|My new Asics Gel-1160s|
Yesterday my new running shoes came, and not a moment too soon as the old ones were well and truly past the point of usefulness and actually becoming detrimental. Let me explain: when your running shoes loose their "springiness" they will no longer cushion you as your feet pound along the hard pavements and roads and that's when you can get injured. My right knee had started to twinge and I took that as a warning sign to go easy until I got new shoes. Fortunately they were there to greet me when I got home from work so I didn't even have to miss a run.
As well as sometimes running with my husband (who is a lot better at it than me but slows down so we can run together) I have joined a great website, Running Bug for some extra motivation and tips. They have forums, blogs, a shop, reviews, free training plans, events and loads of other useful and interesting content. You can even log your miles! (Tonight I am in 189th place out of 256 runners.) I decided I want to work towards running 5k, and the support, advice and encouragement from fellow runners in the 5k group is awesome!
-Getting back on topic, my old shoes, which I had used on and off -mostly off- for about 7 years, are Nike Air. I got them from a discount sports shop, told the assistant they were for running, bought them and they just so happened to be great for me. Perfectly comfortable, nicely supported and cushioned and quite waterproof. Once they started going, though, they went fast; two weeks ago they were still quite cushioned, and by the middle of last week I was feeling every little bump through them. My new shoes are Asics, and this time I chose them more carefully. The Asics website advises you to make a print of both your feet (I used turmeric on paper as I wanted to be able to hold the prints up to compare them to the examples on the website, but you can just use wet feet on a bathroom floor if you like.) Your feet are basically underpronate (high arches), overpronate (flat) or neutral, like mine. This will affect the amount of support you will need in your running shoes. The website then asks you your gender, weight, where and how far you run. This is a good basic way of helping choose the right shoe, but to be really thorough you need to have gait analysis done, where your feet are filmed as you run on a treadmill. You can also have foot mapping done for the ultimate gait information.
When I put my new shoes on they were a perfect fit; I had ordered the same size as my old Nikes. They aren't as bouncy as the Nike ones were when they were new, but they're plenty cushioned enough for me. I was a bit surprised by the chilly draught I could feel through the mesh uppers, but later on in the run when I got hot I was quite grateful for their good ventilation. (I have since bought slightly thicker socks.) I must say they don't keep my feet dry at all on the parts of my routes where I'm on wet grass and I have feeling that after a Winter of wet roads they are going to look really filthy and horrible: they are probably ideal in Summer though. The styling is nothing special, but then they are not top-of-the-range on price and I think they are really functional and good value shoes. I'm happily anticipating the miles I will clock up in them