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fast shoes for slow feet - need shoe recommendation (Read 1628 times)


hairshirt knitter

    First off, I'm too far from a running shop to call in, so I'm hoping that there are folks here in a similar situation, who can offer some recommendations.

     

    I'm not fast, but have brought my 5k time down to 21:02 this year and have been running intervals/tempo. I have also brought my weight down from 90kg to 75kg, and finished my first marathon in 11 years in 3:40, so I feel justified in wanting a 'faster' shoe for racing in.

     

    BUT I'm still flat footed, my second toes 'hammer' (nails thickened and black), I overpronate and have swollen big toe joints from periodic gout plus, I suspect, bunions/arthritic changes which throw my big toes outwards off their line!

     

    I am trying to develop better style by upping the cadence, keeping my landing foot under me and striking mid-foot, arms and shoulders down, loose and forwards.

     

    My current shoes are Asics Foundation, which for a major motion control shoe I find reasonably un-boatlike, but I really would like to run faster stuff in a more race-like shoe.

     

    So, is there a shoe that you could recommend to me?

      First off, I'm too far from a running shop to call in, so I'm hoping that there are folks here in a similar situation, who can offer some recommendations.

       

      I'm not fast, but have brought my 5k time down to 21:02 this year and have been running intervals/tempo. I have also brought my weight down from 90kg to 75kg, and finished my first marathon in 11 years in 3:40, so I feel justified in wanting a 'faster' shoe for racing in.

       

      BUT I'm still flat footed, my second toes 'hammer' (nails thickened and black), I overpronate and have swollen big toe joints from periodic gout plus, I suspect, bunions/arthritic changes which throw my big toes outwards off their line!

       

      I am trying to develop better style by upping the cadence, keeping my landing foot under me and striking mid-foot, arms and shoulders down, loose and forwards.

       

      My current shoes are Asics Foundation, which for a major motion control shoe I find reasonably un-boatlike, but I really would like to run faster stuff in a more race-like shoe.

       

      So, is there a shoe that you could recommend to me?

       

      Rubhadubh:

       

      21-minutes 5k and 3:40 marathon is VERY respectful!!  Congratulations!!

       

      As far as I'm concerned, there isn't, and shouldn't be, much difference between your racing shoes and training shoes.  To me, the belief that you need to have "clunkers" for training is competely wrong.  In fact, if you mix them up a lot, meaning, say if you wear shoes like Hyper Speed, which is actually a racing flat but has rather thick sole; and then Piranha, which is probably one of the thinnests and lightests available out there, the next; then the chance of getting hurt on the race day will be less because you're mixing them up all the time.  It's when you almost always wear training "clunker" during the workout and switch to racing flats on the race day that you chance getting hurt.

       

      In many case, not always, I view flat foot as sign of too much support to your feet.  As your foot develops, so should your arch.  But it may not happen all the time.  If you do in fact have flat foot, I found rather straighter last shoes, such as New Balance, may work well for you.  I'm more or less a minimalist (mostly train in Tarther or Hyper Speed) but recently I tried Sky Speed and, surprisingly to me too, liked them very much.  They are pretty light and flexible but quite cushiony as well.  They are a bit curved, which I like, but, with your flat foot, it may not work.  On the other hand, for example, DS Trainer is very similar built to Sky Speed but slightly narrower and a bit more straight.  DS Trainer has medial post for pronation but Sky Speed doesn't.  With that, someone with more or less bow-leg might be better with DS Trainer. 

       

      I guess what I'm trying to convey to you, rather than simply trying to confuse you (;o)), is that you really need to understand your own type and THEN understand the shoe.  If you are not bow-legged and have relatively wider feet, Sky Speed would work well.  If narrower a bit and bow-legged, or pronate a bit more in excess, DS Trainer would work better. 

       

      I would usually suggest even lighter, thinner shoes, much more like Hyper Speed or adiZero type of those.  But above mentioned may work better as more or less transition.  Pay attention to how your arch feel.  Sometimes stiff material on the arch area might restrict your foot flexing freely and put too much stress on it and develop Plantar Fasciitis.

       

      Some of the issues with your toes that you mentioned probably developed from ill-fitted shoe rather than arthritis or bunions.  In fact, you have probably developed bunions from ill-fitted shoes! 

       

      I know it's VERY hard to find the right shoe for you without trying them on.  One thing I sometimes do is to step on a piece of paper (just one foot would do) and trace around ALL THE WAY where YOUR FOOT MAKE CONTACT with the floor, not just the outline of your foot, looking down on your foot--in other words, if you have a decent arch (if your flat foot is not that excess!), you should trace your pen all the way UNDERNEATH your arch.  Once it's done, you cut that off and now you have the shape of your foot where it touches the ground.  Now you google search different types of shoe and get the image of the bottom of the shoe.  Get that image out and over-wrap it with your foot shape.  If any of your foot sticks out, and it often happens either outside of the base of your pinky toe or the inside of your heel, then that's where you'll start to have a problem.  It's a bit hard to explain--if you're interested, send me a personal e-mail at nobby415@msn.com and I'll send you some examples.  Basically, your foot should fit right into the shape of the shoe FROM THE BOTTOM, NOT FROM THE TOP.  What you have from the bottom of your shoe is the actual shape of the shoe.  And THAT should fit your foot.  There are things like toe-box or heel cup or lacing system or whatever; but the bottom line (get it? ;o)), the most important thing with the shoe is the shape of the shoe.

       

      Good luck with your contiued progress!

        I'll simply tell you the process that has served me well over the years, though it is very far from being a specific shoe recommendation.

         

        I try to make sure I have a couple of pairs of shoes that are a little bit different from my main trusted shoes of the moment. I work them into the rotation on an occasional basis. I've never had the guts to try to take a huge step (like going from full motion control to neutral racer or something) but find that a much smaller step allows comparison without my having to worry too much about injury. 

         

        As I've found shoes that have worked a little better, the character of shoes in my rotation has gradually migrated. Once in awhile there will be a step I take in a direction that doesn't really work out, but over a decade or so my shoes (and I suspect my stride mechanics also) have moved from heavy MC (Brooks Beast ) to lighter and more neutral.

         

        I would agree with something Nobby said that your foot problems are likely shoe related. In my experience, going larger is often a solution and rarely a problem. If you think larger will cause blisters you just need lubricant or the right socks. The shoes at fault might not be your running shoes though, hammer toes and bunions sometimes result from stylish street shoes.


        hairshirt knitter

          Wow, thanks both - great advice!

           

          Although my feet are supposedly flat, I've always thought they it was more that they are 'flexible', if that makes sense. Some shoes I've had have given me arch blisters, not sure becuase they were too narrow, or cut in too dramatically in the arch.

           

          I agree with the straighter last, or at least I've always avoided curved lasts, but my second toes have always taken a beating irrespective, so maybe I should rethink. I'm not bow-legged, knees fall in whilst running if anything, and my feet aren't narrow. I had DS Trainers years ago (when I was running 3:20 marathons!), but maybe I'll give them another go now. I also had a lighter NB shoe that I liked, but can't remember the model number now.

           

          That's a plan. I'll investigate the DS Trainers and Sky Speed, plus maybe a NB shoe (any suggestion?) mixed in with my current shoes as a transition shoe to go with the faster cadence style. I'll try the printed paper trick!

           

          Continued improvement - thanks, I might ask about that separately, as I'm not quite sure where to go next.


          Needs more cowbell!

            That's a plan. I'll investigate the DS Trainers and Sky Speed, plus maybe a NB shoe (any suggestion?) mixed in with my current shoes as a transition shoe to go with the faster cadence style.

             

            NB 905s are pretty cheap, now...they were just replaced with the fugly NB 1190.  The Nike Lunarfly+ 2 is a similar shoe, too (and runs really wide--yay!).  All of these have straighter lasts.  I can't do more curved lasts well at all.

            Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

            '14 Goals:

            • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

            Zortrium


              I'm also a flat-footed overpronator.  My primary shoes have been Brooks Adrenaline GTS (pretty bulky stability shoe), but I started using the Brooks Racer ST as a lighter shoe for races and faster workouts.  They're definitely enough shoe to train in and still have some support, but aren't nearly as bulky as the Adrenalines.  I think they're a good shoe for an overpronator moving towards less shoe without making an extreme jump that's likely to injure.

               

              They're also bright orange and blue if you're into that (I am...my wife is not).


              hairshirt knitter

                The online shop I was looking at doesn't have the NB905 or Lunarfly - which I suppose begs the next question... who delivers to Canada for a reasonable sum! runningwarehouse.com don't. I was looking at wiggle in the UK, who deliver for free, but the base price is a bit more.


                day after day sameness

                  The online shop I was looking at doesn't have the NB905 or Lunarfly - which I suppose begs the next question... who delivers to Canada for a reasonable sum! runningwarehouse.com don't. I was looking at wiggle in the UK, who deliver for free, but the base price is a bit more.

                   

                  For some reason, your question made me think that I'd seen a discussion here a while ago about ordering shoes in Canada.  So I did a quick search and found it here if you want to check it out.

                  I've done my best to live the right way; I get up every morning and go to work each day...


                  hairshirt knitter

                    You would think that Canada could support at least one stack-em-high-sell-em-cheap multisport online shop wouldn't you - maybe I need to build one!

                     

                    Thanks for the input folks, one last question on the topic before I go buy something... I have a couple of trail races coming up and I'm wondering if there's a shoe which could cover all bases? A wee bit of trail running, road races and transition training - or is that too much of an ask?

                      You would think that Canada could support at least one stack-em-high-sell-em-cheap multisport online shop wouldn't you - maybe I need to build one!

                       

                      Thanks for the input folks, one last question on the topic before I go buy something... I have a couple of trail races coming up and I'm wondering if there's a shoe which could cover all bases? A wee bit of trail running, road races and transition training - or is that too much of an ask?

                       

                      The ideal trail shoe varies tremendously based on exactly what type of trail you'll be running. That doesn't necessarily mean every runner must have lots of different trail shoes: there are often regional or runner-specific differences. Mud vs big rocks vs desert sand would be obvious regional differences, easy rail-grade vs chinscraping mountain track would be something a runner might choose from trails available.

                       

                      Many less technical trails are just fine in road shoes. I do easy trails and 50m ultras in Saucony Kinvaras. 

                       

                      If there is a concern about dirt or sand getting into the shoe, just get a cheap running gaiter instead of a special shoe for this. In addition, this may be controversial but IMO waterproof shoes are not worth it. If there is just a bit of water they'll dry right out, if there is lots, not waterproofing will be enough.


                      Old, Slow, Happy

                        Rubhadubh:

                         

                        21-minutes 5k and 3:40 marathon is VERY respectful!!  Congratulations!!

                         

                        As far as I'm concerned, there isn't, and shouldn't be, much difference between your racing shoes and training shoes.  To me, the belief that you need to have "clunkers" for training is competely wrong.  In fact, if you mix them up a lot, meaning, say if you wear shoes like Hyper Speed, which is actually a racing flat but has rather thick sole; and then Piranha, which is probably one of the thinnests and lightests available out there, the next; then the chance of getting hurt on the race day will be less because you're mixing them up all the time.  It's when you almost always wear training "clunker" during the workout and switch to racing flats on the race day that you chance getting hurt.

                         

                        In many case, not always, I view flat foot as sign of too much support to your feet.  As your foot develops, so should your arch.  But it may not happen all the time.  If you do in fact have flat foot, I found rather straighter last shoes, such as New Balance, may work well for you.  I'm more or less a minimalist (mostly train in Tarther or Hyper Speed) but recently I tried Sky Speed and, surprisingly to me too, liked them very much.  They are pretty light and flexible but quite cushiony as well.  They are a bit curved, which I like, but, with your flat foot, it may not work.  On the other hand, for example, DS Trainer is very similar built to Sky Speed but slightly narrower and a bit more straight.  DS Trainer has medial post for pronation but Sky Speed doesn't.  With that, someone with more or less bow-leg might be better with DS Trainer. 

                         

                        I guess what I'm trying to convey to you, rather than simply trying to confuse you (;o)), is that you really need to understand your own type and THEN understand the shoe.  If you are not bow-legged and have relatively wider feet, Sky Speed would work well.  If narrower a bit and bow-legged, or pronate a bit more in excess, DS Trainer would work better. 

                         

                        I would usually suggest even lighter, thinner shoes, much more like Hyper Speed or adiZero type of those.  But above mentioned may work better as more or less transition.  Pay attention to how your arch feel.  Sometimes stiff material on the arch area might restrict your foot flexing freely and put too much stress on it and develop Plantar Fasciitis.

                         

                        Some of the issues with your toes that you mentioned probably developed from ill-fitted shoe rather than arthritis or bunions.  In fact, you have probably developed bunions from ill-fitted shoes! 

                         

                        I know it's VERY hard to find the right shoe for you without trying them on.  One thing I sometimes do is to step on a piece of paper (just one foot would do) and trace around ALL THE WAY where YOUR FOOT MAKE CONTACT with the floor, not just the outline of your foot, looking down on your foot--in other words, if you have a decent arch (if your flat foot is not that excess!), you should trace your pen all the way UNDERNEATH your arch.  Once it's done, you cut that off and now you have the shape of your foot where it touches the ground.  Now you google search different types of shoe and get the image of the bottom of the shoe.  Get that image out and over-wrap it with your foot shape.  If any of your foot sticks out, and it often happens either outside of the base of your pinky toe or the inside of your heel, then that's where you'll start to have a problem.  It's a bit hard to explain--if you're interested, send me a personal e-mail at nobby415@msn.com and I'll send you some examples.  Basically, your foot should fit right into the shape of the shoe FROM THE BOTTOM, NOT FROM THE TOP.  What you have from the bottom of your shoe is the actual shape of the shoe.  And THAT should fit your foot.  There are things like toe-box or heel cup or lacing system or whatever; but the bottom line (get it? ;o)), the most important thing with the shoe is the shape of the shoe.

                         

                        Good luck with your contiued progress!

                         

                         

                        Nobby may not think so, but I very much respect his opinion.  I, also, have very flat feet.  I spent much time in Brooks Beasts which are very much motion control shoes.  Nobby gave me crap for that and he was right.  I have spent the last two years figuring out hoiw to deal with my runners knee and other subsequent injuries.  I am now running in 5 different pairs of shoes.  I have: DS Trainers, Kinvaras, Brooks Launch, Newton Gravity, and DS Racers.  I use the DS trainers the most, but I use them all regularly.  It's interesting that I have spent 2 years working this out and should have done what Nobby told me immediately.  So I say, FOLLOW NOBBY'S ADVICE.  He knows what he's talking about.  Think about getting some minimal shoes, but don't change to them all at once.  You'll need to work into them.  They will cause you to use muscles differently than your motion control shoes.  Good Luck and try the DS traniers.