Red Lights

I had a great run this morning.  It was raining lightly, but I don’t mind that at all.  It’s actually very refreshing.  I was thinking about the shoes that I run in and how much I have learned about foot wear since I began running with my clinic.  I am not too sure if I have ever shared with you the information about ‘heel to toe ratio’.  If you have shin splints all the time then it is likely the shoes you are running in have too much of an elevated heel on them.

When I first started with the running clinic I had gone out and purchased a pair of NIKE Shocks.  I thought they were one of the best shoes out there for running.  When I first began I often would end up with leg pain, particularly the shins.   I thought initially it was simply because I was just getting back into it and this should be expected.  A few weeks after I had joined the run club,  I got down to the store on a Tuesday evening a little early.  One of the guys that works at the store began chatting with me and I asked him about shin splints and how long they usually last.  He said I shouldn’t be getting shin splints and if I was, it was likely because of the shoes I was wearing.

When I told him what I was running in, he advised me that those are one of the worst shoes to run in because they have such a high elevation in the heel.  So began the education on the heel to toe ratio.  I took my shoes off and he watched me walk back and forth.  He noted that my right foot rolls outward and I explained that I had a crooked foot.  I did a few other things and then he measured my feet and headed upstairs.  He came down with three pairs of shoes.  Two of them were ASICS and the other ADDIDAS.  I put on the ASICS and I could not believe how comfortable they were.
I purchased them and from that moment on, I never experienced shin splints again.  I now run in NEW BALANCE 890’s.  They are 30% lighter than the ASICS and I really do notice the difference particularly if I am at the end of a run and fatigued.  I have tried the Five Fingers but I definitely need support.  Man, I can feel every pebble.  It really is like running barefoot.  We were told that those take a lot of time to break into.  They also say they are for trail running.  Ouch!  That’s all I gotta say.  I think of the trails here in Vancouver that we have run on and I would find the Five Finger shoes really painful actually.

In any case, I digress.  If you are a runner and you have issues regarding shin splints, find a shoe that has the right heel to toe ratio for your foot.  You will be amazed at the difference this will make.  And we are all different in this regard.  I have relatively flat feet with a subtle arch and my right foot points slightly outward by about 15%.  I also find that running with a mid-foot landing works best for me as well.

And if I haven’t shared this with you, now I have.

On the drive in this morning I think I hit every red light.  Curious how that happens, yes?  I sat in my car singing to the songs that I liked, laughing at some of the antics the DJ’s were up to.  It is a dark and very grey morning here in Vancouver but that’s okay.  We need the rain.  And as I hit red light after red light I thought of how good it feels to run, to move.  I thought of how very fortunate I am to be able to do this.

There is a woman at my gym who just recently started working out there.  When she first started to come to the gym she had a cane.  She is likely in her 30’s.  She no longer needs the cane though she is still limping.  I told her yesterday that she was moving so much better that when she started.  We got into a conversation and I asked about her leg.  She had fallen off her bike a few years ago and broken her tibia…badly.  She has had a number of operations on it.  I applauded her for wanting to get back to it and get in shape.  It is the best thing she can do for her physical self and will make the leg that much stronger.

So yes, I do appreciate the fact that I am still able-bodied.  At some point I should make it to work, even though these red lights seem to be never ending.  Enjoy your day.



2 thoughts on “Red Lights

  1. Hi Nancy. Great post. I have problems with my feet as well. What, exactly, I don’t know as yet, but I’ll be having a pedorthic assessment in the very near future. I look forward to finding a solution to this issue, for I too love to run, and your words about how dramatic a difference having the right equipment can make have got me excited.


    • I wore orthotics for many years. I had an operation on my foot when my daughter was a baby. The bone was growing out so walking had become really painful. The fact that I can run again is a godsend. If you ever want to buy runners, go to The Right Shoe at 4th & Fir St. That is the place I run out of but everyone who works there is educated on assessing each customers’ individual needs. Talk to you soon. Thanks.


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