Tag Archives: running shoes

Shoe Shopping 101

I knew I needed to find the right pair of running shoes. But this challenge is more easily said than done.

First, I wanted to buy something fair trade. As noble as that sounds, that is really difficult to do for athletic shoes and stay under a budget.

Second, I wanted to make sure I did not sustain a running injury. And honestly, second is very important. I have trained for a couple marathons before, and I get injured before the marathon in training, which has resulted in me not running in the marathon. In this instance, personal safety was a big factor… and may have actually been number one.

So, my wife and I went to the shopping center yesterday. The sales person at the store was very friendly. Before I started trying out shoes, I ran on a treadmill at the store so they could analyze my running style. I knew this was a possibility, which is why I brilliantly brought a pair of shorts with me to the shopping center so I could change out of my jeans. However, I left the shorts in the car. *sigh* So, I ran on the treadmill in jeans. Anyway, they recorded my running style, and then we began looking at shoes with arch support because of the way my foot rolls when I run.

Having my wife with me was nice. Honestly, I cannot remember buying any type of shoe where a sales person repeatedly brings out the same size of shoe for me to try on. I normally bought my shoes off the shelf from a place like Payless Shoes. I asked the sales person what a good running shoe should feel like, and my wife asked questions as well. I felt uncomfortable (awkward), especially when the sales person kept bringing out different pairs of shoes for me to try. My wife reminded me that this was the sale person’s job… but I still felt odd.

My top two choices: I could barely tell a difference between them in terms of how comfortable they felt. A pair of shoes from Brooks Running Company and a pair from Mizuno. For my foot, the Brooks shoes felt slightly better. They were both a substantial upgrade from the Nike shoes I had been wearing. In all fairness, the Nike shoes were not special running shoes for my stride with the added arch support.

GTS Brooks Running Shoes, www.ishism.com
The GTS Brooks Running Shoes my wife bought for me!!

I was even able to jog on the treadmill in the Mizuno and Brooks shoes before purchasing the Brooks running shoes.

I am happy with my purchase. I do not have buyer’s remorse. I am disappointed that the Brooks Running shoes may not be fair trade (they were made in China)… but being able to try on different shoes is important, and I did not feel comfortable special ordering fair trade shoes online. Especially when they sell for over $100.

So, that was my shoe shopping experience. What are your running shoe buying experiences?

Marathon Training Issue #4: Is there a correlation between Marathon Training and Acid Reflux?

Greetings loyal readers! My marathon training has gone fairly well. I am consistently running four miles without stopping to walk on Saturday mornings. New shoes are still on my agenda before I start running longer distances. However, I have noticed something strange in the last couple weeks.

Three times on two different days I have experienced acid reflux. I did not have ANY acid reflux before I started my marathon training. What might be causing this? According to WebMd, acid reflux can be related to eating a large meal (I eat a lot now that I am running). I am also a graduate student… so could it be stress related to grad school? I am guessing it is related to me eating more. However, my meals aren’t that much larger than they used to be. I am eating more often during the day… but I am only eating when I feel hungry.

What is the answer to increasing my intake of food without experiencing acid reflux while doing this marathon training? If you are reading my blog and have other helpful tips to keep me from injury, or to become a better runner, please share them.

Marathon Training Issue #3: I Need to Find the Right Running Shoes

So, blogging about my marathon training has actually helped me.

Earlier today I ran four miles in a drizzle/rain. I finished this run without injury I think. But my past marathon training attempts have ended in various injuries. Shin splints, sore right knee, etc. Earlier, one of my readers asked if I had ever had my gait assessed… and what the tread wear was on my shoe.

No, I have never had my gait assessed. And Tread wear? So, I googled, and found this helpful site at Duke for finding the right running shoe. In the past I bought shoes that fit, not really thinking about anything else. Well, after using the Duke site to assess the tread on my running shoes (and doing the wet test), I have high arches.

That means I need to find the right type of running shoes for my feet. This could explain why I have gotten hurt in the past. Is it possible to modify my current running shoes with an insole for added support? Or do I need to buy new running shoes now?

If you are reading my blog and have other helpful tips to keep me from injury, or to become a better runner, please share them. Thanks for reading… and your advice!

Fair Trade Athletic Footwear

I wanted to avoid buying shoes from sweatshop conditions… but finding a socially responsible running shoe is really, really difficult.

So as I was training for my first marathon I hoped to find a good pair of Fair Trade running shoes. I Googled to find some options. I do not necessarily endorse these, but they are provided to help with your personal search in ecoconscious friendly athletic shoes and/or Fair Trade Athletic Footwear.

What are your thoughts about Fair Trade running shoes? What are your experiences with them if you have purchased them? Thanks for your help!

Further resources about Fair Trade Programs can be found below: