About 2 years ago when I was training for the 2013 Paddock Wood Half Marathon I invested in a decent pair of running shoes. I had my gait analysed, got professional advice and was sold a pair of Asics Kayano 19s. The person selling me the shoes reckoned I had an over pronation style and showed me a video of my feet planting, not that I knew what I was looking at, but with fancy lines and graphs you believe what you are told and surely trust the person telling you this information.
A few months later after lots of training in my new shoes I finished the race, with a PB but a very sore ankle. For months after I ran on a sore left ankle. Thinking it was just an injury I booked an appointment with my physio. I was diagnosed as having a collapsed arch in my left foot. To help I was told to get a mid arch support and perform certain exercises to strengthen the ankle. Just a few weeks after getting the supports my ankle felt OK again, I felt comfortable running long distances and the pain had gone. With such an improvement I felt no reason to change my trainers until I’d got the maximum miles out of them; I was told 300 miles but working that out I would have needed to replace them every couple of months and at £150 a go, that want going to happen.
Two years later (probably a little later than I should have left it), I asked a running coach how often should running shoes be replaced? His reply was interesting; running shoes should be able to last a good thousand miles and as soon as your calf starts to ache then it’s probably time they were renewed. The 300 mile limit is no doubt the manufacturer’s way of getting gullible runners to buy more often. When I explained what I’d done, and been told, in the past he offered to take a look at my shoes, he turned them over and straight away said they need to be renewed and that I have a neutral running style. He explained the worn pattern on the sole of my shoe and suggested I get my gait analysed again.
The next day I visited a sports shop and had my style analysed again, it turns out he was right, my gait was either incorrectly diagnosed, I was told the wrong information to con me in to buying the most expensive pair of shoes in the shop or over the past few years my running style has changed, which I understand is possible.
Which of the above is true I guess I’m never going to find out, but it goes to show, fancy graphs, modern video analysis and an ‘Expert Running Sales Advisor’ badge is no substitute for 30 years experience.
Thank you Barry.