The Great Running Shoe Debacle


Last fall when I first moved to Austin, I came to the realization I would need a new pair of sneakers. I had a couple pairs which I wore casually, but none I would be able to run regularly with.

After a bit of research and test runs in Academy, I decided on Asics Gel Nimbus 11. They fit like a dream, as if I was walking on soft, pillowy clouds. I used them for a few classes at the gym, and on the elliptical.

When I began training in May for my first half marathon, I slipped on the Asics and hit the road. A month went by, and I decided I needed a new pair. They weren’t worn out, but they just didn’t feel right. And hey, I’m a girl – I love buying a new pair of shoes 🙂

Enter Mizuno Wave Rider 13. I really liked how light they were and the way they looked, but after a few runs I noticed they weren’t quite supportive enough. I ended up wearing them to work instead (be jealous, I wear jeans & sneakers to work) and switching back to the Nimbus.

In the beginning of July, I was plagued by an intense case of shin splints. I was icing after every single run, stretching, and following a training plan that increased weekly mileage by no more than 10%. I took a few weeks off from training to allow my legs to recover.

I went to the Road Runner Sports website and answered a few questions from Shoe Dog to determine which pair was best for me. My feet are incredibly flat, so I pronate quit a bit when I run. At this point, I was using the Nike+ system and I was looking for a Nike shoe. From the results the website provided me, I chose Nike Structure Triax 13.

I am really not a huge fan of Nikes to begin with, but these really alleviated the problem. I was officially pain free. For about a month. This was just enough time for me to wear down the cushion on the arch of the shoe.

Next up? Asics GT-2150. The arch support in these shoes was the best out of all of the previous shoes, as it is a stability shoe. After an 8 miler and a 9 miler, the pain returned. Gah! It was at this point where I headed to Runtex to see if they could help. I was given a prescription for orthotics, and off to InStep I went.

The combination of the 2150 and orthotics was just what I needed! I ran the half marathon in them, and I had no shin pain whatsoever afterwards.

After my recent 10k, the outsides of my calves started hurting. This was a completely new issue, which I can blame the speedy downhill running I did for an hour. I think also it may have come from “over-correcting” my pronation problem.

Yesterday, I went back to Runtex on a mission to purchase a new pair of running shoes. A few pairs were recommended to me, and here’s the winner:



Mizuno Wave Inspire 6. I am keeping my fingers crossed this will be the LAST time I need to change running shoes. I am tired of having to take unplanned rest days because of shin pain, and most importantly? I’m tired of shelling out $100+ every couple months! Wish me luck!

What running shoes do you run in? Did it take you awhile to find the “perfect” pair?

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  1. *sigh* I think everyone has a shoe saga to talk about! 🙂

    I went to Fleet Feet Sports by me when I first started running on a recommendation of a friend and they were amazing. Watched me run on the treadmill, replayed the video, explained what exactly my feet were doing, and brought out 3 pairs of shoes that would help in all different price ranges. I decided on the Nike Structure Triax 12 (or 11?), exactly like the 13’s but just a few years earlier. I also bought a pair of Superfeet inserts on their recommendation.

    My best friend and I had a complete horror story with Road Runner that I’ll save for another day or I’ll end up writing a novel. What I learned though? The ‘experts’ at Road Runner have no idea what they’re talking about, at least at the one by me. They messed up my friend’s feet pretty bad for at least 6 months until we wizened up and started going back to Fleet Feet.

    So anyways… I’ve been using the Nike Structure Triax (with Superfeet inserts) forever now and am really happy. Everyone is different though so do whatevers best for you!

    Also, try finding a running store that has a 60 day return policy on their sneakers. I know Road Runner does, as does Fleet Feet (they might be 30 though, not sure). The minute the shoes start to bother you, take them right back! Plus, it saves a bunch of money.. 🙂

  2. Pingback: If the shoe fits… | Melissa Runs

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