For as long as I’ve been into running, I’ve had trouble with my knees.
It started in high school: I ran cross-country, track, and indoor track — pretty much year-round — and didn’t really give my knees a chance to rest at all.
On top of that, I gave very little consideration to my shoes.
I knew I wanted Nike running shoes, but that was the full extent of it.
That short-sitedness cost me towards the end of my high school running “career”. I missed a handful of track events during my senior year because my knees hurt so bad.
I would take a week off and try and let them ‘heal’, but it didn’t help. A few miles and I was right back where I started.
In college, I heard that a gluten-free diet can help your joints, so I tried that.
I tried all the joint-related supplements: fish oil, flaxseed oil, glucosamene, chondroiton, etc…
With life came distractions and long breaks from running made it possible to put in some miles on occasion, but I was never able to run like I had before.
Somewhere along the way, while in college, I paid a visit to 9th Street Active Feet in Durham, NC. They provided me with a totally new experience. They analyzed my bare feet, watched me walk, run, jump, and put together a diagnostic for my type of foot.
They diagnosed me as a ‘severe overpronator‘ and told me that I needed to wear the “Beast”, by Brooks.
So I bought a pair and I’ve bought a few more over the years.
At $130′ish bucks a pair, they’re not cheap shoes.
So, fast-forward to modern day.
My knees have been seriously hurting on these long training runs.
I’ve mostly chalked it up to running too far on asphalt and wearing old shoes (my “Beasts” are close to two years old).
I decided that if I’m going to invest in new running shoes, I should try to find the very best option for my current situation so that I can have the best chance of finishing this marathon, so today I paid a visit to Bull City Running, after hearing some great things.
They did a fresh ‘diagnostic’ of my feet, and then came out with some shoes.
When I told my sales person that I usually wear “the beast”, she got frustrated.
When I told her that they had been recommended at 9th Street, she said, “That makes perfect sense. They are the number 1 seller of that shoe in the entire country. It is the MOST aggressive motion control shoe that you can get and almost nobody has the type of foot where it doesn’t do more harm than good. We get people on a regular basis who have knee problems because they wear that shoe when they shouldn’t.”
Ok. Good to know.
She went on to explain to me that yes: my feet are pretty flat. But it’s actually not the height of your arches that matters as much as the amount you use the two joints located inside your arch when you run, and apparently I use mine pretty normally.
She showed me several options that provide NO motion control at all, insisting that I don’t need it. And, after I was allowed to go out in the parking lot and run as far as I wanted in each pair, we settled on the Brooks “Ghost” (for $35 cheaper than the Beast – SCORE).
And to top it all off, she told me that I should be running in size 9 1/2, not 9, which is what I’ve been buying for TEN YEARS.
So all in all, it was a pretty exciting little trip to ye old shoe store.
Next time you need running shoes, go visit the folks at Bull City Running!
And if you’re into running, or thinking about getting into running, and want to follow my Spring/Summer marathon training, I made a whole page for it here.