Shoe advice needed

So I decide to "go pro" and get a decent running shoe. I go to my "local" store (run and become), which costs me £20 a time there and back. They are very professional, and watch me run back and forth in several pairs. I choose one that was comfortable for me, the Asics Gel Pursue 3. Now this came about from me explaining I do 10km uphill (albeit very slowly), and plan to do a triathlon in the future. I also explain my weak ankles, as I badly sprained both my ankles almost a year ago. I decide to run on them in the gym on the treadmill, at 15% incline. I get resistance from the balls of my feet and toes, which makes it really difficult. I decide to try 10km on the flat. 4km in, and my back goes.

I decide to take them back, so that's £40 on travel alone. I now explain EXACTLY what I want from the shoe (uphill on the treadmill), and what happened to myself while training. I then get told I need to run differently (not heel hammering), leaning forward as I run, while trying to push off with my toes and balls of my feet. After several pairs, I decide on the Saucony Guide 10s. I do the same again; try uphill first. Everything is fine, up until a few km in, when the balls of my feet and my toes are so painful I have to stop. The sweet sense of relief comes when I put on a flat shoe after leaving the gym.

So I go back again. I explain the problems I had, including aggravated ankles since I last came, and I get the New Balance M860. Yet again, I try them on the treadmill. Even walking into the gym with them on felt too hard on my heels (I'm still leaning forward and pushing off with my toes, for clarification). Everything felt a little bit different around my Achilles and ankles, but that passed. I take it real slow, 10 minute walk at 15% incline, 5.6 km/h. Now there's enough springiness to stop the balls of my feet from getting sore, but my back is going too painful uphill, which it never has before.

Now I can't fault the last two when it came to the flat, as I had a go on both. But I am getting sick and tired of going back and forth. Is it really hard to get a shoe that prevents back pain, protects my ankles, gives me enough padding on the balls and toes of my feet to make it comfortable, but minimum resistance making it easy to go uphill on the treadmill? My back also broke several years ago: I have screws in the 4th and 6th lumbar: four of them, held together like two staples in my back. I am posting this hoping there's some specialist here, that can figure out what shoe I need based upon what I have told so far.


  • CrazeeTCrazeeT ✭✭✭
    If your shoe shop was any good they wouldnt ask you or let you take what you thought was best theyd tell you what you needed. My local shop told me only 2 pairs were really suitable out of the literally hundreds they had on display. I know im not helping much but seriously go to a reputable shop where they know theyre stuff.
  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭
    No one will be able to tell you what shoe you need without looking at you. Even then your needs aren't that of a normal runner. I don't know that there are many people whose main run is 10km on a treadmill at 15%. Added to that you've got complex back problems (previous fracture and 6 lumbar vertebra instead of 5). I think it's beyond the skills of almost anyone working at a running shop to know how to fix your problems. I think it'll just be a matter of trial and error until you find something you like. What did you run in previously? Can't you just get another pair of those? Were you doing the same sort of running previously without the problems?
  • CrazeeTCrazeeT ✭✭✭
    If your backs that bad impact training us only gonna make it worse. But then what do I know.
  • Sorry for not clearing this up previously, CrazeeT, but they gave me a limited choice of two different ones (similar to your situation), and there was no real difference except one was more comfortable than the other, the Asics Gel Pursue 3 over a pair of Saucony: can't remember which particular shoe now.

    Ok HA77, but I thought if you know exactly what the shoe was and what it does, I thought it would help.

    I know my needs are very specific. I was previously running in badminton shoes: Yonex SHB33iEX, which is definitely NOT what I should be wearing.

    If you're wondering why I do uphill, it's because it's because I heard it is better for you to run uphill. The fact that I bother to do 10km rather than interval, is because I am keeping my options open to run in a triathlon.
  • HA77HA77 ✭✭✭
    People blame shoes too much for their problems. If you're having problems with your back, see a physio and look for the cause of the problem, rather than a quick fix. Running at 15% is probably what is causing your back problems because it means you have to run bent forwards. I bet my back would hurt if I ran 4km at 15%.

    Running uphill is not better for you. Keep it simple. I'd be starting on the flat, outside and build up gradually. As you improve it's good to build in variation in terms of hills and running surface but to start at 15% on a treadmill is crazy.

    Like I said last time, no one will be able to tell you which shoes are best for you based on the information we have. Just find the most comfortable pair of shoes and start slowly.

  • I suggest you get some propery physio assessments, the best shoes in the world will not fix biomechanical problems.
  • There are lots of trainers on the shelves which look the part but in reality aren't great. I've been using Adidas Falcon and Nike Flex past few years and both are really good. Started using insoles too and never looked back, great for the heel! hope it helps.
  • I ended up buying Kiprun LDs from Decathlon. The lady was really helpful and helped me find the right shoe. As my feet are over pronating (flat feet), I needed something to support the middle section of my foot. The extra cushioning has also helped me avoid shin splints recently. At the beginning, I was getting loads of injuries but then I decided to take it easy and follow a couch to 5k until my legs were better developed. I also worked on my core as I had identified this as one of my main weaknesses. Good luck!
  • Staggering the amount of people who put such importance on shoes.  A running shop no matter how professional are in no way shape or form in a position to tell you what shoes to wear and certainly cant assess your gait.  Pick a comfortable pair and see how you get on.
  • I started with Mizuno Wave Sonic. I found them as not expensive shoes for beginners. They were half cheaper than those I have now. After 2 years I changed for The Newton BoCo and I can recommend them.
    They are comfortable, breathable, light weight, solid, with strong flat rubber bottom. In the beginning I had some problems with my spine, but the doctor told me that it's the technique. Now I don't ,,jump'' any more and shoes with good cushioning resolved all my problems.
  • Just came accross this thread, and wondered if you found a solution that works for you Ross?
  • Hello!
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