Brooks Adrenalines

Picking Running Shoes

Training for a half-marathon means logging quite a few miles per week either on the road or the treadmill.  Choosing gear that is right for you is an important part of the training process.  Choosing proper gear can make your runs more enjoyable as well as decrease your chances of injury.  A solid pair of running shoes tops my list of important gear 😉

 

 

There are several different kinds of running shoes to choose from, but some of the main ones are:

  • Cushioning
  • Stability
  • Motion Control
  • Minimalist

 

The kind of shoe you choose depends on a couple of things.  First, you need to know your foot shape in terms of your foot arch.  Personally, I have semi-high arches.  You should also know how you run.  Common ways your foot lands/moves are neutral, under-pronation, and over-pronation.  There are simple tests you can do at home to determine both of these things, however, my advice is to go to a specialty running store and get fitted properly for your shoes.

 

Back in September, Chris and I went to the Texas Running Company store in Austin, TX to both get fitted for new running shoes.  It was by far one of the coolest things ever.

 

They put us both on treadmills and had us run (well I jogged since I was 8 months pregnant) while they recorded how our feet moved.  They were able to determine that both Chris and I land neutrally on our right feet but pronate our left.  Therefore, a stability running shoe was recommended for both of us.  We settled with the Brooks Adrenalines.

 

Hers and His (notice the size difference …)

I honestly have never been happier with running shoes!  I am on my second pair of Adrenalines and ran my last 1/2 marathon in them and will do so again for the Go! St. Louis!  I will be on the look-out for my newest pair as soon as I finish the race because I will have put enough wear and tear on this pair!  It is often recommended that you replace your shoes every 300-500 miles or every 6 months.  I totally agree with this … but I also think you should listen to your body!  My knees tell me when it’s to start breaking in a new pair 😉  Happy running!

Edited to add: For anyone who doesn’t have a specialty running store near them, Runner’s World has an awesome online shoe finder to help you try to find the right pair for you.  You can find it here.

How often do you replace your running shoes?  Have you ever had how you run analyzed?

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Madeline @ Food, Fitness, and Family

Healthy living blogger sharing my love of yummy eats, sweaty workouts, and my sweet family!

27 thoughts on “Picking Running Shoes”

  1. I wish there was a store here that could analyze my running technique! I just got a new pair of running shoes (Asics Gel 1160s) and the employee at the running store just watched me walk for a bit before picking them out for me. I think I’d trust a more scientific approach a lot more though!
    Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin recently posted..WIAW #29: Chelsea’s day offMy Profile

  2. Running shoes are probably THE most important thing for running (I even wrote a post about it). Going to a specialty running store and having them help fit you in shoes is key – whether they can video you or not (although video is awesome!). I always say 300-500 miles for shoes, I err on the side of caution and switch around 300 miles.
    Heather @ Better With Veggies recently posted..Recipe: Maple Bacon DonutsMy Profile

    1. Hmm I have no complaints about these shoes! Runners World has a great form you can fill out and they help match you to new shoes. I would definitely find a running store though and have them analyze your gait with how much you’re using them … totally worth the time!

  3. I LOVE my Adrenalines too!!!!! they are the BEST running shoes I have ever worn, and won’t be changing them up any time soon!

  4. I did have my running analyzed at a local store in Miami called “Runner’s High.” It was a great experience. They didn’t pressure me to purchase shoes from their store and really took the time to talk to me about what they were doing and what my foot strike was like. I wonder if it’s something I should do again??? It’s been several years. I wonder if my running form has changed? Hmmm…
    Marty recently posted..Homemade LarabarsMy Profile

  5. ok so basically if we dont have a store that does that where we live we do…what? this article didnt really help anyone, but GOOD FOR YOU! -_-

    1. Wow! Thanks Rob for reminding me I meant to add a link to an online shoe-finder for anyone who doesn’t have a store near them. Emmie work up while I was writing this post and I totally spaced! Anyways, I edited it to add the link :) Just in case you miss it :
      http://www.runnersworld.com/shoeadvisor

      1. thank you for the link. sorry for the ‘tude–had a bit of a bad day with the little ones, you know how it goes!

        1. No need to apologize … you made an excellent point! And I know ALL about those bad days! Hope it got better for you!

  6. Not trying to be rude, but before you throw out bad advice like this, perhaps do some research.

    In the study, “The effect of three different levels of footwear stability on pain outcomes in women runners: a randomized control trial”, the authors concluded that “our current approach of prescribing in-shoe pronation control systems on the basis of foot type is overly simplistic and potentially injurious.”

    Also “Injury reduction effectiveness of assigning running shoes based on plantar shape in Marine Corps basic training” found that “This prospective study demonstrated that assigning shoes based on the shape of the plantar foot surface had little influence on injuries even after considering other injury risk factors.”

    “Is your prescription of distance running shoes evidence-based?” concluded that the prescription method you described in your post “is not evidence-based.”

    There has also been research showing that putting people into motion control shoes when they were assigned them based on the testing protocol likely identical to that of the Texas Running Co actually INCREASED their likelihood of injury compared to people who were purposefully assigned the incorrect type of shoe for their pronation type.

    Actually, there are no specific definitions of what over pronation is anyway.

    I could go on, if you wish.
    Kyle Jeffrey Kranz recently posted..On the Road Again. do do do do do, On the road again!My Profile

    1. Interesting points. Do you have the links for the actual studies? I did do research when choosing my running shoes but did not run across your articles. Please feel free to email me at foodfitnessandfamily (At) gmail (dot) com. I would be very interested in reading the articles in their entirety.

      As for my own shoes … I have joint instability due to a genetic issue in my ankle. I absolutely have form issues that isn’t correctable because of the way my ankle is formed. I have tried many different kinds of shoes before being tested and switching to stability shoes. This is the first time I have been injury free EVER. So I do think there are points from both sides of the argument.
      Madeline @ Food, Fitness, and Family recently posted..When to Replace Your Running ShoesMy Profile

  7. The ones I had the links to are all peer reviewed articles. Not something you’ll casually find while reading someone’s blog or from generally from google.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20584759

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18424485

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20576837

    I do not know the specifics of your issue but in most instances any type of motion control, neutral, stability, etc type of shoe has zero research behind it’s use and is more than likely part of the causation of many injuries. Other research has shown that if you wear shoes that allow the body to land/move/function as it’s naturally meant to your lower limb muscles and joints increase in strength rather effectively.

    1. I’m very familiar with peer reviewed articles. Thank you for including the links. I look forward to reading them.

      My left ankle joint is essentially fused with cartilage. Without cushioning that bridge shatters leaving me with a highly stress fractured ankle. I have dealt with it my whole life.

      1. Even if cushioned motion control running shoes that were prescribed to by guesswork by “experts” at a running store are a better option for yourself (not saying they are) I feel it is irresponsible to be giving this advice to all of your readers when it is clear that the advice is not backed any science(and even disproved in some cases).

        Heck, there is even research showing that the way they determined your foot type, arch type, and way of movement to pick your shoes, are not actually accurate methods of doing so! That’s not even taking into consideration the question of if they should be doing it in the first place.

        I’ve seen multiple people go through joint operations, replacements, told they never going to run again, told they had bone MRI’s that looked like they were from someone 2x as old, re-learn how to run with proper running form and in shoes that allow the feet to strengthen and muscles that have been weakened due bad habits run farther and faster than they ever had before.
        Kyle Jeffrey Kranz recently posted..On the Road Again. do do do do do, On the road again!My Profile

        1. So given all that you have said, how do you suggest people choose running shoes? Do you have a constructive alternative to what’s suggested by Runners World and running stores? Rather than just bash everything being said how about offer an alternative?

          1. Actually Runner’s World has been changing how it views running shoes and the types, right along with what I am telling you. It is moving away from pronation and motion control. While they obviously cannot move away from talking about and reviewing motion control shoes due to money they are moving away from suggesting them to people for injury prevention or to control movement. RW has not actually given a negative review of a shoe since Nike pulled all of their advertising from the magazine years ago in response to a non positive review.

            To quote a passage from the Dec 2008 edition: “We’ve reported in the past that a more stable shoe will help relieve the pain you feel just ahead of the heel. But recent research has shown that stability shoes are unlikely to relieve plantar fasciitis and may even exacerbate the symptoms.”

            Amby Burfoot, editor at Runner’s World, has been quoted talking about (and agreeing with) a study done by the US Army that concluded the wet test used to determine arch type is useless. He also said, “Back in the ’60s, we ran way more and way faster in the thinnest little shoes, and we never got hurt. I never even remember talking about injuries back then. So you’ve got to wonder,” Amby mused, “what’s changed…”

            Warren Greene, Runner’s World shoe expert, when asked about motion control shoes, he said “Oh, those are being phased out,”

            Benno Niggs, one of the most highly regarded biomechanic and shoe experts in the world, has said, “First of all, it’s important to realise that modem running shoes, even the ones equipped with ‘anti-pronation’ features, actually cause pronation–they don’t control it. A runner, male or female, who pronates about eight degrees while running barefoot will often pronate about 20 degrees while wearing ‘anti-pronation’ running shoes,’ says Nigg. In other words, trying to control pronation may only make it worse.

            I think shoe stores are basically slow learning. There are many coming around to the new science and getting away from the old myths that your grade school gym teacher told you.

            As for your question about how to choose a shoe, it is simple.
            1)Determine which options you need. For example, weight, stack height, heel to toe drop, materials, flexibility, ventilation, etc.
            -Personally I think shoes should allow for natural foot movement. Thus, they need to be flexible and have a wide toe box that allows good toe spread. Being the same height from the heel to the midfoot is also very important.
            2)Determine what you are using the shoe for. If you run a lot of technical trails, pick a shoe you believe will be appropriate. Same if you run a lot of rocky trails, or roads, etc.
            3. Try some on and find one that fits and feels the best.

            There you go. That’s how I’ve chosen all of my shoes. Just like a bike, determine what characteristics you want, determine what you will use it for, and than find the one that fits you best.
            Kyle Jeffrey Kranz recently posted..On the Road Again. do do do do do, On the road again!My Profile

  8. I would recommend visiting a running store and having an employee look at your feet to give you a good idea of what category your feet fit in. If you have serious foot complications like extreme pronation, fallen arches, etc I would recommend visiting a foot doctor, as running shoes by themselves might not be enough. You could require orthotics, or even just simple strengthening exercises to get and keep you on your feet.*

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