Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Disturbing time at the Running store

My last post was brief, but all about running in Vibram Five Fingers. While I'm up to 7 -8 miles in them, I'm logging 18-20 on the weekends as I get ready to run the OKC Memorial Marathon at the end of April. So as I transition to VFFs, I still wear shoes for longer runs.

I am currently wearing a pair of Asics 2140s which I got at my local running store. The guy there took a look at my old shoes, my feet, and ascertained that I need stability shoes. That was before VFFs and Born to Run [Amazon.com], so I bought them and ran in them. They are okay, comfortable, cool looking, but they give me blisters like crazy. I am also unable to land mid-foot in them. I don't totally understand why that is, except that the heel of the shoe is quite built up and somehow that has an effect on my running form.

So I went back in and asked for something lighter and more minimal, which would facilitate a mid-foot strike. The guy sighed...

"Can I just talk you out of that?" He said, literally twisting my arm slightly. I must have appeared confused by the torsion on my arm. "I'm twisting your arm." He clarified.

I was a little surprised by this, after all I was there to buy shoes, I wanted shoes in which I could run how I like to run. For lack of anything better to say, I mumbled, "um".

"Can you just go back to being a heel striker like the rest of us?" He said. "It's a fad created by people who want to sell books and movies." Said the guy who wants to sell shoes.

My mind wandered, "There's a movie?"

"Look, for runners like you and me, we need that stability..." He droned on for a bit while I felt weird. Who was this guy? How well does he know me?

He eventually pulled out some stability shoes and told me to try them on. They all felt like the ones I had been wearing. They proved equally difficult to strike mid-foot while testing them out on the sidewalk. I asked for something different and he shrugged and told me that I need to stick with stability shoes only, that the lighter more neutral trainers would only wear out faster and that only the best runners need to strike mid-foot. I could have insisted, but felt better just leaving.

Instead I decided to try ordering something more like what I'm want from Zappos.com. I'm going to give the over-the-top colored Brooks Launch. Hopefully that ought to facilitate a mid-foot strike but with enough cushion until I can acclimate to the VFFs full time. I'll post back once I've tried them.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

Well ya know, I find that "brace the foot" mentality very compelling. So much so, that since my sitting posture is often incorrect, I'm going to just wear a full back brace too. And so many of the objects we handle today are quite hard, so I've decided to wear cushioned mittens most of the time. The point, as I understand it, is that our bodies are just plain inadequate for movement in this world of gravity.

Nice blog!