Tuesday, February 04, 2014

It's all in the shoes

This is my experience with the shoes noted below and what I think happened in my case. I'm not a running / shoe / injury expert and can only say what's worked for me. Use your best judgement for your situation. 

As I mentioned in a previous post, I've been running on Nike Vomero 8 shoes since last October. Before that, I was wearing the Adidas AdiZero Boston 3 shoes. In training for previous half marathons, I have had issues with my left IT band, but while training with the AdiZero shoes, I started having a lot of tightness in my right hip. Originally I thought it could be that I was overcompensating for my left IT band, but I brought up the issue to my group run leader and he asked to see my shoes. He looked at the soles and told me that they were still in good shape, but that one problem could be the way the bottom of the shoe was designed. Below's a comparison of the two shoes:
I've never spent much time thinking about the bottom of my shoes. I've been fitted a few times for shoes and have heard that the longer distance you go, the more neutral of a shoe you should have, but other than that, I don't really know what to look for! What the group leader was able to point out was the the heel of the Adidas shoe (bottom right) has unbalanced cut-outs (i.e. the left and right sides are not the same). His theory was that because of this unevenness, as I ran longer distances, the outside of my shoe was giving more than the inside, which in turn strained my legs (ultimately my hip). He recommended I try out the Nike (bottom left) which has an even sole all the way around the shoe. 

I switched shoes and immediately the tightness in my hip disappeared. I still have challenges with my left IT band occasionally (mainly if I go too far too fast) but I've had no more issues with tightness in my hips. I never would have guessed that my issue started because of my shoes (actually, I had assumed it was because of overtraining), so when in doubt, check your shoes! 

Have you ever had foot / knee / hip issues that you could attribute to your shoes? 

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