In the last few weeks, as my long runs have gotten a little longer and more challenging, I’ve begun to feel some pain. If it were just typical soreness and the same in both legs, it would not have concerned me. However, my left leg always felt fine. My right knee, calf, and toes were constantly sore, and it was beginning to affect my shorter runs as well. No amount of stretching before and after my runs was helping.
I’ve been running in a cheap pair of Nikes last July, so my first thought was to replace them. We have a sporting goods store here, called Sportspectrum, that will fit you for running shoes. I’ve never had this done. I’ve always just bought what was on sale or what I could afford. BUT I’ve never trained for a long-distance race before, and if ever there is a good time to take care of my feet (and legs), this is it.
The gentleman at the store told me I am flat-footed and that I over-pronate. He recommended a few different pair of motion control shoes, and I tried the ones they had in my size. I chose a pair of Brooks Addiction 10. Of the ones I tried on, they felt best to me in the store.
That night at home, I wore the shoes around the house to start breaking them in. Oh, my goodness. The pain. My feet hurt so badly. All I could think was, “He’s wrong. I am not flat-footed. No one has ever told me I’m flat-footed. Wouldn’t I have been in a lot more pain wearing regular shoes before now if I were?” I was all set to march back in to the store and get a second opinion.
The next day, I did the wet foot test on myself. Grab a piece of newspaper. Dunk your feet in the bathtub, and make footprints on the newspaper. If you can see the entire bottom of your foot with no arch, you’re flat-footed. I am not. I have very, very low arches, but I am not flat-footed. I can see how it would have been hard to tell, just watching me walk around barefoot for a few minutes.
The more I thought about it, though, the more I figured I still probably need the same kind of shoes. I ALMOST have flat feet. I wore the shoes around the house again, for longer this time. And I loosened the laces a bit, thinking maybe they had been too tight before. They had. They felt better the second time around. No pain at all, actually.
I wanted to go on a short run over the weekend to try them out, but the times I wanted to, it rained. I finally got to take the shoes on their maiden voyage on yesterday morning. Brilliant. No pain in my right leg. At all. Hallelujah! They’re going to get some getting used to on the left side. They don’t hurt. It just feels a little weird. I’m glad to have been able to fix the problem simply by replacing my shoes, though.
Tomorrow, I’ll come back and talk about this “pronation” word. I’ve been learning a lot.