Bad Running Shoes Are Bad (for me at least)

Posted September 9, 2019 in running  |  No Comments so far

Here’s some boring stuff about running shoes.

For a long time I was running in Saucony Guide 10s. The heel wore out in them quite quickly but otherwise they were great. Once I’d made it to around 500km in one pair of them, I’d buy another pair of the same shoes. I ran the London Marathon in Guide 10s. But once my third pair had been exhausted, that was that.

You see, running shoes are only around for a certain amount of time before they get “upgraded”. Manufacturers tweak the design of a shoe and release a new version, usually every year or two, with similar characteristics and aimed at more or less the same cohort of runner. When the new design comes out, the older form of the shoe stops being made and eventually disappears from the shops. That’s what had happened to the Guide 10 by the time my third pair was done for.

This didn’t seem like it would be a big problem. There were new versions of the Guides which would presumably be similar to the Guide 10s, so I bought a pair online without trying them, thinking they would be good. These new shoes were called Guide ISO 2 and they are, in fact, bad. For me anyway.

When I first tried them on with the orthotic insoles I wear, it was clear right away that they were going to be bad. The insoles are a bit thicker than the standard ones that come with running shoes, and while I’d worn them with maybe three or four types of shoe without issues, these Guide ISO 2s were a different story. My heel felt like it was half out of the shoe.

To stop the heels from actually popping out of the shoes when I run, I need to lace them so tight that my feet are glowing red when I take them off afterwards. Lacing shoes with such severity isn’t good for you really. And even with this extreme lace tightness my heels have still suffered greatly in the 50-odd kilometres I’ve run in these shoes. The issue is that, because the heel of the shoe is so low down, it’s rubbing against a part of my foot that it’s just not designed to be in contact with.

I posted earlier in the year about having to stop running because I injured myself. I didn’t mention at the time that these shoes, which I’d just bought, were a big part of the reason why. The feeling of the heel popping out of the shoe was so disconcerting that I switched out of my custom insoles and ran in the standard ones. True enough, the heels were much more stable with the standard insole, but that run, without my own insoles, put me out of action for nearly three months. Lesson learned.

As I’ve returned to running I’ve kept my insoles in the shoes and have hoped that my feet and the Guide ISO 2s would come to some arrangement, with one moulding the other into a shape that wouldn’t cause me severe pain with each step. But I have to accept by now that it’s not going to happen and these shoes are a lost cause, for me at least. With the next shoes I buy I’ll definitely need to try them on first.

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