Hello! How’s it going over there?
I am taking a rest day today and it’s killing me. So, I’ve decided to watch Snookie exercise and follow along in my head. It’s not working, but yeah.
#RunnerProblems all the way.
Seriously though it gives me anxiety not to run.
Don’t worry, I got this.
But at least I have all this time to answer your questions!! Today we’re talking running shoes:
I received this question this week about how to find the best running shoes for someone with a need for a neutral shoe. I think specialty shoes like super light weight or over-pronation shoes get the most attention in articles and run chatter. But this is very important!
I’ve already taken your advice to get the yellow Maybelline mascara, so now, will you help me figure out what kind of shoes to buy? I’m training for my fourth half marathon in June and have always run in Asics Gel Nimbus, but this time around my hips and IT band and calves have all really been hurting, and I suspect it’s the shoes (the Gel Nimbus 14 are way different from the previous versions, too, but I can’t find any of the old ones in my size because my feet are gigantic). I am looking to get something with less cushioning but I don’t know what!
The standard advice that I hear is “go to a running shop, they’ll help you!” but literally every time I’ve done that, they’ve said, “I don’t know, your gait is neutral, you could feasibly wear any shoe” and I wind up leaving with another pair of Asics. Not this time! Help me Monican!
Also – the half I’m doing is the Runners World Heartbreak Hill Half in Newton, MA on June 8. I know a lot of bloggers will be there – please say you’re one of them!
Monican: I wear a neutral shoe, and have tried to run in several different pairs before I found one that works for me. Also, one shoe worked for me for a long time and then suddenly I started getting some slight ankle pain so I decided to change it up. <- So even know I have to use trial and error sometimes.
I personally have had to experiment with many different running shoes before finding one I like. But here are some tips that I learned so you don’t have to repeat my process (or spend a lot of money on trial and error).
How to find the best neutral running shoe:
1. Find why type/category of shoe you need. The first step is to go to a running shoe store and get an assessment of what type of shoe is right for your body/gait/distance/goals/foot…
X. The question-er already did this. Now that she knows she needs neutral shoes the problem is which one?! There are HUNDREDS to choose from!
2. Identify what brands you prefer. I have random opinions on certain shoe brands…
- I think Nike shoes run a little small.
- New Balance runs a little wider and has wide offerings.
- Brooks’ Pure line has pods on the bottom of their shoes. Some people dig ‘em some people don’t.
- Mizuno offers several different types in the neutral category.
- Altras have a very wide toe box.
3. Identify how much cushion and flexibility you want. Try on a pair from each major brand. Walk around in them. Compare them to your last shoes. Do you want more or less cushion.
With flexibility squat down low on your toes. Take them off and bend them. Do you want more or less in this area?
4. Compare you old favorite shoes to some of the new ones you are considering. Try to keep the things you liked about those shoes and update the things you didn’t. Bring your old shoes into the store and compare them side by side.
Go into a running store with your old shoes and ask them, “What are the 2 most similar shoes to this one?” “What’s the difference??” This might help direct you toward a few options that would work – but leave the ultimate decision to how you feel in them. Then, you just have to try then on and go for a spin.
Right now I wear the Mizuno Hitogamis. These are too light for my very long distance running friend, but work for me and others. Running shoes are really something you have to figure out for yourself. Good luck!
Mizuno has a pretty lengthy list of neutral shoes so it’s important to identify the details you want in a running shoe.
And I have great news – you don’t have to do all this research yourself! Runner’s World does an amazing job of reporting on all the new shoes each season. They include Weight, Cushion, Stability and more!
Check out the RW Summer Shoes Guide Here
Question: What’s your go-to running or exercise shoe right now?
If it’s neutral tell our friend why you like it!