Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hope for a Blister-free Existence

I'm taking a scary leap here...trying a completely new brand of shoes. I've been running in Asics for about three years, and before that in Sauconys. Today I bought a pair of Brooks Adrenalines as my second pair of shoes. I talked with the shoe kid, we talked about my chronic blister on the underside of the bunion on my left foot. I mean really chronic - from five mile runs to 50Ks I come out with varying degrees of blister in the same spot. We talked about my lovely toes. He watched me run, he described the shoe and why he thought it would be good.

The real selling point was the feel though. I know this is strange, and I mentioned it before - my foot leaves the insole of my shoe when I run. It lifts off. I know that's wrong, but that's how all my shoes have fit. The only time it hasn't was in the Asics Nimbus, which was too narrow in the forefoot and gave me bonus blisters. The Adrenaline doesn't do it - my foot stays in contact with the insole, and I don't have to crank down on the laces to get it to feel snug enough. Plus, the forefoot feels roomy but not sloppy. I have hope.

I'm gonna say hope though, not confidence. I've been through this before, the knowledgable shoe store guy, really checking out my foot, working to find the best fit. I think he was close back then, but not quite there. I hope that this time it will be better, that my new shoes and I will be a match made in heaven, that chronic blisters will fade away...and...dare I hope for this? My toes will heal, my nails will stay on and...I will wear polish again...all this and long distances too. Because, yes, I know the answer. All those things will happen if I leave the long distances behind. Call me a dreamer, because I want it all. Pretty toes, unblemished feet, lovely hot pink polish. Imagine, hot pink toes peaking out of my Birkies, a thing of beauty for all the world to see. I had them once, I want them again.

I won't get to test them till Thursday, because I'm tapering a little this week for Orcas. And, because they are a whole new shoe, I'm going to ease into distances with them. Run in them next week, then maybe wear them for half the Six Hour run on the following weekend. I'm hoping to wear them for at least half the 50 mile run too. I've got the trail run in trail shoes at Orcas, so who knows if I'll get away blister-free there, but maybe I can from the Six Hour. I can't even think about what might happen to my tender feet at the 50 mile. Let's not talk about that, okay?

I was going to offer proof right here that once my toes were pretty. I remembered a picture with pink polish. I went back to find it, but it turns out that four toes were pretty and one was gnarly, so you are just gonna have to trust me on this one. They were pretty once - prior to the spring of 2006. It's been a downhill slide from there.

29 comments:

Sunshine said...

What a great journey with the shoe exploration. I figure you don't know what you might be missing if you don't try something new. (This applies to shoes, but possibly not some other things!)
I dump just a little Blister Shield in my Merino wool socks. But then I never do more distance than a marathon.
Go for pretty toes, Dear!!!

Wes said...

I can vouch for the Adrenalines :-) I definitely love mine, and plan to still run in them once in a while! I've only had two blisters in 18 months. One was on my heel when I wore socks that were two small. I got one after the first marathon. I can also vouch for the Mizuno Wave Inspires. They have a nice roomy toe box, and have yet to give me a blister either.

Good luck! It will be fun to see how your experience goes.

Sunshine said...

Ooops, so sorry. Not meaning to give answers.. just what works for me. (This is what comes from being a newcomer.)
Anyway, sure do wish you happy journeys and pretty toes.

Nat said...

I love my Brooks Ariels. (I have weird toe issues.) I get blisters under my toenails.

Anyway good luck with the shoes. :)

Journey to a Centum said...

Oh no... not more toe stuff!

Finally got you over the the dark side with some bad-ass Brooks. The zillion or so pairs I've worn out have done me good. I hope you have found running shoe nirvana. I guess we will know in a couple of weeks.

Trail Scat

angie's pink fuzzy said...

the adrenalines are nice shoes...i liked them...

robtherunner said...

Well it's about time you got a "real" pair of shoes. I still say spare us with the pictures of your feet, pretty or not. Have fun at Orcas!

L said...

Yikes! I hope you've found the right shoe... there is nothing better!

Sunshine said...

Really dear and gracious of you to send that last comment.

olga said...

I like Brooks a lot, so lets hope. While I could care less about pink nail polisher, and often can avoid blisters, I gave up on exsitance and prettiness of my toenails:) Sandals be gone!

Thomas said...

I don't have your problems, but my quest for the perfect shoe is still ongoing. At the moment I really like the Mizuno Wave Riders, but I hope the salesman came up with a good suggestion for you. Good Luck!

Gotta' Run! said...

I hope these new shoes do the trick for you. If so, we'll just have to having a nail-painting party! Some pretty pink polish and a nice silver toe ring will only enhance your already "royal" style! Boa Sorte!

Cat.

Irene said...

Finding just the right running shoe is tricky. I hope the Brooks work for you! Keep us posted!

Joe said...

Adrenelines are awesome...I don't think you are an over-pronator...they stand a good chance of working. And can't be any worse, right??

Pink toenails...there's the real goal!!

Anne said...

The new shoes sure sound promising. And I know exactly what you mean about keeping toenails hidden. I don't think I'll ever have the nerve to get a pedicure.

Makita said...

Depending on the crowd, I generally wear flip flops and open toed shoes with pride, black toes and blisters are battle wounds... but more frequently wish that I, too, could wear polish. I think I've found my shoe (Asics 2120) as well. We'll see what this season brings.

Annette said...

I do hope these shoes are the answer. Your poor toes need relief! (Not to mention the fact that they just haven't felt pretty lately.) :)

Addy said...

good luck with your new shoe! I've been wondering myself if I should try something new that might not give me blisters. It's always a risk to leave behind a known, if slightly faulty, brand. Hopefully these will be a perfect match!

Tom said...

It's not fair that experienced runners have to deal with blisters. We all got those in gym class when we weren't smart about footwear.

Hope you get some relief. The best assessment of the right shoe is good old fashion comfort. If they feel right, that's the test for me.

Good luck with your shoes and may your feet be friction-free.

Meghan said...

Michelle,

Yikes, you have a lot of persistence to run with those perpetual blister issues. I also run in a few varieties of Brooks, and can happily vouch for them. However, your feet are your feet!

Catching up on your blog has me even more intrigued about Pilates. I don't live close to a gym replete with fitness professionals, but your blogging about teaching and learning about Pilates has my interest piqued for someday.

Good luck this weekend!
Meghan

runliarun said...

Here's for a blister-free existence! How lovely it would be if this would simply work out, and the Brooks are the answer. Every woman deserves to enjoy pretty toes :).

Sarah said...

I love my Adrenalines! I've worn them exclusively (for roads) as long as I can remember. I hope they work for you.

Try@thlete said...

I hope you find running bliss in those new shoes. I couldn't do with another gross toe pic!

Jenny, Maniac #401 said...

Well, you know I love the adrenalines (except the 7's). So I am hoping for the best for you. I hope you have a greeat time this weeked at Orcas. I hope you and Margaret are able to keep those boys in check!
Jenny

Jack said...

I had a pair of Adrenalines that fit perfectly, but then Brooks changed something in the following year's model and I had lots of blisters - go figure.

scott keeps running said...

i love my adrenalines, too. i'm scared to try anything else. i haven't tried on the 8's yet, but am looking forward to it. (yes, i'm looking forward to trying on a pair of shoes. are we addicted or what?)

maybe you should try running barefoot. i've thought about it but not too much. :)

Darrell said...

I hope you end up liking your new Brooks. I love my Trance and Adrenalines, but then again with my recent spate of injuries it may be time to seek out some professional shoe advice from my local shoe guy.

Sarah Elaine said...

Looking forward to hearing your next report on how the shoes are working...

Dori said...

Maybe the problem is your bunion? I had bunions surgically removed from both my feet years ago and I'm so glad that I did! It's not pleasant to go through, though. There was an article there on bunions and big toes in a recent issue of Runner's World. It included some exercises you could do.