This changes everything!
On Monday, my new pair of shoes arrived:
I was stoked! I had been running in my old pair for a bit too long and am excited to start breaking these guys in.
For the past couple of years, my go to pair of shoes has been the Altra Lone Peaks. One thing I love is that they continue the shoe. There are so many times that I have had a bag or something wear out, that I just love, and when it's time to replace it, it's no longer available! Well, not the case with the Altras, they keep the same basic models while developing them over time. And Altra just released the 4.0 model, which means the 3.5 model is now on clearance!
I also love that the Lone Peak shoes are minimalist: lightweight, with a foot shaped and zero drop. Prior to running in Altras, I always went to the local running shop, had a gait analysis, and followed whatever they recommended. Namely: support! I had wanted to transition to a fully minimalist shoe, but they never recommended it. So it I remained in my "transition" shoes (with a 4 mm drop) for several years... some transition, huh?
Eventually, I decided to make the plunge into minimalist shoes and I haven't looked back. What the analysis at the running store never revealed to me, is that what we wear on our feet actually changes how we run. We adapt to what's on our feet. So if we run with support ALL the time, we never learn how to run without support. We never strengthen those muscles. We'll never learn how to use our bodies as efficiently as possible.
Now, changing shoes is definitely a transition. You'll want to take your time in this process, as you'll be using different muscles. But in my experience, it is totally worth it!
A while back, I was been talking with a friend. She had been experiencing hip pain while running. We talked on the phone and discussed a number of variables that could be causing her pain. She told me that she had recently gone to the running store and had a gait analysis. Per their suggestion, she switched from a minimalist shoe to a supported shoe. We discussed this as an option for the source of her pain. She decided to switch back to her old, minimalist shoe and through her next race... she was pain free!
Think about what is on your feet. Learn how to run as efficiently as possible. Study your form. Perhaps you can improve your form, before you use a shoe to correct any inefficiencies.
What are your go to pair of shoes?