My left knee has been bothering me: all the running that I've been doing has been aggravating it-no matter how much foam rolling I've been doing. So yesterday, I managed to carve out time to head to Jack Rabbit Sports (jackrabbitsports.com), a New York running/triathlon/yoga store. But they do something different there: they videotape your feet while you're running and then watch it on screen with you (much as you'd do during a golf or tennis training session). Wow. It was really incredible to watch what my feet do (and particularly my left foot) when they hit the treadmill while I'm running. Now I understand why my knee has pains: I hit the ground on the outer side of my foot and then my foot twists in slightly. I know why I do this: I had a Morton's neuroma (shooting pain from the toes through the flat part of my foot) on that foot about 20 years ago and took at least 3 or 4 years until I had it checked out (I was young and naïve and thought it was just the shoes I was wearing!). Anyway, my foot overcompensated for that pain...which is why I'm probably still conditioned to favor that area of the foot. (If you have a foot pain, get it checked out right away with a podiatrist...as the repercussions can last for years!)
Anyway, at Jack Rabbit, I ran in my current sneakers, and tried running in a couple of different sneakers that Terry (a most helpful staffer and top triathlete) had recommended for my feet. The winner: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10 (brooksrunning.com). They were so comfortable and they felt great to run in. Terry even showed me on screen how these particular "support" sneakers were helping to bring my foot into proper alignment when I run. Very cool! I can't wait to start running in them tomorrow!
But I share this experience because everyone's foot is different...there are so many sneakers out there. Go to a quality shop and have an expert assess your feet (don't go to a place like Sports Authority...which has the worst customer service)-and recommend the right shoe for you. And also, check out our bi-annual shoe review in Shape; we have thousands of women test out sneakers and we pick the best, for all different feet (see most recent here).
And don't forget to switch out your sneakers every 6-8 months (depending on how often you use them). Write the day you first wear them on the innermost flap of the sneaker so you know how long you've had them...and recycle the old ones. (Nike has a great program called Nike Reuse a Shoe, nikereuseashoe.com; check out a drop-off location near you.)