If Cinderella Were A Runner…

Well, it is back to work for me after a relaxing 4 day weekend.  And we had some Wizard of Oz level wind last night preventing me from getting any kind of restful sleep.  More coffee, please.

But aside from that.

I know this isn’t earth shattering news, but runners are on their feet a lot.  Everything else on the body comes into play while running, but it is our feet that physically carry us through those long miles.

So needless to say, running shoes (and pedicures!) are an important piece of the whole “I want to run a marathon” pie.

As I start getting more and more into longer mileage, I obviously want to make sure that I’m wearing the best shoes for the occasion (no hippy running for this girl…sorry).

About a year ago I did the formal gait analysis at my local running shop (Heart and Sole if you are in Albuquerque and looking to see a video of what your feet do when they run…pretty crazy stuff).

I learned that I am a pronator.  Kind of an extreme one actually.  It has been recommended that I wear shoes that provide a fair amount of support.  I’m also trying to improve my form so that I pronate less.

{Mizuno, Asics, Newton, Asics}

{View from the top!}

I currently rotate between 4 different pairs of shoes for running.  Rotating gives the foam a chance to recover and helps shoes last longer.

The Mizuno Wave Inspire 7’s are nearing the end of their life, so I keep those for shorter distance recovery runs.  The Newton Lady Issacs help improve form, and I currently use them for shorter to moderate distance runs.  The Asics Gel-DS Trainers are slightly less supported and lighter, so those are used for speedwork. And the Asics GT-2160 are my “long run” shoe. (Also, you can tell by the outdated model numbers that I’m a big fan of purchasing last year’s models for cheaper online!).

But here’s the thing.  I do like my Mizuno Wave Inspires (they are probably my favorite).  I do like my Asics.  The Asics Gel-DS are really comfortable for non-running activities.  The Newtons are kind of weird but I feel like a Trendy B when I wear them (walking feels pretty awkward though).  However, loyalty hasn’t yet been established.   I want to try out every possibility in the land to make sure that I am truly going to have my running shoe happily ever after.

The question about which shoes you use came up on #runchat this weekend.  I was able to get some good ideas on what my next purchase might be.  I think I will try out the Brooks Adrenaline based on some suggestions I received.

Brooks Adrenaline

But I’m also looking for some other ideas.

Except for the Vibram Five Fingers shoes.  You couldn’t pay me to wear those (no offense Jon and other Vibram peeps, but your shoes weird me out).

Are you a pronator, a supinator, or a neutral runner?  

Which shoes do you use?  

Would you ever consider the Vibram Five Fingers or do they give you nightmares?  

Are you like me and make it a personal mission to pass as many Five Fingers wearing runners as possible?

Am I the only person who considers how pretty shoes are in addition to functionality?  

Another product I need help with:

Compression Gear.  I have never used it (MAJOR running sin I know) and I know that I absolutely need to start to aid in the recovery process! But I have no idea what to look for in a good compression brand.  PRO Compression seems to be the brand all over social media, but they make me weary because most of the reviews come from sponsored bloggers who receive free stuff.   And I am painfully short, so I need a brand geared toward people who don’t have long legs.

Do you use compression gear?

What brand of compression gear do you use? Would someone half your height be able to fit in them?

Happy Tuesday, y’all! Only 3.5 more days until the weekend!

39 thoughts on “If Cinderella Were A Runner…

  1. Hehe this post made me giggle a bit! I completely understand the anti-vibram sentiment. It is a very different style of shoe, and does draw the odd looks… but it is a ton of fun to run in them. I make it a point to finish every race strong in the toe shoes because I want to show that it is a legit option. As I get faster and stronger, I’m excited to whip some peoples butts in them.

    If you are venturing in the slightest (it doesn’t sound like it) into minimalist, I also use Merrell Road Gloves, which aren’t toe shoes, but have no padding or anything like that. These are my every day, don’t look at me strange shoe and I like them. I picked the Jamaican color scheme. Just ask Ellie how much I like my fresh kicks!

    • I thought you might like it! I actually have nothing against minimalist, and I hope one day to be able to run properly without the aid of a shoe. And regardless of what you wear, proper form appears to be important. I’m slowly trying to transition away from the super heavy supported shoe (and I think most brands are starting to do the same). I still don’t know how something like that would feel after a certain mileage though.

      And I have no doubt you’ll do some serious butt whipping! But you probably would do just as well without non lagoon creature looking shoes!

  2. i’m definitely for the mizunos. I have the exact same ones, the mizunos wave inspire 7s for men…and since i got 3 of them at the time, i’m stuck on the 7s until they wear out.

  3. I’m an overpronator only on my left foot, and I wear Nike Zoom Structure Triax + 15’s, they’re a traditional, chunky healed running shoe. I could’ve got some Nike Lunar shoes, but I didn’t like the colours! I definitely think about colours and the way the shoe is, luckily I really like my new ones. I only wear the one pair because I’m not doing major distances and speed work, but I’ve always wondered about high performance shoes and how they feel, (like Newtons). I would never, ever wear barefoot running shoes, I think they’re just too weird. 2XU compression gear is big here, it’s what usually sold at the running shops. I like them for the look (if they weren’t £70 a pair, I’d have some already), but I have no actual need to wear them.

    • I’ve actually not bought certain shoes because of the colors! I’m a huge Nike fan and up until a year ago, every pair of running shoes I’ve ever owned were Nike. The Newtons are ok. I got them for really cheap because they were a pair returned to the store, but I was expecting them to be magical because they retail pretty high. I’ll have to check out 2XU. It looks like a lot of local stores carry it! Thanks for the suggestions!

    • Thanks for the recommendation! I’ve been hoping that brand was good because they always have really good discounts, but literally every review I’ve seen was from someone getting rewarded for their mention.

  4. I have Zensah compression sleeves and I really like them! I’ve never used other brands so I have nothing to compare them to! Also, I love my Aasics (finally just got a pair of GT-2170s) but I’m looking for a shoe to rotate with for my shorter runs. Thinking maybe the Mizunos you recommended?

    • For sizing, Mizunos seem to run a bit smaller than Asics. For example, I’m a size 5.5- 6 in normal shoes. I wear a 6.5 in Mizunos (the lady at the store told me to go up a half size for running shoes) and they fit comfortably, but the 6.5’s in Asics are just slightly too big. The Mizuno Wave Inspires seem to be pretty comparable to the Asics GT-2100’s. And thanks for the compression recommendation! I’ll have to check Zensah out!

  5. Omg this post combines two of my favorite things in the whole world… running and SHOES. I agree with you about the Vibrams… they look silly. Also, you don’t need to wear them to the grocery store. What’s up with that? I like the idea of more minimalist shoe though, so I try to purchase shoes with a lower heel drop. It gives you similar benefit of the “barefoot style” shoes, encourages more midfoot striking etc. without looking ridiculous. My personal favorites are Asics Speedstars and Nike LunaRacers. Anddddd my Asics are hot pink and my Nikes are neon orange… so yes, I think cute sneakers help me run better 🙂

    As far as compression gear I’m a big fan of calf sleeves! Not that I think you absolutely need to but I really like the way it makes my legs feel. I’d say it’s worth trying them out. I have Adidas and Zensah. Love both of them (got both on RunningWarehouse.com). Zensah comes in a bunch of fabulous colors which you might find appealing… I have pink ones!

    • I agree! The cuter the shoe, the better I run! I’m slowly trying to get into less supported shoes. You are the second person to recommend Zensah! I may have to look into these pink calf sleeves!

  6. I love Mizunos for short distance. However when I began training for my 1st marathon I noticed that I was having foot issues and wonky hip pain. Received advice from my running store and switched to Saucony Guide (stability shoe) which may be too heavy for you. The problem is that if you pronate when you start running longer distances fatigue starts to accentuate any problem..causing more problems! Hope this helps!

    • Hi Caron! Saucony is another brand besides Brooks that I’ve been wanting to try out. Apparently that is the “in” brand this year! I’m also worried about how pronation will affect things like hips as I get into longer distances. I’m really trying to focus on maintaining a midfoot stike, but if I can’t get it under control over the next few months, I may have to get a more supported shoe just so I can make it through my marathon without any issues.

  7. You know how I feel about Brooks. 🙂 I have neutral feet, so its Ghosts for me. I FINALLY got the Brooks 5’s (In love). Time to write a review.

    • I do know you love your Brooks Ghost! It is really hard to determine if compression gear is all hype or if it is really helpful. I’m paranoid enough right now that I’m willing to buy into the hype! And I did call those shoes “weird toe shoes” in this post, but then I figured I better make it more proper to prevent supporters from complaining!

  8. I’ve tried running in various shoes, from Asics Nimbus to Mizuno Wave Creations, but they all make my feet go numb and cause a lot of pain. I was told at a running shoe store that it’s because I am a midfoot-forefoot striker, and don’t need the extra support. So far, the only shoes I’ve been able to run in without numbness has been Nike Lunarglides and Nike Lunar Eclipses. Earlier this year, I tried to go back to the Mizuno Wave Creations, because I found a sweet pair in orange/purple, but alas, they went back to the store after a week of running. 😦 I’m currently coveting the Saucony Kinvara 3’s in Red/Blue, and may end up buying them just because they look awesome! I’m hoping the minimalist shoe will work wonders, as I’m always so jealous of “real” running shoes!

    I agree that the Vibram Five Fingers are just too out there. I’ve read “Born To Run” and several articles that are pro-barefoot running, but I’m still skeptical. I feel like people have become so used to support that it takes some serious training of your feet and body to be able to put serious miles in that way.

    Your post reminds me that I NEED to get on the compression sock train. I’ve been talking about getting a pair for almost a year, and just haven’t gotten around to it yet. Eek!

    • Haha! I’m jealous of your midfoot strike! The Kinvaras DO look cool. Hopefully they work for you! And I completely agree about barefoot running. I understand the logic behind it, but I still don’t think that NOT running barefoot causes as many problems as we’ve been led to believe. And I think it is worth noting that the only 2 people I’ve ever seen hobbling into a finish line in complete pain were wearing (well, one had taken off and was carrying) the Five Fingers.

      • Too much, too soon! Takes months and months to train up calves and more importantly the achilles!

        It would be like taking downhill skis on a cross country trail.. it is possible but exhausting, and works completely different muscles!

      • Exactly! I know when I bought my Newtons I had like a 15 minute lecture about how to go about transitioning. I almost wonder if the Five Fingers have become so “mainstream” and even trendy that a lot of people don’t get that education before jumping right in. And then they try and run a half marathon and end up in an immense amount of pain.

  9. I use Zensah compression pants and I wear them under track pants/layup pants on days when I run marathons or do my long run. I LOVE them. Best part of my repertoire, no question. I’m a guy and I’m about 6-2, so I don’t know how they’d work for you. But I love them. I’ve tried running with Injinji compression socks but I was a little sluggish. Only tried it once, not sure if it was me or the socks.

    • Zensah seems to be the most common suggestion. Thank you for the recommendation! (And yikes…I am more than a foot shorter than you! Hopefully they make the women’s sizes shorter)

  10. I rotate between Mizuno Wave Riders (favorite look- bright yellow), Brooks Ghost 4 (my favorite feel) and Asics Cumulus. For the compression socks, I don’t know the science behind them, but man they feel good after a race or a hard run. I have Pro Compression Socks that I found using a groupon or something and got a small and extra small. Both work well but are super long (I’m 5’2 and they pull up over my knees which actually feels awesome) but I wouldn’t wear them for a race only recovery. I usually just get too hot.

    • I’ve also heard good things about the Brooks ghost. And I love bright shoes! Pro Compression might be too long for me…I’m only 5 foot, so if they are long on you, they might extend well beyond my knee. Although, that might not even be a problem. I probably won’t wear them for races either. Every once in awhile for themed 5-K’s, I’ll wear regular knee high socks, and that’s annoying enough.

  11. I’m a New Balance gal myself – been wearing the same ones for years (well new pairs, same design), but I’m thinking I need to try something new. I have to say in re: the Vibrams: Two of my best friends are Sports Medicine and Orthorpedics docs respectively and they’ve both said the number of people they treated (or operated on) as a result to switching to toe shoes is shocking and recommended my hubby and I stay away from them. I’ve also read several of the studies just to look at research process (my background’s epidemiology) and what is touted as supportive research is really not all that strong. All that said, if they work for some folks, go to town….just a beware if you’re thinking of switching to them!

    • I feel the same way. If it works for you, and you train into them properly, then I’m all for it. But the research that shows that it prevents injury and that running in more cushioned shoes causes injury isn’t very solid. I need to start bookmarking these articles that I read, because I’ve done some research (and my husband has done a TON), but I never remember where! I’ve had a pair of New Balance and they worked fine, but it wasn’t true love.

  12. Pingback: Running Gear Update | Lavender Parking

  13. A little late to the party, but thought I’d give you my 2 cents. 🙂 I just bought a pair of Zensah calf sleeves in XS/S — they fit my calf just right (I’m almost 5’5″). The nice thing with a sleeve (vs a sock) is that you can adjust the position on your calf. Unfortunately, they had a big hole in them, so I couldn’t try them out. I also got recommendations for a brand called Zoot, which I might check out also.

    As for Five Fingers — yes, I’m one of those crazy people! I call them my hobbit shoes, and no, I don’t wear them for anything else besides running. 🙂 I’ve run 300+ miles in them and haven’t noticed any problems. In fact, I’ve been able to overcome shin splints and knee pain since switching over. I also have a pair of Merrell pace gloves for trail running. However, I DO see tons of people running in VFFs who are heel striking like crazy and have horrible form, so they definitely didn’t get the lecture on transitioning slowly! Here’s a post I wrote recently about my own experience with minimalist running: http://jensrunningblog.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/mo-cushion-mo-problems/

    Anyway, I clicked over to your blog from Dominick’s and I just wanted to let you know that I’ve enjoyed reading your marathon-related posts. I’m just starting to train now for my first marathon in December, so it’s nice to read what other people are going through. Best of luck to you in Chicago!

    • Hi Jen! Thanks for stopping by!

      I ended up with CEP mostly because it was what was available at the store (I like trying things on). Zoot was the other option, but I hadn’t heard anything about that brand, so I opted against it.

      I like to poke fun at people who wear the Five Fingers, but I definitely mean no ill will! There is a lot to be said for minimalist running, but I don’t think a lot of mass retailers explain the transition to people, and like you said, I see so many people out there definitely not avoiding injuries.

      Good luck in your marathon training! It has been so different in so many ways than I thought, but at the end of the day, despite my whining, it is pretty rewarding to be able to say that you’ve put in the mileage!

      • Thanks Amy for the good wishes! As for the Five Fingers — I didn’t take anything you said personally and thought it was all in good fun. The only thing that rubs me the wrong way is when people dismiss them without even really knowing anything about them or minimalist/barefoot running in general. At a trail race 3 months ago, I actually had two women make fun of my Five Fingers as I was passing them! Weird toe shoes or not, I think it’s kinda wrong to make fun people during a race, especially within earshot.

        Anyway, how do you like the CEP socks that you got?

      • I like them! They are still a bit long for my short legs (I’m 5 foot), but they seem to work well. It IS a workout in itself trying to get them off and on though!

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