Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Shoes for my fat little feet!

Yesterday, I started breaking in a new pair of running shoes... as many of you probably already know, this is not a particularly enjoyable task, but is certainly a necessary one... and with my half-marathon now less than a month away, I need to make sure that my shoes are new, but not too new!
My new shoes... and my old ones. I love these babies!

For the second time, I went with Saucony's. I run in the Omni ProGrid 9, which is a stability shoe. I have to say, I love this shoe. I used to be a huge Brooks fan... and I still really like Brooks, but once I put the Saucony's on my feet it was love at first step. So, I've had people ask me about my Saucony's and why I like them so much, so I'll try to give you a quick run down of the shoe and some things to consider when buying shoes...

First off, for those of us who do not have little tiny bird bodies with weights to match, you might be tempted to step up to a Motion Control shoe... the general consensus is that for those of us "larger" runners, these are the shoe of preference. I would say to try them out first... If you don't need the heavy pronation control that a motion control shoe provides, then I would say at least try the stability shoe while you're in the running shoe store. They tend to have a little more "give" to them, and don't have as wide or rigid of a foot base, so your stride might feel more natural in these shoes. The Omni ProGrid's tend toward the motion control side of things, but they are ultimately, a stability shoe with a little more cushioning and less rigid support.

As for the Saucony's, they do come in wide widths which is essential for me. I've had a wide, flat foot (complete with short stubby toes) since birth. In fact, a friend of mine has affectionately termed them "Flintstone feet" (think Fred's feet as he's using them to power his pre-historic car). I rarely fit into a standard medium width shoe... so I was super happy to see Saucony offered this additional width. Along with the width of these shoes comes a nice open feeling toe-box. I don't have any problems with toe cramping (except during downhill runs which is a whole other topic). For the above reasons I have never fit into Nike's really well. They are just proportioned all wrong for my foot. Okay, they are better than they used to be back in the 70's & 80's, but they still just don't do it for me.

The Saucony's that I run in also seem to have good arch support... but not arches so high that they feel like they "dig" into the bottom of my foot by the end of a run. To illustrate: I have several pairs of Birkenstocks - all of which I can't wear for long days on me feet (contrary to what you might think) because my arches are killing me by the end of the day.

Finally, these shoes seem to be well made shoes. I haven't had any problems with the ripping out prematurely or the sole coming loose or my big toe wearing a hole in the top mesh fabric... all of which I've had happen with other shoes in the past.

Anyway, just some thoughts about my shoes and what you might consider when looking for your own shoes. Ultimately, remember to try on different pairs and run in them to see what works for you. Like me, you might be surprised that you don't fit neatly into a specific category... and that your thinking about your running shoes needs to be outside the shoe box...

No comments: