I started my running journey 2 years ago when I entered into the lottery for Nike Women’s Half in DC. I secretly hoped I wouldn’t get in because I was nervous, I had never been a runner and starting at 24 seemed a bit too late. When I did get in, I thought, well, better start running!
I had always been a loyal Nike consumer. Every year before the beginning of school, my dad would take my sister and I to get a new pair of Nikes to kick off the new year. So of course, I turned to my trusty old (I mean, OLD) Nike’s as I kicked off my running journey. At first, running was great but then it was time to increase my mileage. I couldn’t go above 3 miles without bloody socks and sharp knee pain. After a bit of research and consulting a few experienced runners, I came to the conclusion that I needed new running shoes. Also, to note, running shoes need to be retired after extended use. There was a reason my dad would get us new shoes yearly! You need new running shoes every 300-500 miles, depending on the type of shoe.
I consulted my local running store and I advise you to do the same. Getting fitted by an expert who is passionate about running is key to finding your perfect running shoes! Your running shoes are not where you should be skimping on cost. I promise you it will change your life.
First, they stuck me on a treadmill and recorded me running for a few minutes. This is to find out if you under or over pronate. I happened to have a more neutral pronation. Your sales person will be able to recommend shoes that helps provide support needed.
Second, the reason I was getting bloody toes every time I ran was because my shoes were too small! This sounded preposterous considering I’ve been the same size for over a decade. The sales person recommended a half size up from your normal size to allow for your foot to flex and your toes to move forward as you run. You need this extra space so you’re not jamming your toes against the toe box for 8 miles. No wonder my toes were bleeding!
Third, to address the knee pain. I recommend bringing your current running shoes with you when you look for your new, life-changing pair. Be honest with your sales person and tell them what you like/didn’t like so they can point you in the right direction. My sales person took one look at my shoes and told me the reason I was having knee pain was because my shoes lacked the support I needed. If you’re experiencing knee pain, you may need a shoe with more stability and extra cushioning.
After you find a running shoe that you think is the one, make sure you hop back on that treadmill and take it for a spin. After trying on several lovely shoes, I put on a pair of Brooks Glycerin 11 in a beautiful bright blue and fell in love. Katie swears by Brooks and I could immediately see why. The shoes felt light on my feet, flexible, and comfortable. Best of all, I was finally able to run without knee pain and no more bloody socks.
My shoes helped me accomplish my goal of running a half marathon. Running helped give me a new focus and a new challenge to win at when times were tough and I needed the motivation boost. Shoes really can help change your life. Run happy.