Ever since I started running 3 years ago, I’ve been in stability shoes. I was fitted for them and I found a pair that I loved. I asked before if I still needed them and was told that once you’re in stability shoes, you’ll never leave.
They’re like the Hotel California of running shoes apparently.
However, I’ve found out that this isn’t always the case and you can check out of that crazy hotel.
He explained that when shoes over stabilize, it can lead to hip injuries and IT band troubles. Interesting because I’ve had IT band issues training for my first half. I’ve had a strained hamstring. I’m currently now dealing with a hip issue. All on the same leg.
My right leg is a bit of a drama queen.
I was told by the therapist to be fitted for some neutral shoes. I was kind of amazed and also highly excited.
There are way more varieties of neutral shoes than there are stability shoes. I think running companies feel they can really get creative and unique with neutral shoes and with stability shoes, it’s a necessary product. They have to make them because they are needed but they don’t really want to.
I recently went and bought my first pair of neutral shoes. It was a great experience and I walked away with a fab new pair of kicks.
Running in neutral shoes vs. stability shoes is a very different experience.
Stability shoes are like hard little bricks. Because they have to have extra support to keep the foot moving in a forward stride there isn’t much give with them. There also isn’t a ton of cushion. They are already heavy because of the center support so adding in more cushion would weight them down even more. A heavy shoe is highly undesirable for running.
With all of that support, the shoe isn’t terribly flexible and it takes time to break them in. You can only break stability shoes in so much because eventually they’ll lose the cushion they do have and the support.
That means it’s time for new shoes.
I was replacing my shoes about every six months. If I was running a lot, then I would switch them out with the change of seasons.
Neutral shoes are the lightest things I have ever worn. Compared to the stability shoes, it is almost like I don’t have anything on my feet.
The first thing I noticed was that my foot had more movement because the shoe was more flexible. I could really feel the whole roll process from heel to toes as I ran. With stability shoes, you can never really roll all the way out to your tippy toes. Stability shoes just aren’t that flexible.
Neutral shoes, you have all the movement you want.
There is also a lot more cushion. With the neutral shoes being so light, it is like you are walking on little puffs of clouds. Or really fluffy slippers that conform to your foot.
Right now I’m in love with my new neutral shoes. Because of their flexibility and cushioning, I’m not sure if this means they’ll need replacing more frequently or not. I’ll have to see how it goes once I get back up to running more and increasing my mileage.
I have to say that I feel a little bit more free and not quite as restricted with the new shoes. Is that all in my head? I’m not sure but leaving Hotel California so far has been awesome.
If you run, what kind of shoes do you wear? Have you been able to switch out styles?