Ok, so we’ve all thought about the question, “Does the gear make the runner or does the runner make the gear?” I can agree that one shouldn’t be swallowed by the world of gear out there, but I can say that from the addition of a properly fitting running shoe and the luxury of compression socks and tech knit shirts my running life is much more comfortable.
Let me start with the running shoes:
I was lucky enough to find the miracle of proper fitting shoe! Practically my entire life I have never had a shoe that fit the proper way. I was used to having shoes that were too big due to my extraordinary wide midfoot and narrow heel. I would always have heel slippage. My quest for a good shoe began at a local shoe shop that specialized in custom made shoes. While they puzzled over the shape of my foot they said that they could make me a shoe, though not a running shoe. They referred me to a local running store: Scranton Running Company.
These folks were awesome! They spent over an hour with me evaluating my gait, amount of pronation, and then going through about 6 different models of shoes. They recommended a stability shoe. We went through Brooks, New Balance, Saucony, Mizuno, Adidas, heck even a pair of Nike. Everything hurt my feet. My feet would be hanging over the outsole and the arch support was always in the wrong position for my foot.
The turning point: my best friend is a multiple marathon runner and had recommended Altra shoes. By chance the store happened to have two models. I tried on the stability shoe they had, the Provision 2.5. My foot was free! I couldn’t believe it! While the midfoot was a slight bit tight it was a world of difference from the rest. I had found my perfect mate! Nearly 100 miles into my running journey and Altra has provided me with pain free feet for all my runs. No blisters! No plantar fasciitis! My preexisting bunion has even been kept in check. I have never written an email before to a company to express such gratitude for their product. Altra shoes had truly opened a door for me!
Now for compression socks:
Some love them, some think they are an expensive gimmick. In running, I have learned to listen to my body! My wife is an strong advocate for compression socks so for my first long run (5 miles was long to me back then 😬) I tried them out. My legs felt better than the last 5k I had run! ProCompression socks had an amazing deal online so I picked up 5 pair of their socks and I was, quite literally, off to the races!
As summer pushes on I’m starting to research hydration belts and vests… Maybe one more piece of gear as my miles and the temperatures rise!
But for now I have #ZeroLimits with @AltraRunning and I #keepittight with @PROCompression!