Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Day 25: Protect yourself

Last week I was sick. I insisted on pushing through 2 days of insanity that I probably shouldn't have and in the process kind of jacked up one of my knees because I let my form go. I had a mellow weekend and rested really well to heal up a bit and I feel much better already, but the knee injury scared me enough to do something I never though I would do, BUY EXPENSIVE ass workout shoes.

Let me backtrack a bit. I've had the shoes I've been working out in for about 3 years. Pretty much every second of exercise in the past 3 years has been in those shoes. The grips are gone, I was falling all over the place when I play street hockey or dodgeball, but since the soles and canvas were still in tact I didn't think I needed to upgrade. 2 weeks ago I found myself slipping while doing suicides and that is the moment the "new sneakers" thoughts popped into my head. After I jacked my knee I knew it was time to take the plunge. Now my punk instincts were at war with me over this decision. I haven't spent more than $40 on sneakers in probably 12 years I didn't want to buy anything made with shitty labor practices (although that is essentially unavoidable if you buy any new consumer goods these days) and I certainly wasn't going to buy anything that wasn't Vegan. I did some research and found out that I was probably going to have to spend $80 to $120 and that there were a lot of completely synthetic running sneakers. I figure I would rather spend $100 now to prevent long term injuries, then have to worry about those injuries in my almost certain healthcare-less future, especially since, up to this point, insanity hasn't cost me a thing.

So with my decision made, I went to Philadelphia Runner on 36th and Walnut. (http://www.philadelphiarunner.com/) The staff there was super helpful. They had me do a few exercises to see how I was landing on my feet and examined the wear patterns on the sneakers I wore into the store. They explained how my flat feet could use some stability support, but that I seem comfortable and balanced in my stance so putting me in a stability sneaker might confuse my form. We decided it would be best for me to try a cushioned sneaker. They measured my foot and brought out a few pairs of shoes that they thought would work best for me. I ended up getting a $89.99 pair of Asics and couldn't really be happier with my decision. They have a 2 week exchange policy no matter how worn in the shoes are which is also pretty comforting.

If you decide to take the insanity plunge, think about this before working your knee's and ankles in a pair of Van's. Ouch!


  1. hey! if you're actually thinking of switching to crossfit you might want to rethink your shoes. when i first started working out seriously about 3 months ago, i also bought cushy, supportive running shoes with pretty thick heels. i'm already thinking about buying new shoes because i've found that they're not right for crossfit at all. doing any lifting on cushioned sneakers can throw off your balance and kill a lot of your power. it's also controversial whether these types of shoes are actually even good to run it. but that may just be a bunch of hippies talkin...

    here's some info about shoes that are recommended for crossfit, and even for running (from a crossfit viewpoint, of course).

    i'm definitely making the switch, which is a bummer, because my running shoes were pricey! at the crossfit gym, often, they'll have us take off our shoes for lifts, if we have running shoes on, so our balance/form is better.

  2. Chris and I recently went to Philadelphia Runner, and I also agree that they were great! We spent around the same amount as you, but with little hesitation after the sales person (who has shadowed physical therapists) spent time with each of us talking about different options & benefits of each type of shoe. Mine are narrow and ultra-light to take some pressure off of my apparently too-flexible knees. I had no idea!
    - Lianna

  3. i had no idea philadelphia runner was giving diagnostic tests! i will definitely go there next time i need shoes! (they should give you a coupon, man).

    I once rolled my weak ankle going down stairs in my sauconys (they're o.g. jazzes, so they have a pretty high platform as far as running shoes go).
    i could probably use something with a thinner sole for insanity-like activities.