Tuesday, March 31, 2015

It's All About The Shoes?


Did you ever find a pair of shoes you love so much you buy three pairs before the shoe company puts out next years model?

I have great love for my Altra Torins, so I purchased two more pairs and I have been using them for the past year. They fit like a glove and are super light, yet cushioned. I have done every single treadmill run in Altra Torins for the past year.



                             I wore them last year for my 10K


Typically for long runs, I have been using Brooks Ghosts or Adrenalines, but if I planned to run a shorter distance I would wear them outside as well.


Last week on Tuesday I did my first treadmill run since January, an easy paced three miler. After my five week stint in a boot, I haven't been able to get on the treadmill. Each time I've tried even a mile I could feel a throbbing at the spot of my injury so I would stop. Who knows why, but the treadmill has been harder on my leg than any outside run, but we go to the gym a lot, so I have to get back to treadmill running at some point. Anyway, finally... last Tuesday everything felt okay, so I kept running. I woke up the next morning to some very sore ankles and shins. The uh oh, is that permanent damage kind of sore.  The front of my shins were tender to the touch sore, it was strange and it scared me. 

Is treadmill running form THAT different from outdoor running or is it the shoes? 

I have been doing all my outdoor runs in a new pair of Brooks Ghost I purchased right before I went to Disney. I felt more confident returning to running in a new pair of shoes. Most of my outdoor runs I've felt the appropriate, happy, accomplished soreness, and just a twinge of soreness at my point of injury that subsides pretty quickly. My only other bout that made me snarl, was after my physical therapy session; I was so sore I was out the rest of the week. (and no, I have not gone back)

Anyway, I had to wait till Saturday before I felt comfortable enough to try to run again, so I wore my Brooks to the gym and ended up running 5 miles on the treadmill. At first they felt super clunky and heavy, but after a few miles I felt really good, so I kept going. Sunday I ran again, 3 more miles. Not a bit of soreness. 

Can a pair of shoes really make your muscles work that much different?  

I do know I do not need any extra stress in the ankle or shin area. It makes me sad, but my love affair with Altra may be over. I think they may stay retired in my closet for a bit. 

A few more tidbits about my experience with Altra running shoes:
  • The cushion is awesome.
  • My calves muscles did increase in size after I started wearing them. Since I started running, my calf measurement went from 11.5 to a little over 14 inches. (I joined a weight loss challenge group when I first started running and they took measurements- typically I don't hangout and measure stuff) 
  • The Torin's are durable. I have put double the mileage I can put on a pair of Brooks.
  • The light weight is great for speedier runs.
  • The customer service has been great. Easy returns. 
  • While injured and on the search for a new pair of shoes I did order the Altra Olympus and it didn't fit my foot well, so I returned it and tried the Altra Paradigm, which much to my dismay because the cushion was awesome, didn't fit well either. I ended up purchasing a pair of Brooks Ghosts because I knew they would work.

Anyone ever have anything like this happen? Do you have a favorite shoe brand or brands you alternate? 

What do you currently run in? 
Thoughts...is treadmill running form THAT different from outdoor running or is it the shoes? 

20 comments:

  1. After my ankle injury & stress fracture, I am nervous about running in light shoes. I used to wear Brooks Adrenalines but now I wear Mizuno Wave Riders.

    Treadmill is supposed to be easier on the body but who knows??

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    1. I have met a lot of Mizuno fans - you have stayed healthy so I guess they have enough cushion right?

      I thought the treadmill was supposed to be easier, but I guess the give bounces y leg more?? just a theory :)

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  2. Treadmill running form IS different than outdoor running form. You are using different muscles and motions, as your body only has to keep up with the belt, whereas outdoors you also have to push off with each stride. I too thought treadmill running was supposed to be easier, since it's a more forgiving surface....but it's sometimes hard to tell exactly what's going on with our bodies.

    Sadly, the things that work for us at one time don't necessarily work forever. Things always change and we just have to go with the flow. It sounds like trying new shoes might be the best thing for you.

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    1. The search for the perfect has about driven me crazy lol I am trying to flow with it

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  3. Yesterday I ran in my new Wave Riders - I wear a few different shoes. I like the looks of your Altra shoe's toe box. My toes like roominess!

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    1. Altra does have a great toe box! Maybe next years models, right.

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  4. I was put in a pair of Brooks Ravenas by a professional running shoe store and they almost crippled me. I'm not exaggerating. They felt so good on my feet but it was NOT the shoe for me. I developed horrible issues with my Achilles Tendon. I still deal with the after effects four years later. AND, running on the treadmill aggravates that old injury. So I don't. My theory is my ankle fights against the belt. The road doesn't move. Faithful wearer of Mizuno Wave Inspires!

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    1. That's awful, you had so much Achilles trouble. At least you found something you love and feel good in. Another Mizuno fan! I need to try a pair on.
      After my super sore session I have been wondering if the zero drop contributed to my weakened shin.
      I agree the give in the treadmill belt seems to be a curse to certain types of injury.

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  5. I have a pair of torins and I have given them several chances but can't seem to get more than few miles in on them. I think they are a tad small that may be why. I have heard treadmill running is harder. I always seem to go at a faster and more consistent pace outside than a treadmill. -L

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    1. Interesting! I can run a lot faster on a treadmill, I guess I because i have no choice lol

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  6. Karen, what an interesting post. I've also found the responses very enlightening. I've always trusted the "professional running store" to put me in the right shoe, but after what HoHoRuns mentions above, it seems you can't always trust the professionals. When I first started running (and didn't know any better), I chose my running shoe based on color, and then was later fitted for a shoe that accommodated for my frame/size/stride and when I saw what a difference it made, I've stuck to what the "professionals" recommend. Guess you can't always count on it!

    So sorry to hear that your favorite shoe isn't working for you anymore. Of course, it could be the treadmill? I agree that treadmill running is NOT the same as running outside. I've always felt more accomplished running outside, especially on trails (if I'm lucky to have them around).

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    1. I wondered if it was the treadmill at first, but after running on it on different shoes I just think the zero drop does work the lower leg a lot more, and in my case that could be too much for my body to handle. Brooks work, they just never last very long at all for me.
      I hate when the "latest" model isn't the same as the original and now it feel so different, that seem to be a reoccurring thing with shoes and me.
      I have mixed feelings about the "experts " at my local stores, most do run of course but everyone's experience is so different. I also ended up a pair of Hoka's for trail running, the 'expert" put me in, but I haven't had much luck with them feeling really comfortable. I am going to give them a few more tries when I trail run but I may go back to my Montrails.
      I SO agree. I always feel I've accomplished so much more when I run outside :)

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  7. I hate when they change up a shoe I love, I love the Torins, I don't know if you tried the new Torins but I actually love them more than the originals! I don't run on a treadmill so I am not a lot of help there, but I hope you get your problem figured out!

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    1. It seems the shoes change a little every year and you have to start the search all over! I am staying in the safe zone for now :) in my Brooks

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  8. Hmm, I haven't heard of that shoe, but does it have more of a drop than the ones you were wearing outside? It just sounds like your feet need more support now, and it's good you had that pair to wear on the treadmill! Maybe someday you can get back to the Torins as your muscles strengthen back up! :) The fact that they made your calf muscles so much bigger makes me think they must have a low drop.

    I am an Asics girl all the way :) I love their gel cushioning. My regular shoes, speed shoes, and trail shoes are all Asics :)

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    1. Yes, Altra is much lower than my Brooks. I do think my leg needs a lot of support now.
      I will have to try on the gels I am always looking for great trail shoes :)
      My calf's may shrink, but that's fine as long as nothing else breaks!

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  9. I think running on the treadmill and running outside is a lot different. I am sore today because I ran 6 miles on the treadmill last night and I'm used to running outside. The opposite has happened to me too. And changing shoes does affect me sometimes, especially if the heel/toe drop is drastically different. I am used to running in 4mm drop so any 4mm shoe is fine, but if I wear 0 drop or 12 drop (traditional trainers) I really can tell. I actually just got over a sore knee that was from doing a 4-mile tempo run in 0 drop shoes.

    As for brands, my favorite is the New Balance trail minimus, but I also love the Brooks "pure" line.

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    1. I am glad i am not the only one who has issues like this between shoes. Well, I am not glad you are sore! but sometimes I think i am crazy, so it makes me feel like it is logical shoes can do that to a person.
      I appreciate the input! 6 miles is a lot on the TM
      I have had a pair of the pure connects on and thought they were super comfy :)

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  10. Interesting post. First of all I am always very angry because every next year model is different than before. So if I find a shoe that fits for me I immediately buy other 2 couples. However I learned to alternate shoes on every workout: I have 3 different couples 2 Brooks Ghosts and 1 Mizuno Wave Nexus.
    Not expert about the dreadmill because I hate it.

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    1. I know the dreadmill is not most runners favorite place it seems :)
      It is important to buy sooner than later if you love a shoe! I must Mizunzo's they seem to a favorite for lots of folks.

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