Running Kicks

I have started to become more serious about running. For me, that entails going on different types of runs (hills, speedwork, trails, etc.), cross-training appropriately, and taking care of my body as I put more demands of that. Part of that involves my feet.

Running is hard on your body. Pounding the pavement can lead to knee issues, shin splints, ankle injuries, and more. Last August I ended up with some sort of foot injury that I'm still not sure what to call, despite a trip to the doctor and an x-ray. Needless to say, I tweaked something, had to rest, and now am careful not to ramp up my runs too quickly, which is what I did then. Aside from that, I am lucky to not have any other more serious running-related problems.

However, my poor feet have been aching more and more with each run that I complete. On top of that, my feet started to hurt during the run, especially along the arches. No fun! I even now sport a mean "runner's toe" on my right "pointer toe" (for lack of a better term), caused by a bruise or blood blister under the nail. After a little Googling, I discovered that runner's toe is often the result of intense downhill running, or ill-fitting shoes. That got me to thinking about my sneakers. They do alright, but often make the tops of my feet feel squashed, and my toes rub up against the inside from of the shoes. Could my shoes be hurting my feet?

I consulted my rocking runner of a sister-in-law, then headed to a local specialty running store to get my feet looked at by the guys there. After inspecting my feet and stride, the clerk had me test out several pairs of running shoes. They all help prevent rolling to the outside of my feet, have roomy toes, are light, and fit snugly around the ankle. I tried out a few pairs, then settled on a pair of Saucony Ride (check out my black toe in that photo!).

I have to say -- I am in love with these sneakers. I knew as soon as I started trying shoes on in the store that any shoe in the shop would be better than the ones I had been wearing. But these sneaks in particular absolutely rock my socks off. They are light, allow for great aeration, and make my stride feel much more resilient. Plus, they look pretty darn awesome. I can't wait to put them through their paces some more and really see how they perform!

Have you ever visited a specialty running store? If you haven't, and you hold any interest in running whatsoever, this is something you must do. I was like a kid in a candy shop! The personal professional attention regarding my foot and shoe concerns was amazing, and totally complimentary. Then, while the Best Husband Ever got his feet inspected, I drooled over the running goodies, from skorts to water portation systems to the object of my running lust, the Garmin. I also picked up some information on upcoming races, like a triathlon at the end of the summer and a hike/run that's taking place in a little less than a month. And you can bet that I'll be wearing the best sneakers I've ever owned through every single run that I take.

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