The truth about running shoes

“If you are a runner then invest in a good shoe”  This is common advise that you will get on any website that talks about running barring a few. You can choose running shoes based on multiple factors like arch, pronation, stability, running style etc etc.

So this is how I got introduced to the world of running shoes. Before that buying a running shoe was simple- look at the cheapest shoe that has nike written on it at 40% discount.

So what is my story- for those who are interested.

In 2008 I was 105 Kgs….and struggling to even walk 3-4 kms at a stretch. My dream in life used to be able to run 5kms and that’s when I got introduced to Anita and the gang at South Delhi Running and Living group. Regular runs with group and soon I was clocking 5km and aiming for my first ever half marathon. I was using a 1000 rupees Adidas shoe when someone from the group looked at my shoe and suggested to me that if I’m serious about running I should get a good running shoe.

My first running shoe was bought from a specialist running store for  80 British pounds. The guy at the store made me run in a treadmil and told me that I’m a mild pronator and I need a stability shoe. And this is how I got my first Asics.  I was pleasantly surprised that my Asics had a model number as well ( which really helped me buy cheap ones off the net).

In the mean time my running imroved tremendously- I finshed by first half marathon and was soon preparing for Mumbai Full. I was clocking 32 kms during the weekends. I finished ( barely) the mumbai marathon and did another guragaon half.

My weight by then had reduced to 81 Kgs thanks to running. This is a whopping 24 Kgs less than what I used to weight before I started.

I started improving speed. I bough my second Asics and the third Asics. Started chaning shoes afte the 600 Mile limit got over and then suddenly “Plantar Fascitis” happened.

After the run and in the morning I would get this acute pain In my heel and I discussed this with the running group. Venkat elatedly told me that this is Plantar and even he is suffering from the same.

So I started doing various things- stretch, used more cushioning for the heel, use the ice technique, sleep on the back etc etc but then pain would just not go.

And then I went to another specialist ( shoe) who told me that actually I don’t pronate and I need a neutral shoe and my plantar is because of the shoe that I’m using. So I got another 2 pairs of Asics Neutral. But the condition persisted and so much so that I had to go off running and start biking.

So after 3 months of rest ( and sleep during the chilly winter mornings) I started feeling better and started getting back to running. As I crossed the 6 km mark in my preparation to build up stamina again I started getting the Plantar pain back.

In the mean time our running group was actively discussing barefoot running, running in thin soled sandals etc etc. One of our group member Anita announced that finally after a long time she is running pain free because she started using Vibram Five Fingers.

This almost worked as a catalyst for me and I started doing some more research till I found this article that prompted me to go to the bata store and buy canvas shoes.

Here is the article

So now I’m on a mission. I’m going to find out the truth about running shoes. For the next 30 days I’m going to run in my canvas shoes and blog about how I’m feeling  and running.

So let’ the canvas-ing begin.

So to end the quote ” If you are a runner then invest in a good shoe”, but first of all understand what  a good shoe is.”


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