Marathon shoe panic

I'm desperate for some advice on shoes. I am doing my first ever marathon in just two weeks time and my shoes (triumph 8's) are suddenly causing me problems. I have two pairs one older pair that I use for shorter training runs and a pair that have done a lot less miles that I've been using more recently for longer runs that I was meaning to wear for the marathon. Up until the last few weeks I have found them very comfortable however I think as I've been building up the training my running style has started to change a bit from a very heavy heel striker to a bit more of a mid foot striker. Anyway whatever the cause I seem to be suffering from sore ankles quite a bit and I even feel that the top of the shoe is pushing into my foot and lower ankle as if it is sitting to high in my foot and it's causing quite a lot of discomfort. It also feels as if the top of the shoe is really stiff. I have tried lacing it lower down but then my heels start to lift out. I'be been looking at more minimal shoes (in particular brooks pure cadence and green silence) but I'm pretty sure it would be a bad idea to try to change shoe types so radically with only two weeks to go before the marathon when I've been running in such a cushioned shoe. But I'm really panicking about not making it in the shoes I've got! Does anyone have any advice please?


  • Sorry, but it sounds a bit late to alter your shoes to me.

  • That's what I thought. It's just that my saucony triumph 8's are suddenly so uncomfortable and I don't understand it when I have found them so comfortable in the past.
  • Could you maybe get a subtly different shoe that's more comfortable? I expect it's not too late to wear a new pair in, if they don't cause a big change in your running pattern. Maybe look for something cushioned but less heavily built - Nike Zoom Elites or Asics Gel-Skyspeed spring to mind, though only as an example.  

  • how abused are the old pair? could you not wear them for the race? if they are more comfortable but look tatty, who cares, as long as they have 26 miles of sole left in them.

  • yes pushing it a bit with only 2 weeks to go, I've worn in a totally diferent pair of shoes with 3 weeks to go and I thought that was pushing it, however the shoes were fine, I had no problems! I did a 19 mile training run in them the week I got them though! I've not tried the Brooks Pure Cadence but the Pure Grits are the comfiest shoes I have worn so I would say the Pure Cadence would be worth looking at when you have time to wear them in!

  • The old pair are also quite sore around the upper foot/ ankle though maybe not quite as bad but they are worn through to the hard plastic at the heels which although hasn't rubbed yet, I wouldn't like to risk it for the marathon. I was thinking maybe something still cushioned but lighter may be a good idea right enough. Maybe something with a lower heel drop as I suspect my ankles are working a wee bit harder now I'm striking with my mid foot a bit more in shoes that have a high heel drop.
  • i'd get yourself down to a decent running shop, discuss with them and have your gait analysed. if the shop's good they should be able to see you right. although i've not had the same problem as you, my dog once ate the running shoes i had all nicely lined up for a marathon which was about 2 weeks later. since i had bought them a new version had come out which no longer suited my feet. it took us about 2 hours (and about 20 different pairs of shoes) but managed to get some that didn't cause me any problems during the marathon even though the longest run i managed in them was about 15 miles beforehand.

  • way2slow, that's a great story, I bet your dog was popular!

  • eek!! to 2weeks to the marathon, i bought a pair of new running shoes 3 days before a half marathon and thought i was mad!! the HM was an off road one and it had been raining and raining ( you know what its been like all summer ) and i knew road trainers wouldnt cut it so went out and bought some, just tried them on in shop and went for it, i wore them all evening and then went for a 3mile run in them the next day and then that was it

    I have to say it was very very muddy, i squelched my way round the HM and it was harder than the marathon I had run and I got to mile 12 and I could feel them getting uncomfortable and i took them off vaselined my feet up ( as best as i could with all the mud everywhere ) and got to the end of the race but there is no way I could have done another 13miles in them ( incidentally they are wrecked from the mud and i'm debating now whether i'm ever going to wear them again )

    the other thing i bought for my road trainers was heel cushions which fitted nicely into the inside of the trainer could u try those at all with your other trainers?

    which marathon are you doing btw? 

  • i wasn't impressed but don't think the running shop minded - they now have an avid customer who turns up every couple of months to get kitted out with lovely new shoes. Have learnt to keep my shoes in a cupboard now so at least not had to buy any more due to chunks of sole missing anyway (makes the house look tidier too image)  

  • It's the loch ness marathon. Unfortunately I live far too far away from my nearest running shop so if was trying anything new I'd have to get it on-line. I had my gait analysed before I got my first pair of triumph 8's but as I say I think my running style has changed a bit since then as that was back when I was just starting. I have a pair of saucony peregrines for off road and I still find them very comfortable as they don't come up high on my foot at all.
  • If you are used to the peregrines how about trying the Saucony kinvara or Mirage as they are from the same line?

  • Yes I was thinking that the kinvara looks very like the peregrine. Still quite a jump though in terms of cushioning on the road. I might give it a try though and try one more longish run before marathon day. Still swithering on some of the other ones mentioned also though. Another thought i had was to cut the top off the tongue off the triumph 8's to see if that makes any difference.
  • would a thicker insole make a difference or would that just cramp your toes?

  • Hi Krystal6,  I've just bought Ascis Gel - 13, done a 21 mile a week ago straight out the box & not a blister. Not sure of the equivalent womens shoe.

    Bought mine online at, free next day delivery. These shoes are really cosy with good support and cushioning. Second pair in a year for me so well happy.

    Whatever you choose - good luck and I'll be there with you at the start line.


  • Think an insole probably would cramp my toes a bit. That sounds good Berlin Bolt but do the ASIC gels not have quite a high heel drop also?
  • Hi,

    I don't suffer from high arch feet so these shoes are very neutral with good cushioning.

    My shoes are always bought a size and a half larger to compensate for blackened toe nails and numb feet due to heat and swelling.

    If  you are not sure and are interested  give them a call on 01274 530 530. They seem to be really helpful and knowledgeble.

     Best of luck and keep us posted.

  • well on the back of this i ended up buying some new trainers yesterday as i figured my current slippers trainers wont last for another marathon so wentout and bought some NIKE structure 15 yesterday

    they are really comfy but last night did a club run in them and i got numb feet arrghhhh so now wondering what to do, i'm doing a half marathon this weekend so the idea was to try them out at the half marathon but if i got numb feet after 4miles i may be in trouble.  My old slipper trainers which are Nike Span 7 they have discontinued, i was gutted as i was just going to buy some more boooo 

    I have tried many trainers in the past and have stuck with Nike cos they suit my feet and my ankles ( I broke my ankle and have always had trouble with trainers and ankles so Nike seemed to suit me )

    Dont know what to do now!!!

  • I feel your panic! I have bought some kinvaras - actually am just waiting for postmans arrival. I'm hoping because I a already running in saucony peregrines off road that kinvaras might not be quite such a jump - however I'm not used to pounding on roads with the peregrines! Still not sure if I would be better to stick with my triumphs and suffer very sore ankles!
  • Can you stick with the familiar triumphs and maybe try to re-lace them slightly to relieve some of the pressure? i.e. something like this?

  • Thanks singleton, I noticed some other tying methods on there too that look worth a try. No sure though because it's the very top of the shoe round my ankle that's hurting and when I loosen it much my heel starts to slide. Will give it a go though.
  • My kinvaras arrived! Wow! Not having handled minimalist shoes before I am amazed at just how light they are! They actually seem more cushioned that I was expecting but you obviously can't really tell till you do some miles. They feel great around the top of my feet though. I'm going to test them out tomorrow on a longish run. Unfortunately I'm supposed to be starting to taper this week so haven't really much opportunity to test them fully or to test my triumphs laced up differently.
  • Tried the kinvaras this morning. They were felt fantastic until around the eighth mile when I started to feel twinges in my knee which continued to get a bit worse. Think they will be great once my legs get bit more used to them but suppose i'll have to go back to the triumphs for the marathon after all. I will try lacing them differently to see if it makes a difference. At least I'm fairly confident I would be able to struggle on and complete the marathon even with very sore ankles but if my knee was to give way with the kinvaras I might have to give up!
  • Well, after much deliberation I finally decided to go with the kinvaras after all - even tied differently the triumphs were causing ankle pain on short distances. I definitely made the right decision. Completed the marathon yesterday in time of 3 hours 47 mins - very chuffed - especially for my first one and a hilly one at that. The kinvaras felt great, giving a really light feeling to my feet. I did suffer with knee pain and also a little ankle pain around the halfway mark but took some ibuprofen and started alternating the side of the road I was running on as I was running on the left and I think the camber of the road was affecting me. The pain thankfully felt better after a while and i'm just left with the expected muscle pains. All in all I thoroughly recommend the kinvaras though!
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