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13. A new job always means new shoes, right? January 20, 2010

Posted by Lisa in All, Goals, Motivation.
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I went to go buy running shoes yesterday.  Since I started running a couple weeks ago, I’ve been on the edge of injuries again.  Knees, hip, foot.  Typical for pushing to hard at the beginning.

So my trainer sent me over to RoadRunner to get new ones.  Turns out they have a neat system called Shoe Dog to check out your feet, your ankles, your darn near everything related to running so you get the right shoes.

The *great* staff first made me take off my shoes and walk across a pressure pad that showed my footprint, and the pressure points where my heel hits the floor and where I toe off (the red areas).

Then I had to run barefoot on the treadmill while she videotaped the back of my feet as each touched the treadmill and went through the full foot-strike cycle.

After all this, I got the bad news.  My running gait is pretty crappy (not my fault!) and my current shoes the wrong ones.  So I got new shoes and it was pretty cool!

The pressure picture up there isn’t my foot but you get the idea.  (Man, I wished I’d taken a USB stick!) All this info is critical to find the right type of shoes.  Not sure if this is the exact brand they’re using, but Tekscan makes several shoe and gait measurement systems like this.

From this, Katie told me my arch was about normal (at least some part of me is, heh heh), and that I needed a “stability” type shoe using the chart below:

Next, I did the barefoot dash on videotape.  When we looked at the slo-mo and still pictures,  I could see badness abound before she even said a word. My feet come down nicely on heel-strike, but with full weight on my foot, the medial area (ankle area) rotates in (over pronates) and then recovers on toe-off.  This means I need more support at the arch when I run.

This is different from the type of arch we figured out above. I have a normal to high arch, but tend to overpronate as I run.  Hmmm, never woulda figured that out at the local shoe store, eh?

Here’s a video that’s similar to how I’ve been running.  Got Injuries?

Not good :-(.

Jacking up the arches

Hey, who hasn’t stuffed Dr. Scholls gels in their shoes for some comfort?  So, I agreed to try some standard insoles.  We checked me again on the treadmill and viola!  Great gait and no pronation problems!  Except the damn insoles hurt like hell right in front of my heel.  Not squishy at all.  Grrr.

No pain no gain?

Nope.  So, let’s try different shoes.  Ohhhh, then she brought out a pair that were like running on marshmallows!  I loved them!  No insoles and still decent stability.  But back on the treadmill, alas, no good.  Still some overpronation.

Rats.

I ended up with two different shoes that both felt pretty good, and we decided to make custom insoles since the standard ones were OUCHIE!

So, a very nice guy spent about 15 minutes heating flat insoles, then having me stand on nice squishy blocks like those thermo beds you can jump on without spilling wine out of the glass.  (Which is excellent marketing by the way – what couple would be lounging in bed with a couple diet cokes?)

Anyway, he had me stand, lean forward, lean backward, do the tango – and after those wonderful slow stretching exercises, he had an insole the exact shape of the bottom of each foot.

I popped on the shoes after he slipped in the custom insoles, and ohhhhhh, what comfort and joy!  After my spontaneous cry of pedo-ecstasy, he said he’d like to use my reaction as an advertisement for the store.  (A guy in the store was debating spending the bucks on the custom work, but I noticed him on the squishy blocks by the time I left the store!)  I said I do live performances at $50 bucks a pop.  Could be a nice side job 🙂

It was amazing to see my foot pressures and my different running patterns wearing different shoes and insoles.  Can’t wait to get to the gym and try them out!

Compass Point – Identify and fix your sources of distraction.  Pain and frustration come from difference sources, but end up affecting a whole buncha other aspects of your life.

13 down, 347 to go.

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