Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Oh the horror!

You know what I'm talking about, when you learn your favorite running shoe has a redesign and and a new number after it. I often wonder why shoe makers do this to us, after all, we searched high and low and finally found a great shoe to run in. Then you go and change it on us? Mild panic set in when when Saucony announced a newer lighter version of the Hurricane, so many people are jumping on the minimal bandwagon that I'm seeing a lot of companies making an effort to make their shoes lighter. Really, I'm okay. I have earned a PR in every distance this year in my Hurricane 13's, I don't think a lighter shoe is going to make me run faster (I'm not a pro!).

I held out hope and with 80 miles left on my 13's I ordered the 14's and gave them a try. Right out of the box they seemed wrong. I was sure they had sent me wide shoes. They looked huge in comparison to my 13's. There are also new laces, they are stretchy, not sure how I feel about this. I slipped my arch supports in them and laced them up. They didn't feel as snug around the top of my foot and sides but I headed to the gym to try them out on the treadmill. I felt some shin pain immediately, I tried to chalk that up to the run I missed over the weekend and that my legs were just unhappy with the investments in swimming and biking and lack of running. I had a 30 minute run and my arch didn't feel too happy but I managed to get through it. My thought was, these aren't great but I should give them another try before I give up hope. Then it came, the arch pain. For two whole days, arch pain in just everyday activities. This is when I gave up on them. I'm a firm believer that running shoes do not need to be broken in. If they are causing you pain, it won't get better and we all know I don't need another injury this year.

While I mourned the loss of my beloved hurricane's I now had the task of finding a new shoe. Some of my non-running friends surely don't understand this anguish. Running shoes are complicated. I over-pronate and I need arch support. I wear inserts for the arch support so I just really need to find a shoe with good stability. I also am a freak of nature and have an extra bone in each ankle. It's the navicular bone and while it sounds freaky that I have two it's not really a big deal. There is a possibility with that combined with my collapsing arches that this may have lead to my posterior tibial tendinitis earlier this year. Other than that the most annoying side affect of these is finding shoes that don't rub the extra bone and cause blistering. My other issue is that I border on a narrow foot. I wear a normal width shoe but I really need a shoe design that borders narrow.

I did a bunch of online research yesterday and narrowed it down to three shoes I wanted to try.

Asics GT 2170
Mizuno Wave Inspire 8
Brooks Ravenna 3

I gathered my boxes of shoes and threw in the Saucony Guide's as a last ditch hope at remaining true to Sacuony, because they have served me well for so many years.

Ready to tackle the mountain of shoes! 
The Mizuno's were cute and I could tell that they were already narrower than the new Hurricane's. 1 point for the Mizuno's. I did my best to try and run in the store (yes I was the freak running around in the shoe department today). The only problem was they felt a little stiff and they were just barely rubbing that navicular bone.

I pulled the Saucony Guide's out and in all honestly they felt just like the Hurricane's in reference to being too wide and not enough support in the sides or upper portion of the shoe.

Next up were the Brooks Ravenna 3. I must admit, these were cute.

I love Turquoise! 

These hadn't been my top choice coming in, but these felt good on. I didn't even feel like I needed my arch support, but I tried slipping one in and it was hard to notice the difference between the two. They felt like they were made for my feet. There was a Cinderella and the glass slipper moment. I was hesitant though because a friend who also wears Hurricane's had mentioned that another friend had experienced some issues with Brooks shoes.

Last I pulled out the Asics. They felt okay, but I just didn't feel a connection with them. (Yes, this is like wedding dress shopping). I felt like they would work but they just did not feel as good as the Brooks had.

Just to be sure I decided to try the Brooks and the Mizuno at the same time.

Yes, I ran threw the store like this

No comparison the Brooks Ravenna was just pure heaven. Much to my surprise they are also light. I've been shying away from a lighter shoe because I wasn't sure it would give me what I needed, but it sure felt good.

After coming home I read up on some more reviews and it seems this shoe used to be a neutral running shoe and now fills the gap for somewhere between neutral and over-pronating. Most people seem really happy but do say that it wears out quickly. My Hurricane's would wear out around 200 miles so I'm not too worried about that. Plus, I'll happily replace a pair of shoes more often if they keep me pain and injury free and running happy.

Obviously, I haven't run with them yet, in fact I don't even have them yet! Thankfully the Hurricane's were purchased from a retailer that allows an exchange even if you have worn them, so I'll need to wait for my exchange to be processed but I'm anxious to really try these out and let you know how they work out. I'm very hopeful that they will be a great option for me.

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