Saturday, 19 February 2011

I think I need new shoes...

I have been complaining of a 'squelching' sound coming from my left foot, when running in the rain, for some time now. For some reason, I had not connected this with a need to check the sole of my trainers. In fact, it was not even this that lead me to eventually lift my trainers up and check their undercarriage; rather it was reading around various forums on Real Buzz and Runner's World looking for general views as to whether I should change my trainers now, with only 8 weeks to go before the Marathon.

You see, I realised that I've been running in the same shoes since August, and although I alternate at times with my Asics, I tend to stick with my Newtons for most of my runs. Injury, as mentioned in a previous post, has caused me to think about my bum more when running: 'Where is your ass?' I now ask myself when running (obviously not out loud as that would be weird and would probably cause other members of the public to run very quickly in the opposite direction) with the aim of engaging my more efficient glutes instead of overusing my weedy hamstrings as I have been.

All of this then got me to thinking as to whether my trainers are even suitable for my running gait; which lead me to wonder what my running gait even is. I think I over-pronate, previous treadmill gait analysis would confirm this, however I also know it's possible to tell from looking at the wear of old trainers. Hence, this is what lead me to place my trusty trainers on the table in front of me where I 'analysed' the tread of six months' pavement pounding. It's not rocket science... I need new trainers:

Hmmm... are trainers supposed to have bits of rubber flapping around on the sole?!

The 'actuator lugs' on the underneath of the foot have actually worn away so much, all that is left is a little bit of flappy rubber! No wonder they're squelching! It's also obvious that I'm running too high up on my toes - which confirms why I've felt I'm sitting back more over my centre of gravity since I started thinking about my ass more - causing my hamstrings and calves to take on the task of propelling me forwards, rather than my glutes! All confirmation of what the physio had told me. It also confirms that I definitely do over-pronate, predominantly on my left foot.

The question is, what do I do about it? Should I buy another pair of Newton trainers? Has this proven that they're not right for my running gait or have they worn in this manner simply because I've run so far in them? If I don't buy Newtons, what do I go for? My Asics feel heavy and clumsy compared to these trainers, which is why I chose not to wear them so often. Also, I have a very narrow foot which places even greater difficultly on finding a pair that fits well.

Who knew that choosing trainers could be such a conundrum?

I'm going to have a further read of the internet to see if any solutions present themselves; but whatever the outcome, I'm afraid this particular pair of trainers have seen their day... fairwell old friends!


  1. Am amazed you managed to stay upright in those trainers they are now in the best place for them. Think you might need to take a spin on a gait analysis machine

  2. Good luck finding the perfect pair of trainers.

  3. Yes... definitely the right place... I will be visiting a gait analysis on monday morn! :-)

  4. Lanson running had an offer on newtons recently if you decide to get the same again. I started with newtons last autumn and they are definitely more comfortable than my brooks and it certainly looks like you are a forefoot runner! Good luck.

  5. Hmmm - many thoughts.

    Don't just rely on a "gait analysis" video of your foot and ankle, unless it's taken in the context of your overall leg shape. eg On a treadmilll video, a "bow knee-ed" runner can appear to pronate more heavily due to their naturally angled lower legs.

    If you're mixing use of a Newton with a cushioned Asics, you're probably getting the worst of both worlds, as these shoes will cushion, support and rebound in very different ways. I'm not surprised that your big muscles groups aren't working cohesively. Equally, the wear on your Newtons shouldn't be viewed in isolation. You should consider all your "road" shoes.

    My suggestions:
    - Avoid either overly cushioned, or overly supportive shoes. You're less likely to need either than you probably think, and both are likely to feel heavy, slow and squishy.
    - Buy some lighter shoes and start doing a few miles in them, consciously trying to run "softer".
    - Spend less on shoes, replace them more often.
    - Do more running off road to strengthen feet and legs.
    - Learn to brush the ground away behind you with the whole of your sole, rather than "heel/toe, strike/push".

    Good luck!

  6. good luck ! with your trainer shopping.

  7. Thanks for the advice Gary... very helpful. I've found a local running shop which is run by experienced runners so I'm going to go and have a chat with them rather than just rely on gait analysis somewhere.

    Runorgocrazy... thanks for the tip on Lanson running.

  8. Trainer disintegration fortuitously timed for half term shoe shopping, eh?!! Good luck with the quest for the perfect running shoe. I'm sure 8 weeks is plenty of time to break in a new pair for the marathon.

  9. It was VERY good timing, wasn't it!!! ;-)

    Nadine... your comment worked!! yay!


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