Years ago, when I started running, I wore traditional shoes: "motion control", thick heels, arch support, the works. And then I got hurt. And got hurt again. And it seemed I would never shake a series of nagging tendinitis issues...Until, with nothing left to lose, I tried running barefoot and in minimal shoes. This was in early 2009, before Born to Run was published and the minimal thing went as mainstream as today. I found a few kooky websites and many barefoot zealots, read alot, and spent a good time wondering why Haile Gebrselassie, Emil Zatopek, and all the greats could run 100+ MPW without shoes or in little leather slippers without getting hurt. I figured what the hell...Everything changed, including my form, and the injuries disappeared.
And then, a few months ago, I got it into my head that my minimal shoes were too minimal, and that by wearing more traditional shoes my feet would feel better after long runs, as long as I kept my running form the same. I had run a 50K last spring that left my soles a bit battered. I convinced myself I needed more shoe. So in recent weeks/months, I've bought a few new pairs to try.
Last week, for the first time in over a year, I felt the distinctive burn of ITB tendinitis flaring up in left knee and was finishing my weekly miles with some pretty sore knees.
Another thing I wondered with my spankin' new, cushy, traditional shoes: Why do my footstrikes sound so loud? At first I thought it was in my head, but no, after about 2 weeks and a few longer runs in these new pairs of shoes, I realized I was back to pounding the pavement just like before.
I just came in from my 28.35th mile of trail running since Monday and I feel great. Every mile has been run in a floppy, worn out, completely flat pair of New Balance Minimus MT10s, over 250 miles on them, toes ticking out of holes.
What's different? I haven't been slipping on wet logs and tripping on rocks. I can't really hear my footstrike. My knees and feet aren't sore.
Should've stuck with what I knew. Now I'm pretty much out 3 new pairs of shoes and I've dug all older ones out of the dark corners of the garage...I suppose a shiny new pair of Brooks Cascadia 6s will be good for yardwork...but I'm afraid they're too bulky even for that.
So where have you blown it, deviated from a tried and true system, only to regret it?
Bought some shiny new wares, sold the old stuff, only to wish you could take it all back?