The Saga of Finding the Right Running Shoes

My latest running injuries came relatively soon after buying a new pair of shoes.  I’ve worn Asics ever since I went to Marathon Sports a few years back and they suggested a pair.  They did a full gait analysis.  This was before I really started running, and they made me run down Comm Ave (very public street, lots of people on the sidewalk).  I was mortified, but I left with a great pair of sneakers – Asics GT 2170.  I highly recommend going to a store that knows their stuff and working with the experts on finding the right shoe.

Asics stopped making the GT 2170 soon thereafter, so I moved on to the next version in that line, the GT 2000.  They felt bigger than my other pair and definitely fit differently but they were okay.  Until my arch started hurting and I self-diagnosed plantar fasciitis.  Arch support inserts + rolling golf balls and frozen water bottle under my foot + a month off of running = all better and back to it!  I did eventually find in some forums that other people had similar foot issues when switching from the 2170 to the 2000 and I just saw this interesting article about how shoe companies are lessening the heel support in the same line of shoes to keep en vogue with the minimalist trends.  A huge running conspiracy!

This saga continued when Asics were on sale on Rue La La and I bought a pair without checking the type of shoe it was.  All of the GT line are stability shoes – good for people with arch issues and over or underpronation (I can never remember which I have).  What I ended up ordering (because they were ONLY $49…DUH!) were the Asics Gel Flash.  They looked the same (lesson learned = all Asics look the same) and they were less than half the price of my other ones.  It was a no brainer.  Until it wasn’t.

Those shoes, along with my old GT-2000’s are in a trash heap somewhere (yes, I should have donated them; I’m a bad, lazy human) and they were only 6 months old!  But I’m not taking any chances.  I want to run farther than 5 miles at a time, and I can’t do that if I don’ t make some changes.

After much research (Googling on my lunch breaks), I found that more seasoned runners found the Mizuno Wave Inspires comparable to the GT-2170 (of which I could not find any in my size on Amazon).  People generally seemed to prefer the older Inspire 9 version to the 10 version, but I could only find the 10’s in my size, and they only cost $75.  While I definitely do not want to get hooked on Mizuno’s (new pairs cost ~$150 — aaack!), I’m loving these.  The heel feels well-cushioned and springy.  The toe box is big enough without feeling any slippage (proper term?  who knows).  The drop from the heel to the toe feels steeper than the Asics, which is good because it encourages a mid-strike, as opposed to my heel strike that I’m always correcting.  So far, I love them!  I even looked up how long shoes are supposed to last.  I think my shopping bug gets me before they ever actually need replacing, and I was right.  A stability shoe lasts from 300-500 miles, depending on your weight, the surface you’re running on, and how you run.  Being realllly conservative, I can safely wait a year before replacing these babies – which is great for my wallet!

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