First ever pair of running shoes and they causing pain

I am a beginner following the NHS Couch to 5k programme and am on week 4 though I have been repeating each week as prior to running my fitness levels were almost non existent.

I initially ran in a pair of Converse plimsole trainers but after a few weeks my knees felt quite sore so, following advice I went to an independent running shop for gait analysis and to buy my first pair of running shoes. During the initial assessment the shop confirmed I was a midfoot striker with what appeared to be a fairly neutral arch. On the video footage of me running on the treadmill however there appeared to be over pronation particularly in my left foot with a lesser amount in my right foot. After trying on a number of suggested shoes I chose the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 which felt the most comfortable when running on the treadmill and up and down outside a few times.

After doing the walk run C25K a couple of times wearing the Brooks, I suffered very sharp pain on my upper front / outside edge of my right foot (the one with less pronation). This is very apparent when I walk in the shoes but not when I run.

I discussed this with someone from a different independent running shop and his view was the shoes were inappropriate. Firstly because as a midfoot striker the stability aspects in the heel of the Brooks were wasted on me. Secondly the pain in my less pronating right foot was caused by the Brooks overcorrecting this foot when I was heel striking when walking, thirdly it was possible I wasnt actually an overpronator and that my right foot was pronating normally during the midfoot strike and the left foot had some hyper flexion as a result of partially tearing my ankle ligament 7 months ago. This shop suggested I was probably better suited to a more minimalist neutral shoe with less heel to toe drop eg 4mm and that I worked on my feet and ankle strength and flexibility and overall strength.

I am unable to return the Brooks to the original shop as they have been worn outside a number of times and the returns policy does not allow it. I am now worried that continuing to wear the Brooks will cause injuries. I am also wary of buying different shoes in case they also turn out to be a very costly mistake. Does anyone have any advice, thoughts or suggestions ?

Thanks Kitti


PS Apologies for the title typo.


  • where did you buy the shoes from? I think sweatshop has a 15 or 30 day period in which you can take them back even if they have been worn outside. So might be worth going to sweatshop and getting some from there as you could return them in necessary. Don't be fooled into buying the wierd insoles they try to sell now with every shoe

  • Hi I got them from a reputable specialist running shop with a 14 day returns policy (not sweatshop or another chain). Problem is I didnt realise they were likely to be wrong for me until 3 weeks after I bought them and happened to be talking to the other specialist shop.

    I shall check out sweatshop. Thanks for the advice.



  • Id get a good few walking miles in them and see how thinks shape up as you have them now , you have an injury it may well have nothing to do with the shoes though just one of those things going back to walking and getting the injury rested should help.

  • Hi Leslie, thank you for your reply.

    I get the intense pain in my foot as described whenever I walk in them. The pain started the first time I wore them and I had never experienced pain in that location before. Running is ok and no pain. Problem is that because they are painful when I walk in them it is making me tense my right foot when I am running as if I am trying to protect my foot.I then have to force myself to relax.

    The pain happened after 15 mins walking in them for the very first time and continues to do so 3 weeks later after use so I am not hopeful that continuing to walk in them will  sort things out. The second running shop predicted the location and type of pain I would get before I even told him that I was getting it so all in all I am pretty convinced it is the shoes.

    Should I stop using them completely and fork out more money for different shoes or continue and see how it goes ?




  • Well if they are causing pain walking I guess its pointless using them anymore , not sure what to advise as any running shop will just want to sell you new ones .

  • Thanks Leslie, that was what I was thinking. Guess I am going to have to go and get something else. Though I am abit nervous about parting with my hard earned cash and getting something unsuitable again. As a beginner getting shoes that suit seems to be a matter of trial and error or have I just been really unlucky?

  • I would recommend you go back to the shop you bought them from and explain the issue and request a solution.  Any other shop is, as Leslie said, just going to try and sell you an equally expensive pair of trainers.

  • As it's outside of the 14 day period I guess the original shop is just going to try to sell you new shoes as well.  In future Sweatshop does a 30 day guarantee where you can return the shoes no matter how dirty they are if you're not happy, I'm sure other shops do this too.  In fact point this out to the shop you went to and say that 14 days is not sufficient to break in a pair of shoes and discover any potential problems.  Might work, you never know!

    My first pair gave me a blister, took them back to the shop who fitted an anti blister patch for free which solved the problem.  No issues after this with running shoes even when my gait changed and I had to go to different shoes.  It's worth getting it right though.

    Good luck with the shoes and your running.  Happy running image

  • Running Shoes should really only really be worn for running as the motion of running is very different to that of walking. this means the shoe 'technology' is probably affecting your natural walking style (hence the pain)

    The fact that you are getting a pain when walking but not running would seem to be evidence of this.

    But saying that, if they do hurt when you use them for running, it's definitely worth getting a different pair of shoes.

  • Thanks everyone. I am going try some neutral more minamalist shoes and see how they go as they will suit my midfoot running style better..

    @Anne I appreciate running shoes are best for running as the action is different but that is a bit problematic when I am a beginner doing a walk run programme as I have to walk quite abit. image Hopefully when I am up to running the whole 5 k it wont matter so much and then I might be able to get some use out of the original shoes occasionally. Choosing the correct shoes seems to be a bit of a minefield.



  • Starting on a running program is what is a minefield - getting your body to do something fairly stressfull and new on a regular basis will often cause problems - irrespective of what shoes you're wearing.

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