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A Single Pair of Shoes

*Not a sponsored post

Running starts with a single pair of shoes. My first pair of running shoes was from a local sporting goods store. They were a black pair of Nikes with some blue on them. They got me through my first 5k, and then my feet started to hurt.

Excited but feeling very self conscious, I made a visit to the local running store. Before I entered the store, I just imagined that all of the employees ran 6 minute miles. They were going to wonder why this overweight woman wanted running shoes. Why bother? She can't run is what I thought they would think. Luckily, I was wrong. If you're in this position and feel like you aren't being listened to or judged, talk with your wallet, and go somewhere else. Contact the owner and let them know your experience. If the owner ignores you, write a google review.(You should also do this if you have an amazing experience, so others know.) Most areas have a few decent running stores. Once my foot was analyzed, I was told I needed very stable shoe. What running shoes a person needs, depends on how their foot pronates. This Runner's World article explains pronation.

I was told I needed a motion control shoe. It has the highest level of stability for overpronation that is available. I had never spent this much on shoes before but when I put my foot in it felt amazing. Remember, this was at the beginning of my endurance career. I was only running and had not discovered the sport of triathlon yet. (Then I truly learned what expensive is.) It was the most comfortable shoe I had ever worn. As soon as my foot slid in and the shoes were tied, I said "sold", and purchased the Brooks Addiction.

"What type of shoe did you end up with?" My mother asked me over the phone later that day.

"Some company called Brooks. I've never heard of them, but the shoes are very comfortable."

This was before Brooks shoes were available in sporting goods stores and you could only find them in specialty running stores. Even a few years later when I worked in a running store, my mother came to be fit for shoes telling me how she was going to leave with Asics and left with Brooks.

As I became a stronger runner my need for stability began to change. I was able to drop down to the Brooks Adrenaline which had less stability than the Addiction.

Five weeks before my first marathon, I started to feel a strange pain in my calves. It was different from the constant muscle pain I had during training. It just felt strange. I tried on the Brooks Ghost. Once again, I slipped them on and just said ahh. They were made for my foot. I ran so many races in various versions of the Ghost.

The last few years, I haven't been running much. I tried the Brooks Glycerin, the latest version of the Ghost, and the Ghost Max. They had all just felt kind of meh. I figured it was just being out of shape and that the great feeling of Brooks would be back. It's a long journey to get back in shape so I just looked at it as growing pains.

Yesterday, I had hill repeats on my training plan. I wasn't excited about running in my worn out Glycerins or the Ghost Max I had just purchased from the local running store. Before I go on, Brooks are still a great choice for a running shoe, I am just talking about my personal experience and how my foot has changed.

I decided to wear my neon yellow Ironman Hoka Mach 5s. My husband jokingly asked if they were a correct shoe for me or did I get them because of the color and the M-dot on them. They are a correct shoe for

me. It turned out to be a great run. It was the first run I hadn't thought about my shoes and trying to convince myself they would get comfortable after a few runs. I felt like I could run forever and was so comfortable. It is time to officially give Hoka a try as my running shoes and not just recovery shoes. Currently, I am running in the Mach 5. I can't wait for the Mach 6 to come out to try and review.

I always tell people if it isn't broke don't fix it, but I am in the perfect time during my training to try something new. I don't have an upcoming big race until May, so I have lots of time to test and make sure these shoes work for me. Working at a running store and fitness expos as a representative of the running store, I have had multiple people try on shoes and fall in love. They excitedly tell me how they match their outfit for the upcoming race or these feel so good they can't wait to run their race in them. I always remind them, don't do anything new on race week. The shoe feels great now but do some training runs. What if that shoe rubs a blister during your race? If you get a blister from a new shoe early in the race, even a 5k is going to feel like a long race. Buy the shoes and enjoy them on your next round of training. You can even do a shakeout run in them before the race, but do what you know on race day. Shoe companies need to listen to this as well. It is hard to find that shoe that you just know is for you. Small updates are fine but some shoes are a whole different shoe than when they debuted.

The shoe doesn't make a runner. It helps a lot, but it is the dedication, miles, and attitude that make a runner. If you run, you're a runner. A mile is still the same distance whether you cover it in six minutes or sixteen minutes. Be kind and support everyone, everyone's journey is different and we are all out there to better ourselves.

Thank you for reading.

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