- I am bow-legged, more so on the right side.
- I have pretty average arches, but I walk on the inside of my right foot (which I think is related to my bowed leg on that side) so the right arch seems flatter when I do a footprint test.
- I have weirdly long middle toes that hurt a lot in some shoes.
- I think I overpronate, but when people watch me run, they say my gait is neutral. This usually results in buying neutral shoes and they never feel supportive enough.
- The idea of motion control shoes worries me because they always seem so heavy, and I'm not sure I need them.
- I have huge big toe callouses, worse on the right foot.
- I can stand heels-together, toes pointed way out (like ballet's first position) and bend my knees directly forward. It freaks people out.
Here are all the shoes I have tried in the last few years:
- I used to run in Asics 2100 series shoes. I liked them for a long time but then I got a pair that I didn't like, but I can't remember why. (Stability)
- A few years ago I replaced my Asics with a lighter weight pair, something in the GEL-1100 series. I thought it was weird to feel the road so much. I bought them because they were cheaper than the 2100 series. (Stability)
- The next pair of shoes I remember running in were Asics Nimbus. They were comfortable while I trained for my first 5k last year, but they gave me huge big toe callouses which hurt a lot. (Cushioned Neutral)
- Last summer I tried Asics Gel-Kayanos; they gave me bad toe blisters and I sent them back. (Stability)
- I also experimented with Newton Lady Isaacs, but injured my posterior tib tendon around the time I was wearing them and haven't worn them since. (Neutral)
- I bought Salomon Crossmax Neutral trail shoes, but they came up to high for my ankles. Thinking back on it, I was actually wearing these shoes the first time my posterior tib tendon hurt. I was on a long run and was trying to emulate the foot strike I had when wearing the Newtons. Maybe this was a bad idea. I took advantage of Zappos super liberal return policy with these, and got myself some non-running-shoes. (Neutral)
- I tried NB Trail Minimus last fall, but I only ran in them a few times, around the time I got injured. Haven't worn them for running since. (Minimal)
- I bought Brooks Pure Cadence at the end of last year. I loved the cushioning. I wore them once a week for 3 milers for a while, but then one day my posterior tib hurt so I've shelved them until after the marathon. (Not sure what to call these.)
- I ran in Brooks Trance 10s last fall while while I was recovering from my injury. They seemed okay at the time but the Ravennas ended up being my favorite of the two. The Trance seem really stiff in comparison, like I'm running with bricks on my feet. (Stability)
- I also tried Brooks Ghost; not supportive enough. (Neutral)
The inside left toe is also worn, just not as much. So I think that settles that. I need stability shoes. But do I need motion control shoes? I'm not sure. I don't think I can be "severely overpronating" if the people at the running store who watch me run say that my gait is neutral, right?
For the past week I've been obsessively shoe shopping, since my feet are starting to ache in my trusty Ravennas. I've used every shoe finder there is, and they all give me different results. I ordered 3 pair last week (Mizuno Enigma - too small, Mizuno Creative - ran in them today, lots of weird aches and pains, Brooks Glycerin - don't seem supportive enough). These are all neutral shoes, so I'm not surprised they didn't feel right.
After more research today, I've made a list of shoes to try on. These are all stability shoes:
- Brooks Adrenaline + Ravenna 3
- New Balance 860, 993, 1260, 1770
- Asics 2170 (I still have a soft spot for these, even though my last pair in this series wasn't great)
- Mizuno Nirvana + Inspire
If you're still reading, you're my hero. Please tell me how you found your perfect shoes.