So I decided to create a page about something I learned to love a lot over the last few years, running. Hitting the pavement can be such a freeing experience for the mind, body & soul all at once, it's inexpensive to dive into, needs no real investment from others & requires little to no equipment(I mean stripping everything else away, you could literally wake up & go straight to the pavement outside your living area with no clothes or shoes if you choose to). For some, me included, it's a perfect way to relieve stress & pressure that can build during a day/week whether it's from home issues, work, or just life in general. There's never a bad reason to start running even though the reasons can be endless, & you can take things at your own specific pace so your competition is the person you see in the mirror every morning & identify with most in a day...running is arguably one of the best things I've ever learned to love & also one of the best things you could do for your entire body as a whole in my opinion. But(of course there's a but) as simple as the idea of running can be, it can get pretty complex quickly.
Seeing as how we are on Niketalk I wanted to share this with everyone. One thing I have taken for granted before this year was the type of shoe I run in, I just knew "basketball shoes, football cleats, training shoes, running shoes", I didn't really know or understand the differences of the foot strike & what that could mean for your shoes/feet/body as you run. To this point I have logged at least a testable amount of miles in many different Nike shoes, each of the following had some visual appeal or were there for me & I thought nothing of it:
Air Force II low(yea...a retro basketball shoe was my first shoe I started running with)
Air Max 90
Air Max 360(2006)
Air Max 2011
Zoom Pegasus 27
Free Run 2
LunarGlide 3 Shield
Free Run 3
Zoom Revis 1
Flyknit Lunar 1
Free Trainer 5.0
Flyknit Hyperfeel Run
Zoom Vomero 9
Though my experience has not been a bad one to this point given the different shoes I've used, I never knew what it was like to have a shoe that fit well to the point it helped remove the fatigue my legs felt & helped take pain away from my knees & heels as I walked/ran until getting the Vomero 9. Some shoes were a bad fit for me from the beginning running-wise, some were tolerable but not ideal, some had the flash & appeal but underperformed for me, some served a specific purpose only, & I'm thankful to have tried each pair I did to have my opinion now. I don't want to badmouth any pairs in particular because the point of this post is to say you should look into & try out different shoes to find the one that interests you the most, no matter what that shoe ends up being.
I would say I was not in great shape by the time I started running in 2009, I was getting to an ok point but definitely not ideal. From that point I started testing out different shoes & developing my own running style. All was fine with my running career/lifestyle I thought, I would log 2-3 miles every other day, sometimes every day, then push it up to 4/5/6 miles & would enjoy every minute of it. Slowly my battle with the pavement started gaining an upper hand on my body & my knees became a factor in my running decision, I knew this was a possibility & heard of this with others but until now I never had this issue or really thought it would happen with me...as naive as that sounds it's true. I'm also not one to give up so what did I do? "Play through the pain" was always a line that could be heard from any coach in sports, so I ran through the pain thinking it was just a normal occurrence, little did I know part of the answer was in something I always thought about as being more for show...my shoes. With every shoe I've worn until the Vomero 9 they were "ready to run with" but nothing special. Some were more comfortable/supportive than others but they didn't offer anything new or unique to my running experience, with the Vomero 9 I learned what it was like to have a shoe that could help my foot strike because of the arch it has, a shoe with extra support in my striking position so they last longer, & a shoe that could make me forget the aches in my knees as I took my strides in other shoes where this was common life.
The proper running shoe can help reduce your risk of injury, improve your performance/speed/distance, will last you longer because they're created to sustain the beating your running style will put on them, & will provide an overall more enjoyable experience. I personally will never underestimate the importance of a properly-fitting shoe & I hope you consider this the next time you are thinking about what you want to do with your spare time, the next time you run, or even the next time you buy a shoe period. If you're looking for a recommendation from me I will not give you an actual best shoe, I hope you see there's no one perfect shoe for every person, but rather the perfect shoe for you is out there if you take the time to find it.
Good luck & see you out there running the streets!