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Running is something I love to do, especially in the summer months when I can go outdoors. When I first started running in middle school I got a pair of Nike Free Run’s mostly because they came in super cute colors and didn’t look clunky. Basically, I didn’t want them to look like something my mom would wear to the gym. Ever since then, I got a new pair of Nike Free Run’s every year or two as they wore out.
Running into Problems
Little did I know, these shoes were not the best, especially for the way I run. This past summer, while training for a triathlon and doing a 5K race for fun, I ran (literally) into a hip injury, which then also became a knee injury. I tried to take some breaks from training, but each time I came back, the pain persisted. Finally my mom mentioned that, perhaps I needed a different type of running shoe. Even though I had been running in the same type of shoe for years and never really had problems, I decided to listen to her. Some of her friends who train for marathons recommended I do a gait analysis.
At first, I had no idea what this was. As I did some more research, I found out that one of my local running stores Mill City Running did free gait analyses. This means that they watch you walk and then put you on a treadmill in neutral shoes and watch you run. They also videotaped my stride, which was helpful to see. Gait Analyses look at the mobility and flexibility of your arches and ankles. Even though I seemed to walk well, once I ran on the treadmill, I overpronated. This means I roll my feet inward as I run, which can put you at risk for knee pain and injury (surprise, surprise).
Types of Shoes
During my gait analysis and shoe fitting, I learned that there are three different types of shoes. The first type is called a neutral shoe. This is best for neutral runners, basically meaning you don’t need any correction to your running. They also work for underpronators (those who tend to roll outward). These shoes simply provide support and shock absorption. The next type is stability shoes. The New Balance shoes I ended up getting are stability shoes and help with overpronation. They help reinforce the inside arch, pushing you to run more neutrally. There are also motion control shoes for those who have severe overpronation. These reinforce the arch side but also have stiffer heels.
All in all, ever since I switched over, my knee has been progressively getting better. I have been taking it easier than usual, but I also can feel the difference when I run in these shoes. If you’re anything like me and love to work out, then injuries probably frustrate you. I’ve really learned how important a good running shoe is to keep your body moving…even if they are a bit clunky. But hey, I was happy that I at least had a few color options for this great pair of shoes!