One of my missions this year was to get myself some new running shoes.
In fact, it was one of the three goals I had set myself for 2017 – and like a newly inaugurated president I have pretty much ticked them off the to do list in just over a week, albeit minus the diplomatic rancour.
Pretty good going, I thought – though in the case of running three times a week, does it count if you only managed it once so far?
In any case, back to the shoes, and have you ever tried gait analysis?
The first pair of proper shoes I bought was from Pilch in Norwich.
Back then, I ran on a treadmill and the store assistant gave me a pair of Asics to try. Don’t ask me what kind as I’m not a technical sort of person – they were whitish with blue trim, and a pretty good shoe which got my through my first couple of half marathons.
It wasn’t particularly scientific, I was writing about the store at the time and needed to buy some proper shoes. I was also new to running so didn’t think too much of it. I just liked the colours. It was a bit like how I buy a car. Anyway..
Next up was the Running Shop in Nelson Street. Anyone remember that? It’s a house now, but Pete, who ran it, used to get you to run up the road and then he would tell you by looking at you and how you ran whether you were ‘overpronating’ or not.
He handed me a pair of Sauconys* and away I went. But two pairs later what was it to be? Like a Doctor Who producer looking for a new leading man (or woman) should I go for the tried and trusted format, or try something different?
And that was when I found myself in Sportlink in Taverham on a Monday afternoon.
Now here’s the thing, I had just been asked to roll my trouser legs up, step on the treadmill and run on it barefoot. That was a first, but that’s how you do it apparently.
And then we turned 180 degrees to look at a recording of my feet in action. A bit of freeze frame and a clever white line on screen appears, running along the length of my leg which seemed to point to the fact that I was overpronating slightly. To my eyes it looked like my foot beneath the ankle was veering away at almost 45 degrees, in fact I felt a bit squeamish, but it wasn’t too bad apparently.
“The problem with my last shoes was that my left ankle seems to have been bad ever since,” I explained. “But I have done a marathon, and felt it twinge after some heavy hills sessions.”
The shop assistant paused in thought for a moment. There was an instore physio there, too, who very suddenly it seemed to me had to leave, like a cowboy sneaking out of a saloon just as it was about to kick off. But a co-incidence no doubt.
“When was the last time you changed your shoes,” the shop assistant said. “We recommend it’s every couple of hundred of miles or two years.”
I gazed at the screen, thinking to myself that there was the Edinburgh marathon…and two lots of Run Norwich for starters…
“Yes, it’s been something like that I said.”
<Well, I’ve been busy and had got another young mouth to feed – in fact it was because I had to take my toddler son with me last time that I didn’t get to do a proper gait analysis as he started crying every time I got on the treadmill.. so I took a punt on another pair of Sauconys. He’s three now btw so you can do the math or maths as we’re supposed to say in this country, as my wife keeps reminding me>
But anyway the shop assistant brought out three pairs to try – a pair of Asics, a pair of Sauconys, and a pair of Brooks.
Well the Asics felt like running on air, in fact I was struck by how light they were and didn’t seem to have much to them, like running barefoot in fact. And the Brooks that felt like a nice a shoe. And the Sauconys had bright yellow laces and red trim.
I went for the Sauconys.
· How do you select your shoe, why not comment below and let us know your tips
· Beyond he well-known brands what other good running shoe brands are there? Let us know – variety is the spice of life!
*what is the plural of Saucony? Is it a pair of Saucony, Sauconys or Sauconies. Anyone know?