This is topic Running shoes? in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by mothertree (Member # 4999) on :
How important is it to have real running shoes? I haven't ever run for fitness (I'm 35, and just barely non-obese (5'7" and 16 stone). But I've gotten excited about this 5K in September.

Since my legs aren't used to running, I'll just be walking for a warm up and then running as far as I can one spell each session for the first week and then continuing to walk for the rest of a half hour. I'll also be stretching like my future health depends on it. Which it does.

After a week I'll try two spells of running. Maybe in a month I'll formally adopt that "run for 30 minutes" regimen. But the reason I've been opposed to running up until now in my life is that it's so hard on the joints- and so I really want to ease into this. Any other suggestions on running technique are welcome.
Posted by Tante Shvester (Member # 8202) on :
I'll try two spells of running.
A la Harry Potter:

Fleetus Afootus! and

Accelorator Nikes!
Posted by mothertree (Member # 4999) on :
nyuk nyuk nyuk [Razz]
Posted by El JT de Spang (Member # 7742) on :
In your situation you don't need running shoes.

Save your 100 bucks till you actually start running. Tennis shoes or cross trainers are more than adequate for walking.

I've run in boots, basketball shoes, tennis shoes, cross trainers and actual running shoes. Running shoes are the best, but you can make do with anything when you start.
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
I disagree with El JT. If you're 35, out of shape, and worried about your joints, I'd buy real running shoes right away. You can get a decent pair for under $60 if you try, and you don't want to start out with an injury right away that will keep you from progressing. Better safe than sorry.

Plus, she's saying she's going to start running in small chunks right away. If she was just walking, sure, stick with whatever. If she's going to try to be running 30 minutes a pop within a month, might as well buy the real shoes now.
Posted by Tante Shvester (Member # 8202) on :
Or you can try one of these sites found by google searching. Saves even more money.
Posted by mothertree (Member # 4999) on :
Hey, I didn't say I was out of shape, I'm just not a runner. But I it has been a while since I was exercising regularly. I like to remember that downhill ski racers of my height only weigh 10 pounds less than me during competition season. Of course, a lot more of that is probably muscle.

P.S. I think since I'm wanting to run to support the AIDS orphans in Uganda, the idea of spending $100 on shoes seems sort of ironic. But I guess I better quit jawing about it and get on my treadmill.
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
Sorry, no offense meant. I was basing that off your "just barely non-obese" statement.
Posted by El JT de Spang (Member # 7742) on :
For someone who's "never run for fitness", running shoes are a waste of money. If you want to be in a bike race, you need a bike. If you want to run, all you need are legs.

If you stick with it, then invest in the proper equipment. If you're trying to get into it, wear any tennis shoes that are comfortable.

ElJay, people ran just fine before the invention of running shoes.

Of course, I'm the guy that plays basketball in whatever shoes I happen to be wearing to the gym.
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
Sure they did. And people also used to be more active throughout their entire life. We've got running shoes now, why not use them if you're going to run?

And you, if I'm not mistaken, are pretty young, aren't you? As an over-30 sometimes runner, I've noticed the changes in my body and how it reacts to exercise, and in my opinion running shoes are worth the investment. [Smile]

Added: I re-read this and noticed my comment about your age sounds kinda condescending. I don't mean it that way. . . I thought I remembered that you're in your early 20s, JT, and at that age I could get away with doing a lot of things that my body would not happily do now, and exercising in bad shoes is one of them.
Posted by Beren One Hand (Member # 3403) on :
I've always worn generic Nike cross trainers for running throughout college. I thought they worked fine.

Last year, I went to a specialty shop and purchased a pair of Brooks running shoes and they were a great investment. I never knew how much shock my feet was absorbing until I got my Brooks. It cost around $100+ but I think it was worth every penny.

My feet feel so comfortable and well-cushioned that I look forward to running every single day. [Smile]

Specialty stores are much better than your local Footlockers. At the store I went to (A Snail's Pace in Pasadena), the sales person asked me to run around the store a few times as he observed my running style.

He then made several excellent suggestions based on my pronation.

I found my local specialty store from Runner's World. Good luck!
Posted by Jim-Me (Member # 6426) on :
I second the motion that a decent pair of atheletic shoes are a good investment.

Cross-trainers or other high impact exercise shoes should be fine, but you want some new ones that are comfortable and well padded. At slightly more than your age and weight, I am starting to run again and I was able to be a lot more productive with a lot less knee pain as soon as I bought a decent pair of Cross Trainers (on sale for $25). My old ones were 3 years old and way beyond worn out.
Posted by Jay (Member # 5786) on :
A running thread! Well, this is my specialty! Fun!

Ok, a few things. You don’t want to just buy a pair and wear them race day. You need to break them in. Wear them running and even wear them just around for a while. After they’re broke in yeah, just wear them for running. I get into the bad habit of wearing my running shoes to often though….
Next, yes, a good pair of running shoes is great for keeping down the shin splits and other stress injuries. You don’t need to spend $100 though. You can find a great pair of New Balance (what I wear) for around $50. New Balance are very light (one of the main things to look for in running shoes). Also, check your arch support. That’s sort of an individual thing and if you’re closer to being flat footed the more arch support you’ll need. The higher numbers on New Balance mean more support.
Let see, other brands… I wasn’t happy with Reeboks. Fell apart. The Nikes were ok, but they also just weren’t New Balances. I’ve tried a few others and it seems everyone in my running group has a favorite, but it does seem like most people at least like New Balance and a number have them as a favorite.
I go through a number of shoes a year. Some people keep track of their miles in each pair and flip through some different pairs. I use some old ones for trail runs and my good ones for races and training. Seems that right around 400 miles is time to get a new pair. You’ll be able to feel it.
Cross Trainers are nice if you’re going to be doing other things, but they are generally a lot heaver then your normal running shoe, and I would stay away from them for any amount of serious running.
Posted by mackillian (Member # 586) on :
I also vouch for a decent pair of running shoes. There IS a reason why they make sport-specific shoes and it has much to do with the mechanics of the particular sport.

I also second the Runner's World link. There's a wealth of great information on that site.
Posted by El JT de Spang (Member # 7742) on :
I have never argued against the benefits of a specialized shoe. Running shoes are very helpful, but not necessary.

Especially starting out. I'm just counseling the same way I would a friend. If you're not sure you're gonna stick with it, maybe it's money better spent elsewhere. If you think you are gonna take it seriously, then yes, get a decent pair of running shoes.

I'm 25, but 13 years of organized football have left me with the joints of 50 year old, so believe me, I know all about aging bodies. I never imagined I'd have so much difficulty in my mid twenties.
Posted by Chungwa (Member # 6421) on :
Originally posted by Jay:
. Also, check your arch support. That’s sort of an individual thing and if you’re closer to being flat footed the more arch support you’ll need. The higher numbers on New Balance mean more support.

Not to derail the thread, but I always thought the more flat footed you are, the less arch support you need. From your statement, I'm assuming I've been mistaken (I know nothing about running or shoes - when I buy new shoes I get what costs the least and feels the most comfortable).
Posted by Jay (Member # 5786) on :
No, just the opposite. Just do a search on arch support. Like this one:

Me personally, I’m not flat footed or anything, but I seem to find shoes that have a some arch support are more comfortable for me.
Posted by Bob the Lawyer (Member # 3278) on :
New Balance is also awesome because they make wide shoes. For those of us with flippers for feet, this becomes very important. I used to swear by my old Aasics 1060s, but sadly they don't make them any more.

Ultimately the question is simply one of how often you're going to be running. A lot of people decide they're going to be a jogger, go out 5 or 6 times and then never run again. It's probably a better idea to not buy new shoes right away and if after a week or two you decide that you do really like it you should definately buy real running shoes and promise yourself you'll only wear them to run.
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
As someone with a narrow heel but wide front of the foot, I like Saucony shoes for running. They have a roomier than standard toe-box, but don't slide off my heel. [Smile]

The variations in foot-shape is one of the reasons it's good to do some research and either try on different styles of get expert advice at a specialty running store, to find out what works best for you.
Posted by Tatiana (Member # 6776) on :
I've been running off and on throughout my 20s, 30s, and 40s and I highly recommend buying running shoes. I've found that different people's feet fit best with different brands, so that even if New Balance has great technology, it little avails me since my heels tend to slip out of the backs of their shoes and they don't fit me well. I've found that Reebok always fits me great, so I've begun buying only those. They have excellent cushioning too, though it doesn't last as long as that in some brands of shoe. Still, because they fit so well they're my favorite.

You should try on several brands and even run a lap or two around the store. Buy the ones that have the best fit and feel. But definitely buy shoes that are designed for running. You will be able to tell a huge difference on the track. Your feet, calves, knees, hips, and back will thank you for that. [Smile]
Posted by Kiwi (Member # 7982) on :
I'd agree with getting good running shoes. They do make a difference, particularly once you're used to them (worn them in, as Jay said). I used to run competitively (and win [Razz] ), and I've seen people wreck ankles, knees, get shin splints and lose races because they were wearing the wrong shoes. I'd also get some good socks, although they're certainly not as important as the shoes.

I have New Balance, and I've always found them good, relatively long-lasting, and they're a pretty good deal pricewise as far as running shoes go.

Edit: As for the comments re age/getting away with not having proper running shoes, I'd disagree there - young people can harm their joints for life through constantly running in unsuitable shoes. In some ways it's worse, because they're less likely to notice they're doing the damage, whereas older people will feel the wear on their joints sooner.

Edit #2: I'd also agree with going to a specialised athletic shoe store; they know a lot more than us about the kind of shoes you should be wearing! Walking on the pad/computer thingy shows how you step (parts of foot to ground) and balance, and various other things which I can't remember.
Posted by mothertree (Member # 4999) on :
I just thought I'd update that I've built up from 6 "spells" of 30 seconds to 3 sets of 4 minutes (in a half hour workout- I have a 5 minute recovery walk between spells) Today I'm going for 5, 4 and 4.
Posted by ElJay (Member # 6358) on :
[Smile] Yay! Congratulations.
Posted by Hmm216 (Member # 8403) on :
I just recently bought some new Running shoes (which were much needed). They can be expensive but they are a good investment, especially for your knees. Your soes are very important especially when running and make sure your break them in before the 5k.

I am not sure if all Rack Room Shoes are haveing this sale, but I just bought two pairs of running shoes (NIKE and New Balance) for 78 dollars!! Buy one get one half off. Sometimes you can find overstock of the previous models. They are just out of season and still perfectly good running shoes for a discount.

My two favorite subjects excercise and shopping! [Big Grin]
Posted by xnera (Member # 187) on :
Get fitted. Go to a store that specializes in running shoes and talk to someone knowledgeable. They should have a wide variety, so you can probably find something on the lower end of the price range that will still work well for you. I've actually had better luck at a small local running store rather than going to a chain like New Balance. I do like New Balance shoes, but the guy who fitted me there had no clue what he was doing, even though he claimed to be in the business for five years. I returned the shoes I bought from him within a week, as I ended up with TERRIBLE pain in my feet and shins.

It's important to get fitted because everyone has different needs out of their shoes. The whole point of running shoes is to provide proper support and correct issues with your gait so as to lessen the chance of injury. Properly-fitted shoes can also improve your performance because your body won't be working as hard to correct gait issues itself. Improperly fitted shoes can cause pain and exhaustion.

If she was just walking, sure, stick with whatever.
I disagree. Most of the walkers I know wear running shoes because they provide MUCH better support than your average walking shoe. Some wear race-walking shoes. One of these days I'll get a pair of racewalkers. [Big Grin] But you should DEFINITELY have a pair of running shoes if you're doing a 5K, even if you're not going to run the full thing.
Posted by Hmm216 (Member # 8403) on :
WOW, I have to appoligize for my previous post. It was very sloppy, my comp 2 professor would not have been happy.

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