Before I start, let me admit that I am by no means an expert! But what I do know is that when you’re frustrated week after week and unable to run because of a foot injury, you do whatever it takes to find a solution.
This has been my action plan so far: I returned for regular sessions with my bio, Mari. She issued me with a training program to strengthen my weak hamstrings, glutes, back etc. I was sent to an orthotist to have my feet analysed. And he instructed me to buy new shoes. All in all, I have a pretty good idea of why my foot aches and what I need to do to recover.
There were some surprises along the way. Stories from runners, learnings from physiotherapists and reviews on many running websites all seem to say the same thing.
Here’s my tips from what I know:
- Don’t buy the same shoe year after year after year. *guilty* The manufacturers make tweaks here & there and sometimes it changes the shoe completely. I recall that when KK had foot injuries, he was also advised to change from Nike Pegasus. Apparently the shoe design had been revolutionised and didn’t suit KK anymore.
Take a look at the comparison of the Gel Nimbus 16 next to the Gel Nimbus 18 in the pic below. Different, right?
- Don’t buy a men’s shoe just because you’re looking for a wider fit. *guilty* See how wide the Nimbus 18 above looks? Stupid me for not realising that Asics were so narrow. Look at how wide the New Balance 1080 appear!
- Buying running shoes from a specialist sports shop such as Sweatshop is better than Sportsman’s Warehouse. But running up and down that 20 meter lane while the salesman watches you run didn’t help me. My advice is to rather have a podiatrist or orthotist do a proper assessment of your gait and feet.
- I was instructed to look for stability shoes with a cushioned heel and cushioned feet and to avoid anti-pronation. Huh? How the hell would I find this combo? When I gave the specs to the salesman, he didn’t even flinch. Instead he brought out boxes for all the major shoe brands for me to try on.
- Mari also recommends the Running Warehouse website where you can do all sorts of comparisons based on specs such as pronation control, stack height and even weight.
What have I missed?
The exercises and stretching continues and some days I wake up thinking I’m fine, just to feel that stabbing pain in my heel ruin my entire day. If anything, it has taught me patience and the importance of resting. Not less running. NO running. It’s been tough.
Hey, if you’re buying new shoes soon, send me a pic!