Keep Your Feet Moving or Someone’s Gonna Steal Your Shoes!

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“Keep your feet moving or someone’s gonna steal your shoes.”

~Thank God It’s Friday! arguably my favorite Disco-themed movie from the 70’s

The need for orthotics has created a new problem for me – finding running shoes compatible with orthotics in Women’s Big Foot Size (11.5). This has become a month-long quest, and I am not entirely convinced that the search is over.

The journey began when I put my orthotics into my old running shoes and went out for a routine mid-week run. I noticed my ankle felt fine, but the tendons on the side of my leg felt like they were being pulled and stretched. Not good. When I looked down at my feet, my feet were slanted to the outside of my shoes rather than flat. Really not good. I needed new shoes.

When I took a gait analysis test at the Nike Half Marathon, my tester seemed very knowledgeable about shoes and orthotics. He recommended a neutral running shoe known to work well with orthotics (Brooks Dyad). I kept this information in the back of my mind for my trip to the running store.

At my usual DC haunt, I explained what I was looking for, and tried on four or five pairs of shoes to no success. It became clear to me that the guy I was working with didn’t really understand my problem and thought I needed a newer version of the same shoe. (Remember tendons and slanty feet? Newer version of my current shoes was not what I needed.) Ignoring the guy who didn’t understand my problem, I tried the shoes recommended by the expo guy, but they were too small… and the next size up were too big. I left without any shoes and considered a new approach – Zappos.

I ordered four pairs of different neutral running shoes from the online retailer, and tried them on the treadmill at work. I returned all of them because either size was off or my ankle hurt. (Sad face.) Back to the drawing board.

I decided to try another running store and hoped someone would understand my plight. Fortunately, the nice attendant understood my problem, but the store didn’t carry Women’s Big Foot Sizes in the store…so we turned to men’s shoes. I was there for an hour trying on different shoes on the treadmill, and we found two strong contenders – Brooks Glycerine and Asics Nimbus 14 – both heavily cushioned neutral shoes.

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I went with the Brooks because the brand and I have had four years of successful running together. So far, I have gone on two 3.5 mile runs and I am feeling cautiously optimistic. The test on whether the shoes are keepers will come on Saturday during my 6 mile long run. If not, it’s back to the store for the Asics.

Let me tell you, I definitely had sticker shock when I bought these suckers. You know what? My feet are worth it, and I plan to keep them moving so no one can steal these shoes!

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