After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

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Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.


Friday, September 4, 2015

You Just Don't Know Until...You Run In Them

Sometimes you blithely go running along and don't realize how miserable your feet are...until you find something that just changes thing - literally overnight.

Yeah Nike's
That is the problem with running shoes, you gotta actually run in the damn things to know whether or not they will work for you or not. That 5-10 minute wear-test in the store, doesn't give you any idea on how they will work in real life and even those businesses with generous return policies - well I feel guilty returning a pair of shoes after 30 miles or so, especially when I am running on dirt roads, so I don't.

Over the past couple of years, I have been searching for a pair of running shoes that just feel good to run in and are comfortable (yeah, two separate things, but closely related). It has been an underwhelming process, yet overwhelming experience in frustration and fraught with false hopes, starts and lots of money spent, without any real progress.

A couple of times I thought I had found the "right" ones and even thought I had my "forever" style this spring, but at some point and for some reason or reasons they stopped working for me - like all the rest. Usually, because the overlays bothered my Tailor's Bunionette, the bottoms were too damn much like landing on bricks (that firmness thing) or they ended up being too narrow.

Being Positive

I try really hard to be a positive as possible, about most things and running shoes are no exception. I purposely look for the good and down-play what sucks, until it sucks so bad that I can't ignore the suckiness and I don't want to run in them anymore.

The other thing is that I have a fairly high tolerance for discomfort and am willing to run through a bit of it to get my running in. If you have ever looked at my injury list, you will note that I have had my share of boo boo's throughout my life, so if I want to run, having some discomfort during a run is part of the deal.

Just the way it is.

Nothing to feel sorry for me or anything like that, I am sure that most runners have a lot of things they deal with too and just keep running.

It is part of running with me.


However, I have learned that when I start to whine, piss and moan a little about a pair of running shoes, it means that there is more wrong than I am letting on, with how that shoe is or more likely is not working for me.

In case you haven't noticed, I have significantly whittled down my running shoe pile and rotation since last year. After more than 40 years of running, I have finally figured out that if I have issues with a pair running shoes after 20 miles or even a 100 miles, that I need to just get rid of them then, instead of my usual, put them in the metal cabinet out in the back of the garage and then a couple of month later, pull them out when I have nothing left that works to see if they will work for me now.

Lots of Whining Lately

The past couple of months I have done more than my share of whining about my shoes and how this or that was beginning to bother me about them.

Which meant that my feet were not enjoying the runs all that much and I was doing the "suck-it-up-buttercup" routine to get my runs in.

It had reached the point where I was so discouraged with my shoes that I took them off before I went in the house and just threw them towards the garage in frustration. They are now gone, along with so many other shoes that I have run in over the past few years.

Desperation/Being Surprised

When I stopped at Olympia Sports yesterday, I was desperate for a pair of running shoes that I could just run in, not be in discomfort and get back to enjoying my running. I didn't really give a damn about brand name, style, cost, what drop it was whether they were high-end or mid-range quality or anything else that I usually factor into what I buy for a running shoe.

I wanted to walk out of there with a new pair of running shoes that were comfortable, didn't hurt my feet and most of all fit my feet, well the right foot.

A tall order for any running store, much less a "chain" store, because I have weird feet and always have a hard time find a pair of shoes that feel "right". The salesman that was helping me, did a good job, but nothing they had on the wall even tempted me, after I tried them on.

In desperation I walked down to the mark-down section and looked around and didn't see anything in my size and then noticed a pair of Nike Lunar Glide 5's, they were 9.5's a full size larger than my normal running shoes and almost 2 sizes larger than what Brannock devices measures my feet at. Yep. I figured what to hell and decided to try them on.

They fit...they felt...well amazing, enough that I didn't hesitate too much before ran to the register with them under my arm.

Wide in the toe box, narrow in the heel, yeah they felt a little higher than zero drop and even on the carpet I could tell that the cushioning was right about where I wanted it to be. Yeah, they are a little long, but...not enough to be a big bother.\

I haven't really run in any Nike Shoes other than the Nike Free series, for since well a long time. I had moved to lower drop shoes and most of the Nike lines were all higher drop, so I ignored all their other offerings. Although, when I look back, I have probably run more miles in Nike shoes than any other brand, so maybe it is time to go back to what worked back in the day.

Just Do It.

Actually Running in Them

The real test would be to actually run in them.

Okay, so the Lunar Glide's felt good in the store, there are too many that have felt great in the store and ain't been worth a shit, to actually run in.

I had to find out and see how they would feel out running.

It was shocking how much my other shoes had been bothering me and I didn't realize until then. The difference in how my feet felt while running was immediate and significant. That first run made me realize how much discomfort that I had been in. The higher drop took a few steps to get used to again, but once I did, my stride seem to settle out and I ran - comfortably in them. Yes, I am a heel-striker and probably always will be.

This was very promising.

This morning, I ran down-back to the Town Office, so I got to run in them on the dirt road and they did good - a little thin in the front for landing too hard on rocks, so you have to avoid them.

Otherwise, things were GREAT, my feet didn't bother at all and I was able to forget about anything but running.

The run earlier had felt so good, that I wanted to get out and do another one.

This time I decided to run my test course down to Pepin Way. Going down the big hill, they didn't slap and felt good.

When we hit the flats, I was able to pick it up a little and we ended up with the 3rd fastest time on the Pepin Segment (without trying). Coming back up the big hill, I was able to transition to my uphill stride without issues and the LG5's felt fine when I picked it up to about 80% effort.

The best part of these three runs, is that the only reason that I thought about my shoes, was to think about how good they were feeling. I had thought

The reality is that

I know that three runs, do/does/will not make a great running shoe for me or shoes that are going to change my life or make me a great runner.

However, all I can hope for and really all I want is to be able to run comfortably, without discomfort and be able to put on my shoes - step out the door and be able to run up to 13 miles, without my feet feeling like someone took a baseball bat to them (especially, my right foot).

The Nike Lunar Glide 5's have shown me how much discomfort I was actually in when running in those other running shoes - the narrowness or firmness of those shoes and how I felt during and after my runs. That is something that I did not expect, when I put them on for the first time.

If and this is a big if - based on my past experiences I am not getting my hopes up too much, if these shoes are still working as well a couple of months from now, I would be so happy. Unfortunately, these are 5's and Nike is already up to 7's, so I do not know how the "updates" they have done to this series, will affect what I really like so far in the 5's.

Well, let's just stay in the present, run in what I got and hope that I just keep forgetting that I have them on.

It is time to relax, run and most importantly - enjoy my running.

Back to being positive.

Originally published on One Foot in Reality, © 2011-2015 – All Rights Reserved. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to One Foot In Reality with appropriate and specific directions or links to the original content.


  1. good lord dude you over think shoes more than everyone i know combined! haha

  2. I really liked the LunarGlide 6, and from what I've seen, the new one looks to be even better.

    Glad these are working out for you!


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