And I got some new shoes; a pair of Mizuno Wave Precision 9's. This is exciting for two reasons:
- I've been interested in these shoes for a while, but was unaware they were even sold in New Zealand (in fact, on Friday I did some Internet searching to find the cheapest place overseas to buy them); and
- They were $99. Yes, that's right, $99. If I like them, I'll get a second pair.
They are essentially the same as my current shoes (Mizuno Wave Riders), but lighter and with a lower profile. I was keen to try them for this very reason - I love my Riders, but I'm not a big guy, and I'm keen to try lower profile shoes.
In my (fairly uneducated opinion), most modern running shoes are overbuilt, and most podiatrists are too keen to chuck people in orthotics (and pair them up with overbuilt shoes). I think that people should wear the shoe with the least level of support they need, and unless they are a big unit, shouldn't wear massive shoes with too much cushioning. The shoes most people wear disconnect them from the ground, weaken their lower leg muscles and their feet.
The podistraist I saw in Wellington (who works with most top runners/triathletes down there) is very much in the anti-orthotic camp. If people genuinely need them (for example, if they have trouble with plantar faciitis), fine, but he likes to analyse people's running style at the track (treadmills and the short 'tracks' they have at most running shoe shops do not give an accurate indication of someone's gait, and the pressure pads are useless unless you've had about two hours to practice running over them naturally). He then experiments with small wedges in various parts of the shoe until he works out what works, and he sticks with that. He also critiques your running style. He gets excellent results.
I used to overpronate, and wore the Brooks Adrenaline, which was a great shoe. But then I learned not to pronate (somehow; apparently I'm proprioceptive, unlike the majority of people, who are mechanical), and they started making me roll outwards (and, accordingly, I learned to underpronate...). So I started wearing neutral shoes, the Brooks Glycerin (at that stage the lightest neutral trainer Brooks had in the country). I hated them - they were overbuilt (for a neutral shoes) and had a massive great big crash pad, which encouraged me to run with an exaggerated heel strike, which is all bad. I then tried the Riders, which were slightly lighter and with a lower profile, and loved them.
The Precisions aren't a racing flat (although if I weighed 15 kg more or so they'd probably serve that purpose), but a 'performance trainer', so I think I'll be able to do most of my training in them. And because I'm still building my running up (and making a real effort to have a light foot strike), I should be able to adjust to them.
And they look hot/fast, which is not unimportant (not as hot as the bright yellow version I'd have bought from Australia, but red is fast, so they'll do).
Here's hoping they work for me =)