“A shoe is not only a design, but it’s a part of your body language, the way you walk. The way you’re going to move is quite dictated by your shoes.” Christian Louboutin
People think so often that shoes make or break the run. I’ve heard and also said myself, “omg, my IT band hurts because I need new shoes”…or…”oh this pain means I need to go buy another pair of shoes.”…or…”Maybe ill try a different brand of shoe because I can’t seem to kick this injury.” Or let’s be honest, we get shoes or brands because they are cool and everyone has them. But how do you really know if a shoe is right or wrong for you?
This is really something I truly do care about….little do most runner friends of mine know that I spent an entire year figuring out what shoe is best…..(why I did that i’m not sure anymore…) neutral…stable…zero drop…nike…brooks…adidas….oh my goodness there are so many options! So it was a great year of collecting shoes, but in that same time, I was also changing my entire style of running. When I started running, I was a mega heel striker…ya know, past soccer player/non runner that really just runs because she is chasing something (or being chased). So when that style of running equated to a brigade of injuries, I needed to make a change! So, I became a midfoot striker under the guidance of two PTs. Sure, I kept changing my shoes, used inserts, and crazy shoe accessories, but really what it was…I needed to just pick a shoe and let my body naturally run in that shoe. If it worked, awesome, and if it didnt, try again. Not that one needs a “natural” or “minimal” shoe….but one needs to feel good in the shoe they wear! And when you know, you know. So 3 years later…at the humbling age of 30….I finally figured it out!…time to be in a shoe that actually honors my natural style…
So with that being said, I turned to the ALTRA Olympus shoe. LOVE IT. Still love it. But even then, I get shoe brain and want to wear ever single ALTRA shoe they have in stock. Well, just because one ALTRA works perfect for me, doesn’t mean they all will.
I wear the Olympus on the road and trails….AWESOME. People wonder how I can be speedy on the road with a bulky looking shoe….personally, I don’t even notice!
I gave into peer pressure. I got a pair of Torin 1.5 ALTRAs and ya know what, they are awesome but not for the same reasons. The Torins are not my pick for long distance running. Nope. They feel great hiking and for the speed work I do. So, yes, I’m that runner at the track or gym (or outside in the city or trails) carrying a few pairs of shoes with me to change into and out of. Kinda high maintenance, I know, but in order to honor the needs of my body, I know the Olympus will always be my pick for racing ultra distances, and the Torins will be for short road work. If I notice a trail course is fairly flat similar to a road, I may opt to go with the Torins.
I have read current research that having one type of shoe is the best way to go. I still disagree for myself. I think its good to not only alter workouts, speed, and terrain, but to advance as a runner, one has to also change-up the shoes….work those stabilizers even more! I currently alternate depending on the workout between ALTRA Torin 1.5s, ALTRA Olympus 1.5, and the ALTRA Olympus…the old version. I still love them too!
So once you know, you know. Your body talks to you; listen to it. Forever will I be an ALTRA kid, but I also have to keep it real…some of the shoes may not be what I need given the direction I want to go as a runner.
On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best thing ive ever worn in my life on my feet), I give the Torin 1.5 an 8. 🙂