy-duty.

And, yes, these are all pretty much the same shoe (either Asics 2120 or 2140). Don’t fix it unless it’s broken, right?

Right. Except I unintentionally bought the wrong pair of running shoes from the pro-shop that day at the Y. The little “D” next to the 2140 didn’t catch my (or the salesclerk’s) attention, and into my arms went a pair of running shoes meant for people with wide feet.

This didn’t work out so well for me… and after about two weeks of running in them, I became sidelined with the worst pain in the metatarsals of my right foot. In fact, I was WebMDing and googling all sorts of crazy foot injuries.

At first I thought it was plantar fascilitis. But after more research, I became panicked as I realized it could be a stress fracture, or even worse… a broken foot! Good thing Ryan was there to bring me back down to reality – he pointed out that since I was walking and putting pressure on my foot, it prooobably wasn’t broken. Thank you, Mr. Sound of Reasoning.

Anywho, seeing as I had never had an injury before and had never felt pain like this in my life… I vowed that I was going to do whatever it took to make it better so that I could run again. As I mentioned in an earlier post… running to me is my saving grace. To not run… is not an option. Period. Exclamation point.

So for the whole month of September, I did not run. And for the whole month of September, I wanted to cry. I hated, absolutely hated, not being able to run. But I made a promise to myself that I was not going to run until I was pain free for TWO whole weeks. That’s right. From the day I stopped feeling any pain… that’s when the waiting period of 2 weeks began.

As the days and weeks went by, I gradually became more okay with it, and found other ways to fit in a sweat-sesh. I utilized my gym’s cardio equipment (and got some studying done for the two classes I was taking at the time) and continued lifting weights.  Finally, the day came when I could walk normally and didn’t feel any pain. I held my breath, and started the countdown of two weeks being pain-free.

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I wanted to jump the gun and just go on a run because I hadn’t felt pain in 4 days, or 6 days… or 11 days. But I waited it out. And 14 days after my last twinge of pain, I laced up my running shoes and headed out on a run.

And it was wonderful.

No pain, at all.

And not even 3 weeks later I ran a half marathon (and PRed by 12 minutes). And four weeks after that… I ran another half marathon (my fourth half) and dropped another 6 minutes on top of that. Huh.

So what in the world caused my setback? I mean I had been running for so long without any issues at all? What gives?



[[Ohmigah, it was the shoes]]

That’s right, I blame it on the shoes.

You see, my feet tend to run on the narrow side. So a shoe fitted for a wide foot wasn’t exactly the smartest purchase. You’re probably wondering how in the world I didn’t notice this… and to be honest, I am too.

Looking back, I remember thinking that I had some extra wiggle-room in the toe-box, but it was such a subtle difference from my previous pair of shoes that I thought it was normal. It wasn’t until I was actually running in them that I realized I could move my toes up and down maybe a little bit too much, but it wasn’t enough for me to think that the shoes weren’t fit for my narrow feet. I just thought they were… extra cushy and supportive.

One stop into my local running store later, I quickly found out that the pair of shoes I bought were not the pair of shoes I thought I bought. So after a few glances up and down to check out my stride from the salesclerk (don’t worry, this is total, normal running-store protocol), I quickly became the owner of the correct pair of shoes once again. And the very next day, I found myself with happy running feet.

So, moral of the story is…caveat emptor (aka…let the buyer beware!) Even though I thought I was being an informed buyer and purchasing the same exact shoes, that was not the case…at all.

My advice? If you have not already been to a specialty running store, walk (don’t run… because you need to be fitted properly first) to your nearest store and get fitted for a proper pair of shoes. You don’t have to buy the pair of shoes they match you with at that store, and they’ll tell you this up front (or at least, they should).  You can simply jot down the brand/style/size of the shoe and hit up a Finish Line or Dicks (that’s what I do) or buy ‘em offline.

Have any of you ever had an injury due to improper footwear? Or is this the first time you’ve heard about the link between running shoes and your performance (and support in general)?

Oh, and check out my running page if you haven’t already. It details how I “found” running, and why I love it so much…



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35 responses to “ohmigah, SHOES.

  1. great post!!! I stick with Nike. I always have. i llooooovvvvee them 😀

  2. I have the worst time with athletic shoes!
    I don’t have a favorite brand, and bounce around all the time to different ones. For a while, I thought New Balance shoes worked for me, and wore those. But they started bugging me, and since then I’ve been trying all sorts… I have a brand-spanking new pair of pricey Merrells that I can’t wear for the pain they cause! Currently I have Asics, but they are rubbing my leg/ankle/heel and creating a blister (which is really attractive, right?!?). The only time I have been “fitted” for a shoe, was at a New Balance store, and of course, I bought those. I’m constantly on a quest for athletic shoes that don’t hurt…

    • Aw I’m sorry you’ve had such shoe-woes! Have you ever tried going into a specialty running store? I can go with ya if you want 🙂 I know a ton of people who work at Run For Your Life (one of my best friends works there, as does my old roommate). Charlotte Running Company and the Tri store over near Church St. are good options, too

      I’ve found New Balance to be a bit bulky… which for me, doesn’t equate to easy running.

      Also, have you tried out running socks? They’re extra squishy and supportive, and some even have an extra tab at the top to help guard against the formation of blisters on your heel. Super nice!

  3. I totally understand! Around last January, I started getting shin splints. What!? Shin splints usually happen to newbie runners and I’ve been running for six years. I took it easy and only ran once a week, it only really hurt when I ran consecutive days or a couple of days a part. It really sucked and all I wanted to do was run. Finally, after about a month and a half of this the pain just went away. Have you tried Charlotte Running Company? They really work with you to find the right shoe for you.

    P.S. Let me know if you ever want a running buddy. 🙂

    • Eek! I’ve actually never had shinsplints (knock on wood). I have yet to try Charlotte Running Co., I’ve been a fan of RFYL since I have so many friends who work there.

      And YES I would looove to have a running buddy!! Are you training for anything in the near-ish future?! We could do long-runs together! I think my training needs to start this weekend, so I think I’m gonna be doing a 9miler.

  4. It’s amazing how much a shoe can affect how you rain, pain, etc.

    I got fitted for my shoes at a running store and that has helped a ton!

    • It IS amazing! Before I was big into running I had no idea that there where stores out there just for running, let alone stores out there who’d analyze your gait and tell you your options. I would just buy shoes based off of how pretty I thought they were – ha! Little did I know…

  5. Haha! I love that Ryan is your source of reason… much like Christopher is for me. 😉

    I am a flip flop wearing fiend. It’s awful. My aunt is a physical therapist and she is always getting on me about wearing better shoes. I’ve actually started being a little better about it this last year because I really don’t want to have problems later on down the road! Glad you were able to figure out what the problem was! 🙂

    • I know right? Someone’s gotta keep us in check 😛

      I do still love to wear my flipflops, though… my rainbows are really comfy and fit my feet oh-so-perfectly… I think I’ve convinced myself that they’re more supportive than *other* flipflops.

  6. running shoes! the best; yours are all blue! there is a store where my sister lives called “Shooz” and I just think the name is brilliant (shoe store)

  7. Kelly is a total life hero. Another favorite is “Lemme borrow that top.” 🙂
    Also, I hear ya, shoes make SUCH difference! My bf is my voice of reason most of the time too…he doesn’t let me use WebMD anymore, which is probably wise. =X

  8. Like Cinderella said, the right pair of shoes can change your life. I heart my Brooks Adrenaline and have worked my way through about 30 pairs. I’m glad you found what works for you!

    • So true! I’ve heard Brooks are such a great shoe. In fact, my friend who works for RFYL just told me yesterday that Brooks surpassed Asics in sales for 2010! (Asics has been the frontrunner in sales for years, apparently).

  9. YES!!!!! I love that Kelly video so much but you’re right, it gets super weird a few minutes into it ( this is coming from someone who appreciates weird, obscure humor).

    I’ve had many injuries due to footwear. Unfortunately they all seemed to involve Long Iced Teas, fraternity boys and stairs. I miss college!

  10. Shoes are oh so important! My hubby just ran for the first time the other day and wore his reallllly old new balances and he said his feet really hurt the whole time. I really want to try the Brooks line.

  11. I’m glad you blogged about this!!

    …but I’m super glad you included the OMG Shoes video. My roommates and I watched that about 16 time on replay my freshman year of college. 🙂

    I had serious hip pain about a year ago while in training for my second half marathon. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong; I wasn’t running more, faster, or on a different route/treadmill. Apparently, I just needed new running shoes! I was astonished my pain went away right when I got the newbies, and when I tried running in my old pair ONCE, the pain came back. Cray-zay!

    P.S. Beware of the specialty running store you try. My good friends went to one here in Virginia Beach and were “assisted” by a girl younger than we are who knew less about running than we did. She got them the complete wrong pair of shoes, and they ended up returning them after two trial runs. Shame!

    • That’s so crazy… I’ve noticed issues come instantly back when I try to reuse old running shoes, too! Definetly a no-no in my book if the run is more than a few miles.

      So glad you like the video, I think it’s pretty hilarious

  12. p.s., I love your blog. AAAAAND just added it to my blogroll. 🙂 check me out!

  13. I am new to your blog. So glad I found it! I have found for me that New Balance are the most comfortable.

  14. Hi there! I somehow stumbled upon your blog when I was catching up with some other ones I read then I got to this post. I too am struggling with a foot injury (sounds exactly like you explained… but unfortunately not due to shoes) & am struggling SO HARD with not running. Any tips for good cardio machines that do not hurt the narrow outside part of the foot?

    –Karla =)

    • Hey Karla! So glad you found me here 🙂 I’m so sorry to hear about your foot troubles… not being able to run is suuuuch a (mentally) hard thing to deal with. When I was going through it, I gravitated towards the rowing machine, and the elliptical (although this would sometimes aggravate it…) and then a lot of the times the stair stepper (which, by the way, is a lot harder than it looks!) Swimming is also a very good over-all body workout, so if you have a pool available to you, that’s a great option! I hope that you recovery quickly…make sure to stop back and keep me updated! And feel free to ask any more questions =)

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  17. my mom talked to a podiatrist who said that the barefoot running movement has been great for his practice and is putting his daughter through college…. shoes are very important…

  18. I’m a little late commenting on this post but I’ve definitely had/am having the same issues. My feet constantly hurt and I do think my shoes are to blame. I’m going to get fitted for a new pair of running shoes before my 1/2 marathon training gets too serious (running the vegas 1/2 in december) but I was wondering if you have found any good work/dress shoes? I’m on my feet at work all day and currently I wear a pair of worn out flats that I’ve placed some orthotic inserts into but they really don’t cut it. I’ve tried a few different brands but I haven’t found anything I like. I’d appreciate any suggestions! 🙂

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