learning how to run

I've been an athlete my whole life, but I'll be the first person to say that I am a terrible runner.
I've never been particularly good at it, 
and I figured that so long as I was swimming, it didn't matter.
Fast forward 5 years post-college and swimming is a lot less convenient than running.
But when I run, I pretty much always end up looking like this:

^^^ holy death. image via Jordan Samuel Photography

I thought that by doing CrossFit, I could forgo running.
Well, I was wrong, and when I destroyed my knee, I learned really quickly that I had to make some adjustments. 
I'm just barely getting back into running, and I have a little bitty goal of 12-15 miles a week.
As my knee continues to heal, I have to be careful and pace my progress.
This is not my forte.

I've come to the fact that I will never be a great runner, by Ryan runs all the time for PT and the Army,
so it's something I'm passionate about doing with him.
We have a plan for 2014...
We are going to sign up for a 5k, a 10k and a half marathon. 

Here's the thing though...my shoes are shot, and while coddling my knee,
I have come to the realization that I desperately need new shoes.
My Saucony shoes are too heavy and cause wicked shinsplints, as do my Asics.
I've been running in my Reebok Nanos because they're lighter and they don't kill my muscles, but they obliterate my feet. 

I put out a call for advice on new running shoes on Twitter, and I got some great advice.
I've narrowed it down to a few choices per the running store and some lovely runners who spoke up.

^^^ images via here. here. here.

The Free Bionic shoe is probably the most minimalist of the three, but I've heard great things about it.
The Free 5.0+ is apparently lightweight and flexible, plus it has great reviews.
The Free Advantage shoe is marketed as a trainer, but I know distance runners who swear by its lightweight fit.

When did running shoe shopping become so difficult?
It's seriously making my head spin, and I really, really need new shoes so I can keep running.
Runners - or anyone for that matter - any advice about new running shoes for someone with a bum knee
and a history of wicked shin splints?
Also, have you tried any of these shoes? 
I'm desperate!

24 comments

  1. ahhh I wish I had advice for you but I have terrible foot problems! I want to be a runner so bad and my body can handle it, but my feet end up killing me a mile in and I've bought lots of different shoes and inserts! Definitely let us know what you come up with! Good luck :-)

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    1. I surely will! I want to LOVE running, but the pain in my poor feet, or knee, or shins, or achilles...it's never-ending. I need the perfect shoe!

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  2. I have the free runs and love them. They are so light weight and plus, I love all the color variations :)

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    1. I love the colors, too! I'm always so hesitant to invest in new shoes...sticker shock ;)

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  3. I will never learn to run, I'm lazy as hell..

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    1. Haha if I didn't run or work out, I'd be over 400 lbs

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  4. I ran cross-country and track all through middle and high school. Over the years I had Asics, New Balance and then Brooks running shoes (can't remember the exact models). I always got shinsplints and I found that the Brooks ones were the ones I had the least number of problems with. Even today, they're still what I wear when I run. I general though I would recommend shoes that have gel as opposed to air in the sole because they tend to be easier on your joints (they absorb the shock and are smoother). I hope you find shoes that work for you!

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    1. Oh, good call! I had air-soled shoes before, and those ones popped after a year, too, which destroyed the arches of my feet. Blergh.

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  5. As you know, i'm in the same boat and I get so frustrated with the whole process of finding the right shoe. I was so sad to throw my old running shoes away a few weeks ago. I kinda think running with my toes hanging through holes was a tad ineffective! haha

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    1. Hahaha I love us. I can't wait to compare running stories (and fails) with you :D

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  6. i want to love nike running shoes, but i just can't. i love asics. with that being said I LOVE to wear the nike free 5.0 around when i am not running (real helpful, i know)

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    1. I haven't had the best luck with Nike in the past, but some of the prices make it almost worthwhile to try! Needless to say, running in Nanos isn't doing me any favors haha

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  7. So, you escape Alcatraz, tell me more?

    Anyway, hi, my name is Corinne and I am to you from the grab a friend bloghop.

    Good luck with your running, I've never been a good runner either, but I've improved a lot since I actually started doing it consistently! You should read born to run, it's a great book and it actually says in there about how you don't need expensive running shoes, if your foot is over supported you run differently and it can cause damage. My running shoes cost me £20 and I've never had any issues with them!

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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    1. Hi Corinne! I've actually read Born to Run! It's remarkable and SO true. I've been gearing towards minimalist shoes, but I'm not quite there yet :)

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  8. That's too funny that you are planning to do a 5k, 10k and half marathon. John and I have planned train and work up to a half marathon too. I've been looking at the Free 5.0+. I don't know if they are the best choice but they are the ones that speak to me the most. Good luck and let me know which ones you actually get and if you like them!

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    1. I think I'm leaning towards the Bionic ones, but we'll see! Good luck with your running adventures!

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  9. What great goals for the New Year. My Husband and I are also slowly working on our running. We both stink and feel like we are dying...even after the normal 3 miles we do around the neighborhood. I wish you the best of luck with becoming a better runner! I have always chose Asics for my running shoe. I love them but those Nikes look really sweet as well!
    Best Wishes,
    Miranda Pridgeon
    Hurry Up and Wait

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  10. I have a bum knee too but I tend to stick to Adidas or New Balance for my sneaks so I can't help on the Nike debate. Hope you find one that helps!

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  11. Hi! I just bought my first ever pair of running shoes and loooove them. I spent some time at a running store and let them look at my feet/walk and we talked about the training I was doing. Have you done that? They helped me pick out the best style (stability) for me and the shoes I bought have been so perfect. I have some of the same running goals as you but I've actually run 8 5Ks in the last 6 months... so I think I need to make the jump to the 10K distance :) happy running!

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    1. That's actually what I did when I got my Saucony shoes, but I was still heel-striking then, so they worked for that. They didn't really correct my running, so now that I run toe-first, my shin splints happen worse with the Saucony and Asics shoes. It's so weird!

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  12. Ooo! I like the pink ones! I don't run... but they'd still be cute on my feet! hahah :P

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  13. I always look like a rat when I run, but the reason I do it is because I couldn't have done it before I lost this 118 pounds. I love being able to do something I never could have dreamed of doing before! I ran a VERY slow half marathon this summer and it was one of the greatest things I have ever done! Good luck with your races. Oh, and I run in Brooks and love them so look into those too if you get a chance!

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  14. The Nike Free running shoes aren't too bad. I had a pair a couple years ago and they served me quite well up until the end. I have patella tracking issues and problems with the Achilles tendon, and don't remember them bothering them when I wore them.

    Have you tried using KT Tape? I just started using that stuff this fall for my ankle and it has been a great help to me.

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  15. Having the right pair of shoes can make all the difference in running. I bought shoes specific to my feet this last go around and found that it really helped my knee problems and I have run two half marathons in them. I absolutely swear by Brooks now and so does the hubs who has them for his PT stuff. They are a little pricier but totally worth it in the long run.

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