shoe advice please please please!

ok so i started 'trying to run' 3 yr ago, i was first advised to buy some nike lunarlites from a sales person in a general sport shop, these knackered up my shins and i had to have 3 months off, physio etc. then i went to a running shop in mk and was told i over pronate and had to buy mizuno wave alchemy 9s which seemed to do the trick as these wore out i had pains in my feet along the outer edges i was then advised to get saucony omni 8s which were apparently the equivelent !! the pains still come on after a mile of running/jogging. so i went to a different specialist shop and was told both the mizuno and saucony are way supportive causing my feet to roll outwards and over compensating. that my natural gait is only slighty overpronative and either a mizuno inspire or brooks adrenaline would better . i am female , have fairly flat feet, neutral to slight overpronation, weigh 56kg, currently do 15 miles a week (would more if it wasnt so painful), forefoot landing. size uk 5.5!!, i am on a tight budget too so if there are junior sizes available i may get them instead!, do you have any suggestions? thankyou xx


  • Hi Lynn - I'm amazed you managed to run in the alchemy- if your light and only slightly overpronate must have felt like having bricks on your feet!

    From your description mizuno inspire would be worth a look. Mizuno wave connect is slightly less supportive and a soft ride.

    would also suggest you look at brooks pure cadence- encourage natural gait and have a good level of support. I'm a previous mizuno elixir lover ( discontinued image) and I'm v impressed with these brooks

    good luck

  • Oh my hubby is an elixir lover too! Im quite angry at the amount ive been spending on damaging myself!! And the 3 lots of gait analysis ive paid for! I will look into the runners many thanks! I dont suppose there are many that cross over well from road to trail are there ? Being such different surfaces hummmm.
  • How do you feel when you try shoes on? Have you ever just put on a pair and thought they felt right? Or do you take the advice of the assistant every time?

    Good luck to any youngster who is going to turn out for their four hour contract job for minimum wage on a Sunday afternoon and recite the script prepared for them by their managers, but it won't help me find a shoe that suits me.

    My advice is to get the first shoe that fits you and feels nice on your feet, and ignore the utter bullshit that is the world of shoe brands and names and model numbers.




  • Shoes are rarely the cause of, or cure for injuries. Just buy what feels comfortable.

  • excellent knew i could count on the real experts! people that actually 'run'! i will go and try on a few more and google which stores sell the ones youve all kindly suggested. i have tried on a few and thought yeyyy! but quickly been handed shoes that are twice the price and told alot of brainwashing phsychobabble and sent into a 'buy it now' trance!! looking forward to my next try on sesh!! cheers xxx

  • The other option you could explore is visiting a podiatrist- helped me work through an Achilles issue. If you can't find a shoe that is comfortable they could give you orthotics if you needed them rather than struggle to find a brand of shoe
  • How much roughly would i pay for an initial consultation with a podiatrist?
  • £60 ish....and guarenteed you'll come out with Orthotics!

  • Agree with above, they will either sell you orthotics you may or may not need, but will certainly leave you with a hang up. Running should be simple, the more you do it the more you become accustomed to it, there will always be bedding in and niggles. You sound like a salesman's dream, so stay away from podiatrists

  • Lynn. Just reading your first sentence again '...these knackered up my shins'. The shoes had nothing to do with your sore shins. What knackered your shins was all or some of the following:

    1. Your body adjusting to new demands placed on it.

    2. Reaching out with your leg and landing on your heel (puts excessive load through your knee and lower leg as well as creating a longer time supporting your body weight)

    3. Doing too much too soon

    4. not resting enough between runs

    It's you that's doing the running, not your shoes.

  • Agree with Mr. Puffy above - buy what feels comfortable and ignore sales assistants (even UPandRunning, Runners Need etc), they will try to sell you supportive footwear which you will probably not need, even if you overpronate - overpronation is often caused by (ironically) wearing overly supportive footwear or thick cushioned shoes - arch support etc.

    As your foot lands on the floor your foot tries to "feel" for the ground and if there's lots of cushioning this stops your foot feeling the ground and so rolls inward - this is likely the source of your overpronation

    Next time you are in a running store ask them to do a video analysis of your running form but in NEUTRAL shoes with little or (preferably) no padding  (no arch support at all! - just flat and with no heel drop)

    - the over pronation will most likely disappear.

    Bottom line?

    Consider minimalist footwear or something neutral

    Try this article:

    A Complete Low-Down On Minimalist Running Shoes!

    (OK I'm a bit biased 'cos me and the wife wrote the article but it's a good place to start if you want to learn more)

    If you do decide to go on the minimalist route you have to be careful and you should make the transition from conventional running shoes to minimal sloooowlyimage. Try this:

    Minimalist Running Training Program

    Best of luck

    Andy from

  • oddly enough we did look at the barefoot option but it just bought up the question 'why do we have support in shoes and runners ' ? i always took my shoes off as a child even to splash in puddles and play in the stream, walk on gravel and hot pavements!! yep i am strange! oh dear now im even more confused!! are there any scientific based write ups discussing the pro and cons etc of barefoot/minimalist running? your article was great andy but i need to really get things in perspective! having horses etc i guess i relate to the no hoof no horse saying and my current horse has had to have shoes due to her condition, but she is the first one to have metal clangers on! my last one had horsey trainers on the front feet for road work and naked feet the rest of the time!! so why do we need support in shoes?

  • Lynn I'm still researching barefoot running and have also been doing it in practice for the last 2 years - but very gradually. Most of the research on barefoot is anecdotal and there's nothing concrete to say for certain if it is beneficial or problematic but I think if you stay on the sensible side and avoid being too enthusiastic you can get a lot from barefoot. Personally, I started slipping off my running shoes at the end of my run and running the last 1/4 mile home - then every other run I would increase this by 1/8 mile. Whenever my calluses get too tender (and they will from time to time) I back off, when all systems are go I add on another 1/8 mile. Following this strategy I almost reached my first 10K last year but I ran on a piece of glass and injured myself, then it was winter so...

    I still want to include barefoot into my training but whether I will run barefoot all the time is down to my foot bones - one thing I would say is that I'm no spring chicken (46 years old) but my feet (bones and skin) adapted to the barefoot better than I ever imagined but it has to be a very slow progression. The beauty of running barefoot though is that your feet will soon let you know when you've over done it and you tend to back off at the right time if you take notice of how your feet are feeling.

    It's not for everyone - but worth trying - like I said, flip off your shoes at the end of your next run (it's just about warm enough now) and run 1/4 mile barefoot and you might surprise yourself as to how much you like it. You'll get weird looks but after a short time it becomes part of the fun.

    My barefoot running led to running in minimalist as well (vibram five fingers kso and bikila) which I do my heavy training in - marathons ultra's etc. but barefoot is becoming more present in my training each year I do it. What I find with the barefoot is that it teaches my feet how to land properly (I used to be a heel striker) and this has translated into running in my vibrams so a combo of barefoot and minimalist might be the direction to take but firstly take off whatever running shoes your wearing now and run a bit of barefoot (1/4 mile) see if you like it. Where's the harm?

    Research wise you might want to check out Dr Lieberman who has done most of the scientific research

    Ken Bob Saxon for a more hands on experience of barefoot

    and you have to read Born to Run (an absolute must, brilliant!)


    Hope this helps!



  • Okies i will look into it more! I must admit i do miss that freedom of naked feet i got as a kid! I do recall taking my trainers off to do the 1500 on sports day at school and winning! , was over 15yrs ago though! Its just always so disgusting and either wet and muddy or icey at the moment, think ill wait til the grass is all green and start on that! I notice the majority of runners are 40+ i hope im as fit and as fast as them when i hit 40!
  • And the rest...;-)


  • If you try barefoot lynn find a nice pavement to run on. When you get to 2-3 mile stage include some rougher/stoney tracks - your feet adapt. Trouble with running on grass is that your foot won't learn how to land properly. If you run on pavement etc. your feet will soon tell you off if you do it wrong - resulting in a softer landing and on the forefoot.

    If you choose grass for the sake of getting out there barefoot fair enough but as soon as possible switch to hard smooth surfaces - your bones in your feet become stronger and stronger from the impact a harder surface provides and as long as you are gradual (increasing your distance by no more than 1/8 mile every other run say) your feet will adapt nicely. Same common sense rules apply though, if your calluses are tender after 24 hours back off and don't increase. Same applies to bone aches, if they persist back off until there gone, then increase. I find the best strategy is if your feet are sore a day after a barefoot run either repeat the distance you did last or reduce it until the soreness has gone THEN increase 1/8 mile. (your first barefoot run should be no more than 1/4 mile)

    Remember if you try this to do it at the end of a normal run, take things from thereimage

    Best of luck to you

    Andy from

  • Ok i tried on a few pairs and decided on brooks cadence a huge difference from loads of support, to a tiny bit! They were light weight very comfy and seemed to encourage my feet onto the forefoot, had to order the ones i wanted but cant wait to get going! If i usually do 2.5-6 miles would it be best if i start on a 2mile and break in gradually or do intervals??
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