Lately on runs, the tell-tale creaks in my bones and accompanying knee twinges indicate I need to replace a pair of running shoes. I haven’t really blogged about them because a while back I started rotating several pairs. It has really helped me a lot and I have been relatively happy with the runners in rotation (three total.)
As I was digging sandals out of the depths of my closet and making sure they were still wearable I had a light bulb moment*: whenever I tie my runners it’s an ordeal. USUALLY they’re too tight and I have to readjust after I start running. More than once. If the laces are tight and I ignore it my whole foot tends to cramp up and I start the,”I hate this run!!!” saga. It’s the one nagging issue that has kept me from falling head over heels for a particular pair.
So this light bulb moment was not about supinating, pronating, high arch, low arch, or any of that jazz this time. I have high insteps. For my last pair I decided to up the runners another size (so normally 6.5 to 7.5 or 36 to 38) It probably looked like I was running in athletic clown shoes instead! My feet have about 3,495,743,957 “thumb lengths” in the toebox. Despite this, the larger pair of runners were more comfortable due to the fact that I could tie them without it feeling like someone was going to saw my foot into pieces. (Ok, maybe that’s a bit of a hyperbole.) I inherit this from my mother and I can usually skirt around it when buying other shoes.
However, for a comfortable pair of runners, I would love more room at the top to accommodate my abnormally steep instep. Who knows why it took me so long to realize this because if I had thought about it objectively earlier I probably would have saved myself the grief. Instead I was engrossed in performing the wet test and reading about the characteristics of high arches and new shoe rubber technology.
How much would you all hate me if I proposed that Asics, New Balance, Mizuno, Books, etc. now added different levels of “instep fit” to their shoes? Just think about it. We’d have more articles to read and even MORE combination’s of runners to obsess over and compare. Imagine the running store employee telling you, “After your foot analysis we’ve seen that you are a moderate over pronator with flat arches, a wide width, and a medium instep. So this means you’ll be best suited for a shoe like the Gel Foundation 8’s with D width and Y instep but you also should think about an after market insole.”
Oh, you’d hate me that much? Ok, I’ll just keep my Yeti feet to myself and deal with it.