Sunday, August 9, 2009

Shoes, yet again

I have posted before on my shoes and decided it was worth posting yet again. Ok, yes, I admit it, I am a bit more fixated on shoes than most.

I am currently running in 3 pairs of trail shoes and 1 pair of road shoes. The trail shoes are Salomon XA Comp 3, Vasque Velocity VST and North Face Rucky Chucks, did I mention I just bought a fourth pair, more on that later. My road shoes are New Balance 767's which I wear maybe once a month when I know I am running on roads. I do agree with most that road shoes do have better cushioning than trail shoes and when I run in my trails shoes on the road, I do notice the difference after 4 or 5 miles.

I bought the XA's in July after my dnf at Afton, I was struggling with a sore left ankle and a right achilles problem and I commented that maybe my shoes were aggravating my injuries and that maybe new shoes would be the fix. My thinking was that since I had never run in the XA's they couldn't be related to or be the cause of the injures. Yes the injuries were caused by specific events at Chippewa but maybe my shoes were preventing me from healing as I firmly believe that shoes can aggravate injuries and that running in the same model of shoes can cause issues as well.

In the same period of time my wife and I were talking about shoes as she was having forefoot issues and she thought that maybe she should go back to wearing Nimbus's. She used to wear them and her forefoot issue was less of an issue. I commented on how I never run in the same model of shoes and she said maybe that was my problem.

So I put the two together and decided to try something, so for the last few weeks I have run exclusively in the XA's. The experiment has had success, with a caveat, my achilles seems to be getting better and my left ankle is no worse. Now I have generally walked hills or run up them very carefully in order to not re-injure the achilles so maybe that is part of it or maybe it is the shoes. I even went out and bought another pair of XA's from Sierra Trading as I am sucker for a deal. They sent me a coupon for 20% off along with a 25% off special they were offering on the XA's. So their normal $49.95 dropped to $37.46 and then with the 20% off they dropped to $29.97. Since the XA's seemed to be working how could I turn down such a deal. My thinking was that I could try to run in the same exact model of shoe for the first time ever. The closest I had ever gotten to this was Jazz 4000 to 5000 or Grid Omni 3 to 4 to 5 or NB 766 to 767 or Mizuno Alchemy 2 to 3, Asics 2110 to 2120 to 2130, etc... I had always ended up buying the next model as the one I was running had been replaced by the time I went back into the running store along with they probably weren't perfect so I was willing to try the newer model but if I did buy the next model, it meant they weren't too bad either.

Back to the shoe experiments, the caveat I mentioned above is that although my achilles is improving and the ankle is holding up, I did have the groin pull ( seems ok - probably not related to shoes at all) and now over the last few days I have had a soreness in my left IT Band, at least I think it's the IT band (never have had issues with it before, the pain is next to and above the outside of my knee) so yesterday I ran 8 miles in my Rucky Chucks and I had no IT pain and the soreness seems reduced. Did the shoes matter, honestly, I don't know, it will be something I will just keep an eye on.

So my conclusion is that running in the same model of shoe is probably a good idea but having at least one pair that are different is a good thing as well. I kind of a view it as the control in my experiment, something that allows different data if I am having issues. Maybe this is all rationalization to buy different shoes, maybe it's just a defensive mechanism because they change shoes so often that it is very difficult to get the same model and my rationalization makes it a don't care, maybe I just have a problem with an addiction to trying out new shoes, if so, I can think of a lot issues that are probably worse.

So I will continue with the current experiment and will rotate my newer XA's in when the older ones move over 100 miles, sprinkle in either the VST's or Rucky Chucks as needed and see how my body holds up as I ramp the mileage for Surf the Murph.


Londell said...

How about you be the first over 200 to used those 5 fingers things that makes me think "ouch"?

Wayne said...

Sure Londell, this is the phrase that stuck out to me... so I don't really think you are helping.

"maybe I just have a problem with an addiction to trying out new shoes"

:) just kidding... and there are certainly worse problems.

RunWesty said...

I would give them a try except I think they are pretty expensive. You can see from my recent purchases, I like good (ok decent) shoes at inexpensive prices. So if you ever see a really good sale, let me know :-)


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