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Monday, June 20, 2011

Shoes for a new runner

My sister in law just started running as a way to stay in-shape and healthy. Since she hears running horror stories from me all the time, I'm pretty sure I didn't influence her. (It seems like I only tell awful running stories. "And then my calf cramped and I was in agony!" "Sometimes I throw up when it's hot during a run." "The car practically ran me over!" "I lost another toenail." "Running gives you thunder thighs" "My shoes are all stinky from sweat dripping off my legs onto them!" "My hamstrings are so tight I can't straighten my right leg" etc. She probably thinks it's all torture).
However, now that she's running, I'm all over it! For her birthday we got her her first pair of running shoes. Before now she's been run-walking in Keds, but that's resulted in lots of blisters and blood blisters. Time to upgrade!

Knowing she's fashion-conscious, I was pretty concerned about the shoe's appearance - I knew she wouldn't want a big, heavy-soled, clompy shoe. And I would rather get her something lighter and more flexible anyway, so she won't develop an unnatural gait right off the bat. I settled on the Lunar Fly - it's attractive, it looks like a casual shoe, it's flexible yet has some support ("dynamic support"), it's a light 7.6 ounce shoe, and it's Nike plus compatible - which I think she'll like. I have two problems with the shoe: One, they're Nikes, and I despise Nikes. But she prefers Nikes so I sucked that up. Two, they're anything but "drop zero" and have a big at cushy heel. I'm worried about her transitioning from Keds (totally flat) to this near-wedge.
Oh and we also got her these clearance Christmas running socks 'cause we're classy like that.

What are your thoughts on shoes for new runners? What would you suggest as a first-time running shoe?


  1. That was the first shoe I wore when I started running. They are great for people with normal feet. Mine are flat, and my gait is all wonky, so I ended up getting some Asics that weren't as light and had more arch support. I think she will like those shoes. Plus they are fashionable. I have a bright hot pink pair, and my students would go nuts when I'd wear them.

  2. I started out with the clunky asics for the arch support, but then my arches flattened out and I suffered with blisters on my arches for over a year until it occurred to me that maybe my shoes had something to do with it and I didn't just have bizarrely delicate foot skin.
    I just got the K-Swiss K-Ona's and I really like them for a "normal foot." They are light but not too light (but MUCH lighter than my old Asics so I feel like I'm walking on air!) and they also happen to be very cute- silver with neon orange bottoms.

  3. I love those socks! haha. I don't like the nike fit either! But my first shoe was the structure triax.
    I'd recommend to any newbie to try on a lot of different brands and see what feels best on their foot. Every brand feels little different. Mizuno works for me (big toebox, little heel).

  4. I went and got fitted for my first shoes and ended up in Asics Kayano's - EXPENSIVE and super cushy. Looking back, I wish I'd gotten shoes with a little less support so I wouldn't be so dependent on the support! I plan on getting some Nike Free's when I can afford it because I wore Anais around in Ottawa and really liked how they felt.

  5. Your quotes at the beginning are hilarious, haha

    Awesome on your sister in law starting up with running! That is hilarious that she was run walking in keds, no surprise that she got blisters, haha

    As for shoe recommendations, I always tell people to go to a specialty running store so they can suggest a shoe for them based on how much they pronate. Though starting off with Lunar Flys seems like a solid way to start, I think they adjust how much support they give you based on how much you pronate. Curious to hear how they turn out!

  6. I always recommend going to a running store. I knwo some people think they will sell you th emost expensive shoes, but that wasn't the case with mine. I run in Mizunos & my store gives 20% off if you are in the database, so my shoes for around $80 which is not bad in my opinion. Esp when you consider the fact that you run in them 4-6 x's/week...

    That's exciting that she is getting into running!

  7. I don't really fit Nikes. I run in Aesics, although I think you had mentioned you didn't like them. Although I have had no problems and actually like them, I am thinking of trying one of your suggestions of light weight runners.