If The Shoe Fits, Run.

So I have finally gotten over the fear of running outside.

If you are a fan of my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter, you might already know that.  If you don’t, well, I can lead a horse to water and all…

I did my first outside run (meaning outside of the treadmill) on Thanksgiving morning.  The next day my feet hurt. But I hit the treadmill anyway, because I needed to.  And then my feet REALLY hurt. More specifically, the outside bottom from pinky toe to heel on my right foot hurt. It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes like investigation skill to figure out that my shoes were worn out and that was most likely the reason my feet were hurting. I got these shoes somewhere around 4 years ago or so.  Beat up. Time for new kicks.

I feel like I can smell those through the screen.

Well since my Inspector Rebus skills had led me to realize that my shoes were no longer working in my favor, I decided to do what any FitFluential Ambassador (more on that later) would do. I posted a question on my FB page and Twitter asking everyone what kind of shoes they thought I should get.

The response was almost overwhelming, if one can be overwhelmed by comment responses. The consensus was that I needed to get properly fitted for a new pair of running shoes. What? I have been wearing a size 13 for more than 18 years. I think I already know what size shoe I wear. I want to know what kind to get! Ha! Oh me of little faith. What I failed to realize is that size isn’t everything! Wink. There is something called your gait and a problem known as pronation that you need to be aware of. Gait analysis (or the examination of the mechanics of your walking or running stride, focusing on the heel contact, mid-stance and toe-off phase of the gait cycle) is used to determine the ideal support for your feet.

Huh. Who knew? Besides all of you who commented.

So I decided to go check out the so-called “Gait Analysis” process today. Because I DO NOT want my feet to hurt.  That is a one way ticket to not exercising (or not being able to.) I headed over to Try Sport in Mount Pleasant. I wish I had thought it out better and not worn jeans and striped socks, but hey, who is going to make fun of me? I walked in and heard someone say my name. I thought maybe the Lord Almighty was calling me home, but then I realized it was my friend Liz J. Shout out Liz. Tell of your friends to come read my blog where I talked about you and your 80 something pound weight loss! After chatting with Liz for a bit, it was my turn to have my gait analyzed.

I threw on a pair of loaner shoes and jumped up onto the treadmill for a 60 second 6mph run. I was winded. Just kidding. Not really. Yes I am. Shut-up. While I was doing my little run, there was a camera behind me, documenting my gait (or the pattern of my locomotion.)

This is not me. This is my business partner. He wanted some shoes too.

After the run, the sales guy showed me the video and slowed it down so that we could watch and measure where my feet made contact with the ground and what the angle of my legs were.  It was actually pretty cool even though I was wearing rolled up jeans with striped socks. Don’t believe me?

Sexy tree trunks.

As you can see from the video capture, my left foot had a 174 degree whatever and my right had a 168 degree thingy.  This means that I need more support for my right foot, which means I need a certain type of shoe that has a certain type of support.  I don’t know all of the footolgy about it so if you are thinking about getting a pair of running shoes I suggest going somewhere where they do this gait analysis.  It is very informative, if you pay attention.

Needless to say I tried on several pairs of shoes.  Some fit but didn’t feel right. Others felt better but just weren’t right. Finally the shoe chose me just like a wand choosing a wizard.

And here is what I went home with.

These are the Brooks Ravenna 2. They fit right. They feel good. They are light. They are ugly. All the things I like in shoes. But would they cut it when it came to running?

It was raining by the time I got home from work with my new kicks. So I decided to test them out on the treadmill.  I implemented my new high intensity interval routine for a 50 minute run.  It felt like I was running on clouds and puppy love.  They worked.  I felt so good that I ran more than 4.5 miles.  I think I could have run even further but I had a post to write…

Here is the fruit of my new shoes loin…

Beast. Nothing more.

13 comments to If The Shoe Fits, Run.

  • Crystal

    That’s cool! Although… those are seriously ugly. Well, just the neon checkmark part. But they’re for function, right?

    I would be too embarrassed to run in a store in front of people analyzing me, so big kudos to you! You’re pretty much a bad ass, Hank.

  • Jessica

    Found you on a Twitter retweet. Great post! Thanks for motivating me. 🙂

  • your wife

    super fun. I have a problem with overpronation which is why I sometimes randomly, with no provocation, fall over when I am walking. Seriously. It’s true. I like my new Sauconny’s but when I wear them out I’ll have to go for a gait analysis and try out their fancy schmancy gait-ology.

  • Holy $h!tsnacks Dude!!!! That big of a difference??? I have been trying – REALLY HARD – to get into running. I hate it. It hurts. I even miss when I ran for a week – because except for everything from my knees down – I felt better. My knees, my ITB, my ankles, my shin splints, my feet – It ALL hurts!! (we won’t talk about the fun bags – different issue) I’ve heard of people getting shoes made – but let’s face it, you came off the hip pretty steep for those right? I’ve finally decided it’s worth it. I have 30 lbs left to lose and diet alone isn’t going to cut it. Thanks so much for your info!!!! I’m off to my LOCAL SMALL BUSINESS dealer to get some pumped up kicks – I’ll definitely be able to outrun the bullet…. Sorry – Now I’m signing from my playlist.

    • hank

      If you want to out run the gun then get with all the other kids. 🙂 100 bones for the pumped up kicks by the way. I figure that it is worth it if it helps me get where I’m going.

  • That is not bad at ALL! I’m totally in! You’re an inspiration….. Seriously. Keep up the good work – your 85 year old you thanks you for it.

  • Now that you are the awesome outdoor runner and everything, I guess I will see you around the island.

  • Glad your experience ended with hope and love. I got some Brooks’ also. I wish mine were uglier, like yours, though.

  • You are an inspiration! Keep up the excellent work! P.S. I like your new shoes, they’re not tht ugly!

  • Greg
    Twitter: Locker_29

    Man,

    You’re going to love running outside! I did my first year on the DREADmill. Now, I hate the thing with a passion.

    I am a big fan of super feet insoles. They’re not soft and take some time to adjust to. But, the add a extra layer of foot support that bigger guy’s like us can use. One bit of advice that I would give is to go slow on your mileage progressions. Far too many people get hooked on running outside and want to do too much too quickly. Your tendons need time to stronger.

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