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Are you a shoe widow?

Are you a running shoe widow?

Find yourself yearning for the one pair of shoes that served you best in 2008?  Having unsuccessfully scoured every website and online market place trying faithfully to replace them for the identical version to find that the world has so unfairly moved on to newer models (unless you’re size 4 or 14).    Coming to terms with this tragic loss can be a traumatic experience, often an emotional roller coaster having to deal with a jungle of new 21st century technical decisions: control, neutral, motion, cushioned, performance, minimalistic.  Even your PB’s coincidently start getting affected, Park Runs seem laborious, even your paranoia is enough to provoke injury. Maybe you’re not in the mindset to move on  at this moment of time... 

Are you a shoe widow?

Becoming a running shoe widow affects more people than you believe. Often stems from years of great memories of events with that faithful pair of shoes supporting you every step of the way. The following years model seems firmer, an alternate shoe feels tighter, some feel too bulky, others too flimsy! You’ve come to a mental decision that nothing else strapped to the end of your foot is good enough. You’ve emotionally committed yourself to a life time relationship with your pair of 2120’s!   Relying on a single pair of running shoes can provide long term problems further down the road. More than often, the technology in a running shoe can make your foot conditioned to moving in that single educated pathway of motion. Any particular change in running shoe would therefore reposition the foots relationship with the ground and cause the foot, ankle and calf to perform differently (an orthotic is likely to do the same). Although often a very minor structural shift in most cases, it's the chronicity of running that’s likely to cause things to start complaining later on down the line.  
The advice I would therefore firstly give to any new trainer widow would be to play the field, try as many styles of shoes from the start! Although this may sound insensitive at first, maybe grotesque if you are still early stages of mourning, but believe me...it would be the most healthiest thing to do! 

Allowing your foot to experience different running shoes will be giving your feet and ankles an opportunity to strengthen across new parameters. (Conditioning outside of your normality is a vital part of robust, injury free running, I feel that shoes should be treated no differently.) Rotate the shoes every other run, but always significantly reduce the mileage to allow adjustment time. Yes it may initially feel hard getting to build a new trusting relationship with different shoes,  there's no denying that times are tough when your old pair has left your life. But embrace and enjoy your new life. If it helps... your old shoes would want you to move on and settle down with something new!

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