The Most Important Gear: Shoes

The one thing that always pops up in story after story about running essentials… Shoes. It’s always said that the beauty of running is all you need is a good pair of shoes and you’re good to go.

(I tend to disagree. I need wicking clothing, and my knee straps, and my HR monitor, and my iPod with Nike+… With each new item I add to my arsenal, the more essential it becomes. When I get some kind of GPS, either in the form of Garmin or a foot pod to go with my Suunto watch, that will probably become essential as well. If I have to strap an antenna on my head while I’m out running, then maybe I will have crossed the line.)

But I am not going to argue the importance of good shoes. If you recall, a while ago I had to say goodbye to my Sauconys when my feet were hurting. It seems that I was mis-diagnosed as being a neutral foot when I needed a stability shoe.

I’ve been running in my Brooks Adrenaline 8’s for about 165 miles now. I really like them, they’re comfy shoes and the sores that I developed on the side of my toes have disappeared. And while I’ve had some socks cause little problems a couple times, the shoes have been great so far. And then Lisa from Discovering the Meaning of Stonehenge had to throw this warning out there about the Adrenaline 8 shoes being discontinued when the 9’s are introduced this winter.

Brooks says they are the same shoe, but if you read any of the reviews online it seems that people are always thrown for a loop when a new version is introduced. There are always some little tweaks, alterations and “upgrades” to the shoe. Sometimes those work for people and they fall in love with the shoe a little more. But often it seems that the changes throw the runner off and cause problems.

I don’t want to deal with that, so I’m probably going to be getting some spare 8’s sometime this fall to make sure I’m safe. The good thing about the discontinuation is that maybe I’ll be able to snag a good deal on a pair!


  1. Chris: I completely agree with you, shoes have the potential to make or break your running. The other gear essentials was sarcastic… a little bit! 😉

  2. LVGurl: I knew you’d appreciate the notice. In fact, if you didn’t comment I was going to forward it on to you, just to be sure you knew!

  3. Hi Jill,
    I have been having some knee problems (yepper, have the right shoes and insoles and all), so I am looking into some knee straps. What do you think of yours?

  4. Elizabeth: I tried some patellar straps that were unisex and hated them, they were painful and didn’t fit right. Then I found the Wellgate brand at Target, they make braces geared toward women’s joints and they work a lot better for me. My knee pain has been alleviated quite a bit since using them, but I’ve also done plenty of physical therapy too! My knee straps are now getting pretty worn out; after training and completing one marathon and half the training for a second, the velcro is pretty tired. Unfortunately, none of the Targets around me have been carrying the knee straps lately. They have the full braces, wrist braces, etc… but not the strap I need. But I did find them on Amazon and just placed an order for new ones. So the option is still out there!

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