Monday, May 2, 2011

Breaking up is hard to do.

Yesterday was my 4th half marathon.  Yesterday was the third half marathon where my knees hurt.

May 2010 was my first half marathon.  I have no idea what shoes I was wearing.  I believe they were some style of Asics. I purchased them at Ross I'm sure.  Around mile 8 my right knee was killing me and I ended up walking a lot of the second half.

September 2010 I ran a half marathon in a pair of Saucony running shoes I picked up from Marshalls.  I don't know anything else about the shoes.  All I know is that my knees did not hurt during the run.  What did happen was I got horrible blisters all around my toes.  I instantly got rid of the shoes.

In October 2010 I was fitted for the first time at a running store.  I purchased a pair of Asics Gel Kayano 16's.

At $140 I thought they were the bomb diggity.  They were (and are) super comfy.  Review after review raves about this "superior stabilizing and cushioning shoe."


The left column above is Underpronation.  Apparently that is what I do.  I have seen it in race pictures.  I also had my gait analyzed and it showed the same thing.

You can kind of see here I land to the outside of my forward foot.
So while the toe blisters have gone away, my knee pain has returned.  I ran the Rock 'n' Roll half in March and the Heels and Hills half yesterday.  Both times my knees was hurting.  I wore patella bands to help my knees.  The day after both races the only thing knees.

I decided last night I am breaking up with my Asics.  It was a tough decision, but it has to be done. 

My self diagnosis is Runners Knee.  Wider hips can make you more prone.  Tight hamstrings can make you more prone.  Pronation issues can make you more prone.  Longer distances can make you more prone.  I also think the stability of the Asics Kayano trying to correct my gait is causing my knee to go all funky.

I'm undecided on exactly what shoe I want to try, but I have a couple of thoughts.

I definitely plan on getting these....
Saucony ProGri Kinvara
  • Awarded Best debut in the June 2010 issue of Runner's World Magazine!
  • With the whole "minimalism" movement gaining legs in today's runners, the ProGrid™ Kinvara running shoe from Saucony® is the ideal shoe where less is more!
  • Features a neutral running shoe with minimal midsole construction to keep your feet closer to the ground while providing excellent protection from the pavement.
  • Lightweight, breathable air mesh upper with printed, airbrush trim.
  • Lightly padded collar and tongue.
  • Molded, antimicrobial and breathable EVA sockliner provides superior cushioning and ride.
  • Minimal laces with some internal welds to hold it over the foot for ultra-lightweight comfort.
  • Pillowy-soft lining on the heel for ultra comfort.
  • EVA+ blend maximizes rebound and durability while minimizing weight.
  • Heel ProGrid LITE absorbs impact, dissipates shock and sets the foot up for a smooth transition.
  • XT-900™ carbon rubber outsole material offers exceptional traction properties without sacrificing durability.
  • Rubber triangular lugs provide traction and durability.
  • Weight : 8 oz
As with any minimalist shoe, it looks like you would have to build mileage slowly.  It also sounds like this shoe would need to be replaced around every 300 miles.  I found them online from $65 - $85.

Do you have different types of shoes you train with? I have a pair of Asics I wear to run and a different style I wear for cross training.

Please give me your two cents.  What running shoes do you wear?  Why do you like them?  Do you have an pronation issues?  Knee problems?


  1. I am a severe overpronator! I've been through countless pairs of shoes, and I'm currently experimenting with Asics Gel Foundation w/Superfeet inserts. I've been running for a year or so, but I cannot find a pair of shoes that prevents shin splints!

    Good luck with your search - I know it can be tough & frustrating but once you find the perfect pair you'll be in heaven :) Have you tried ShoeDog on the site? That would give you a few diff options

  2. I currently have a pair of Asics Gel Kayanos, but I need to go to a running store & find out what's going on. They are okay, but not perfect & I'd love to find another option that will not make my feet hurt after five miles.

  3. I also was an overpronator and around christmas time was experiencing horrible knee pain on hte inside of my left knee. Thankfully for me my uncle is an orphodedic surgeon and specializes in foot and ankles so he gave me the hook up on a fitting (unfortunately he lives in Lubbock). I was fitted for Brooks ghost 3 shoes and had molded inserts added for extra stability. I have not had any more knee pain since (ok, that's a lie, i've had knee pain but not the same knee pain! I"m a believer in having shoes fitted, but it sounds like for you that you have better luck just picking them off the street. I would say don't get too caught up in shoe reviews and go with what feels the best for you! And great job yesterday! The weather was super crazy and I commend you both for running anyways!

  4. I have a high arch - which apparently contributes to overpronating. Fantastic! I run in Mizunos (Wave Riders). The first two pairs I got (Wave Rider 12s) were AMAZING. The top is a little narrow, but once I figured that out I just laced it differently. I then switched to the Wave Rider 13s and my feet ACHE, my toenails are black, and my bunion is unhappy. Whatever they did between the 12s and the 13s is STUPID! So, now I'm in the market for new shoes. Yay. I'm thinking about going with Brooks.

    PS - Did you and Paula plan your sneaker posts? Haha.

  5. We DO think alike! :-) I think getting a minimalist shoe might be good for you to try. I hear they are hard to get used to but they are really good at making you use correct form when you run. (i.e. no heel striking)
    Everyone tells me I should switch, but since I found my Mizunos, I'm scared to. LOL

  6. My road shoes are Nike Vomeros, but next time I get new shoes (I refuse to get rid of shoes with miles left on them, I'll deal with the blisters...we just don't have the money to buy me new shoes right now) I'm definitely addressing the repeated blisters I get with the Nikes when I talk to the guys at the running store.

    For trail, I wear Asics Trail attack and really like them.

  7. Unlike most, I also have very high arches, so I also run on the outside of my foot, like you! I find that minimalist shoes are the best. I have been learning to run in my Vibrams, and it's almost eliminated any knee pain I had. Try scaling back your weekly mileage by about 30% and slowly building it back up over the course of 6 weeks, see how you're feeling!

  8. Oh, and I love my Mizuno Wave Rider 12's. Amazing. Kelly's Running Warehouse online has them cheap.

  9. Those shoes are not for someone that over or underpronates that much I can tell you. And since you are a heel striker this will further give you issues. This minimalist shoe also is not for longer distances for what i call myself and others...mortals. You are going to end up with more pain, and possibly plantar faciatis.

    you need a stability shoe: Gel Nimbus, Saucony Grid, Mizuno Wave Runner...I work at a speciality running store and we specialize in these sorts of things. If you are a front of the pack runner, say 8:30 - 9:00 mile pace for a 1/2 marathon you might could stand to run in those you mentioned without too much wear and tear, but I would just say no to minimalist shoes for an under pronator. Unless you are going to be altering/changing your stride/foot strike to more of a mid foot to toe (which I dont see happening; its very difficult to do unless you are a barefoot runner/elite)

    I probably said too much but I felt like I had to chime in.

  10. oh and yes i have had chronic knee issues forever, but since i started using Superfeet in my shoes instead of the inserts that come with the shoes, my knee problem is no more!!! plus i use a patella band over all my runs over 5m iles.

  11. Knee pain was GONE as soon as I went minimalist with the Nike Free.

  12. I absolutely LOVE my Newtons! They're a minimalist shoe and a bit pricey...but totally worth it! They feel so light and airy! And completely solved my blister problems!

  13. I am normally a hardcore Asics girl, but I recently tried, and love Nike Lunar Fly2. What I have noticed though, is that they cause me to work my calves more, so if I know I am running hills, I stick with Asics or the Nike AirMax (forgot the exact version, and Im too comfy to get up and look)

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