Which shoes? (Read 177 times)


    Hi everyone! I am very new to running, and have some questions. The first one being which shoes should I get? I turned 40 this past February and decided that I really need to get in shape. I am 5'7" and was 135 pounds when I got married in 1999. Since then I have had 4 kids and packed on 40 pounds! I started the T25 (beachbody) program 3 months ago and I am seeing  results with toning, but not losing much weight.  I am also trying to follow a low carb/high protein diet.  I am going to add running into my weight-loss plan. I started two weeks ago, and I am having a lot of pain in my heels. I bought a pair of New Balance (the tag says Running 635) but I don't think they are very comfortable for me. Any suggestions for a good shoe with cushioning or something to lessen the impact on my heels?

    Gang Name "Pound Cake"

      You need to go to a running specific store where they can put you on a treadmill and watch or video you running, then fit you to a selection of shoes to try on. No one can tell you what to wear over the internet.


      good luck with training and remember to keep the pace very easy.

      - Scott

      2014 Goals: First Marathon - BQ2016 <3:40 (3:25:18) - 1/2M <1:45 - 5K <22:00

      2014 Marathons: 05/04 Flying Pig (3:49:02) - 09/20 Air Force (BQ 3:25:18) - 11/01 Indianapolis Monumental


        I think it's a matter of personal preference. What feels the most comfortable for you. If you haven't really run before, I'd start slow and get into something basic and simple. Learn how to run correctly. I'd stay away from the maximalist shoe trend. I've been running in my Skoras for almost as long as they've been making shoes and haven't been happier. Check out the Fit. It'll give you a bit of cushion and help you get into running so you can stay healthy.

        Intentionally Blank

          I agree with the comment about going to a specialty store and getting fitted.  That said, once I knew I was a neutral (don't over- or underpronate), I've run in whatever shoes are on sale at Dick's.  I'm just a recreational jogger, and I'm light weight, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the shoe issue is mostly hype.  I've run in structured shoes, minimalist shoes, no shoes, tevas, expensive shoes and cheap shoes.  I haven't had any problems as long as they are comfortable.



            Wherever you buy your shoes make sure they have a generous return policy. You'll likely want to use it as you find a pair shoes that are your best fit.

            You people, have issues.

              Heel pain could be plantar fasciitis (PF).  Look it up and see.  If so, it isn't as much of a shoe issue as it is a matter of getting your body slowly used to running, slowly building over time, and streching the appropriate parts throughout the day.


              Keep in mind the weightloss has to come through the diet.  If not making progress, then adjust the diet.  Keep fighting the battle there.


              Excercise, such as running, will keep your metabolism up, and get you in better shape, but will not really help weightloss as much as you might otherwise think it would.  You can gain weight from eating to offset any lost through running.  You can't possibly run enough to lose weight put on by eating too much.  You can get injured trying, though Smile


              Having said that, running does go nicely with a good diet.  Losing weight through diet helps you to run better!

                What was said before:

                Go to a reputable running store for a gait analysis. They will want to sell you a pair of shoes that may be more expensive than you can get online. It's worth it . Pay a little more to find out what is right for you. Then your next shoes can be bought online.

                A couple of tips to get an idea for yourself before you go.

                Take a pair of your well worn shoes or sneakers and put them side by side on a table. Are they worn more on one side or the other? Are they even. Even is neutral.

                Are you flat footed or high arch? Step out of the tub while still wet onto a paper bag. Do you see your whole foot? Arch doesn't show up?

                Good luck .You have found the best site for information so you're on your way.





                running metalhead

                  Gait analysis and all this stuff is moot:

                  It will analyse how you run on a threadmill, not on the road and the difference is like from running to biking. And there is no scientific base to it, none, niente. Just consider the fact that shoe vendors have been trying to make us run on our heels for a few decades.


                  ALSO IMPORTANT: Your running gait CHANGES with time and training. Even with the type of surface you run on or your mood. You actually change gait while running adapting to how tired you are. Specially for a beginner the gait may change very quickly, making that the shoe prescribed today may be of no use tomorrow. And forcing a given movement pattern may be a very bad idea.

                  The best shoes are the ones that you feel more comfortable with. That's no stupid made up rule, it's a result of a test made by the US Army and others:



                  The issue is that, despite all the terminology (that sounds convincing) and the reasoning (that appears to be logical), supporting scientific evidence is still lacking. In 2009 a research study led by Dr Richards from the University of Newcastle, Australia produced a review article on the current evidence for running shoe prescription [1]. The objective was: ‘To determine whether the current practice of prescribing distance running shoes featuring elevated cushioned heels and pronation control systems tailored to the individual’s foot type is evidence-based’.

                  The conclusions were stark: ‘No original research that met the study criteria was identified either directly or via the findings of the six systematic reviews identified’. Simply put, there was no viable data out there, leading to the conclusion, ‘the prescription of this shoe type to distance runners is not evidence-based’.


                  And here is another one from the US Air Force: 


                  I'm not going to talk you into minimalist running or any fancy stuff: 

                  The best shoe is just the one you run the most time with. Captain Obvious said that and you will want to listen to this guy: It happens that you will eventually adapt to any shoe no matter what.

                  BUT, it you adapt to such a show as special gait `correction` shoes you will end up with a a few trained muscles while other muscles will stay underdeveloped. If you are familiar with fitness and weight lifting:  The difference is the same as lifting dumbbels or barbelss vs. using machines. OK, you may suceed putting a lot of blood, sweat and tears into it. But I guess you may want to just enjoy a good run.

                  My suggestion is that you visit your local shoe store and ask for NEUTRAL runnign shoes. How much cushion, etc, is up to you. And if the price is right get two pairs of different brands; changing shoes from training to training makes that you develop all these little muscles that you won't train otherwise.


                  Just try them on. It feels strange? try another one. It feels nice and comfy? That's your shoe.

                  I would personally recommend Nike Free-ish or if you manage to get a pair of K-Swiss Ironman Natural Run... these are fantastic, neutral with no fancy stuff, a very minimal drop (difference in height between the heel and the top) yet a good amount of cushion if you value such things and wide shoebox. 

                  My pair has just gone over 1000 miles (and it's not the only one, lol) but the sole is still as new. It adapts perfectly to a forefoot/midfoot strike... no idea if it does to a heel strike but that's a no-no anyway if you plan in spending your time running and not visiting a doctor.

                  I would also recommedn to run a few minutes per week barefoot on soft ground such as grass, athletic track or even good even asphalt / concrete (mind you, I said a few MINUTES!) or even on a threadmill. The idea is to strenghten your feet and at the same time work on your running form and foot strike, this way you will have no problem no matter which shoes you choose in the future.


                  A bit of history to finnish: Until the 1980 people where running with canvas sneakers and plimsoles. The only reason these were abandoned is that the rubber soles of a pair of Converse (or similar) didn't last a full marathon. Pro runners and elite used leather spikes and flats that had no sole at the heel. Yet: An elite of the 1970-1980 would still beat the crap out of most of us, even the good ones. 

                  And remember: No elite runner wears gait control shoes (that I knew of).

                  When I run I feel like a swallow

                  Because you are free like a bird?

                  Nope, because of all the flies I eat.


                    I think the post above is correct in saying buy a shoe that feels comfortable.  When I went to Fleet Feet, the guy watched me run, and then suggested a few different shoes, brought them out, and I ran in each and then picked the one that was most comfortable.  Loved the way that shoe felt.  Brooks Adreneline, btw, but your feet might like something different.  Point isn't that the shoe guy at the running store is a scientist, but rather that at least you can start with his/her suggestions, and get to run there and try them out to see how they feel.


                    As to your heel.  As I mentioned earlier, I suspect PF.  One way to lessen the impact on your heels is to land softly, and to not land on your heel.  The next thing perhaps coming your way could be shin splints.  Landing softly, and taking it easy in your runs, only gradually increasing over weeks, could help keep those pains away.  Losing weight also helps you to land softly.


                    Long boring story is I ran track in HS, did hurdles.  Also played soccer.  In track I had both PF and shin splints.  I was not overweight an ounce, but the training is not gradual during a season, and the hurdles increase the landing forces,  Soccer season I never had issues with PF or shin splints.  Soft grass helped, I suppose, plus overall less running (or running spread out in different directions and different movements).  Fast forward to starting running again at age 48 and being 80 pounds over my HS weight.  Started out too much too soon, and both the PF and shin splints came back.  I backed off, thought about it, concentrated on dieting, and very slowly re-introduced running again, and very gradually increased the distances.  I'm talking slow motion jogging, at first.  Try landing each foot with no noise, too.  I also did a lot stretching of the legs, ankles, heel, shins, throughout the day, even while sitting at a desk, even while driving a car.  Guess what, the PF and shin splints went away, and did not come back.  I've lost over 50 pounds, and have run three 5k's, and still no PF or shin splints.


                    Of course I could be projecting my own experiences.  But maybe that will help you in your quest!  Good luck and happy running.


                      Thank you for all of the input. I have ditched the idea of buying a new pair of shoes on the internet and am going to Fleet Feet tomorrow to get suggestions and try on shoes. I didn't realize  going into this that  there really is a right and wrong way to run. I am doing it the wrong way! I just went out there and started running. I am obviously landing wrong, and am working on not landing on my heels. With the heel pain (possibly PF) and already experiencing shin splints (you were right, oldfatslow!) I am not ready to throw in the towel, but ready to correct my form and figure out how to do this right! I started out jogging a mile and a half and got up to 2 1/2 over the past two weeks, which doesn't seem too far. I would like to work up to be able to do a 5K at least.  Thanks again for your responses! I am looking forward to getting "lighter on my feet!"

                        Good to recognize the symptoms, look for better shoes, adjust your running and your expectations, all before it gets worse. So, you are on the right track (no pun intended).


                        Keep in mind that cardio can develop quickly, but muscles, bones, joints, tendons, take longer to get in shape.  So your lungs might say "Ok let's go!"  But your whole body might not be able to keep up with your lungs yet.


                        But I believe your body will adapt, will get ready for some good running.  It just takes time and you have to be patient.


                        I just ran a nice easy 3 miles this morning, on a soft green Spring grass covered trail, the bluebirds flying ahead from post to post.  I started my running in September, and ran all Winter.  In September I couldn't run 3 miles non-stop.  I'd walk a mile, slow jog a mile, and then walk a mile.  Took me 45 minutes to do that trail loop.  This morning, only running at about 80% effort, I did that exact same loop in 30 minutes.  My most recent 5k was under 27 minutes.


                        That's 8 months of staying with the dieting, losing 50+ pounds, and going gradual, but steady, with the running.  I write down all my runs and made sure I did 4 runs a week.  Even if just 1 mile of slogging through 6" of snow in the Winter.  On very crappy weather days, if I couldn't run because of ice, I made sure to do 30 minutes of an exercise routine indoors to compensate.


                        No single run was all that hard.  No single day was all that difficult.  The hard thing was to stick with it 4 times a week, for 8 months Smile


                          I went to Fleet Feet and the shoes I ended up with are Saucony Omni 12's. I'll be trying them out this afternoon!