Going Natural

I’ve always been a natural kind of gal.  Growing up in Southern California, it’s been easy.  Shoes are an option.  Makeup just makes me late in the morning.  I prefer a wash and wear hairstyle.  I forget deodorant constantly.  It only makes sense that I would eventually gravitate to a natural running shoe.  As we all know, I’ve been enveloped in a harrowing search for the perfect running shoe.  I thought maybe I’d found bliss with New Balance but during the April Fool’s Half, I had the most extreme foot pain I’ve ever experienced.  I finally bit the bullet and bought these little numbers, the Newton Energy.


It’s a gateway shoe. 

These particular shoes are designed as a transitional shoe.  They’re pretty comparable to my fashion sneakers, yet they’re more breathable and have these funky little raised platforms called “lugs”.  I had no idea these even existed in shoes.  In theory, these lugs facilitate an easier transition from heel strike to a mid-foot strike, which lessens injury and pain.  Which is good because I do not like pain. Well, I’ve spent my first week with my new trainers and I just want you all to know, you’re witnessing something magical happening here.

I took two circuit classes and did two short, 1-2 mile runs in my new sneaks.  I started with easy runs to build up my tolerance, so to speak.  I followed these instructions from the Newton Running site, http://www.newtonrunning.com/run-better-1/form.  The shoes fit my wide foot nicely.  I usually have very little lace leftover and my shoes still feel tight.  These are nice and roomy with plenty of lace to spare.  I can wiggle my toes and my foot doesn’t spill out over the base.

I had zero foot pain during my workouts.  ZERO.  However, the day after my run, I had muscle soreness in all these new places.  My shins, the inside of my knees, my obliques and love handles ached the next day.  The biggest shock was how light I felt during my run.  The lugs work as a landing platform and make kicking off super easy.  One of my runs was up Mt. Rubidoux, a steep mile long hill that I’ve never been able to run before.  I still couldn’t run all the way, but there were moments of jogging that seemed effortless.  Needless to say, I felt nothing short of euphoria.

I’m hesitant to proclaim my love and devotion quite yet, because it’s only been a week and I haven’t used these shoes for any long distances.  But I’m rapidly approaching the point of no return.  I’m already trying to decide my next pair.  Should I go for mileage?  Speed?  The options have been blown wide open!  Newton may have just changed my running life.

Do you run natural?  Have you been contemplating the switch?  Any advice?  Share in the comments! 

My Feet are Trying to Kill Me

It’s that time of year.  In 2013, I logged a few Ragnars, a couple half-marathons, and some fun runs and my running sneakers have seen better days.  It’s widely known that I have a sick fascination with footwear.  I own  it all: boots, clogs, flats, Moccasins, Oxfords, Mary Janes, Espadrilles, and chunky heels. I have tap shoes and ballet shoes and boat shoes.  My Salt-Water Sandals, flip-flops, and Chucks come in every bright color, and my sock collection is even more impressive.  Knee socks and bobby socks and ankle socks and funky patterned socks.  My footwear is like a page out of a Dr. Seuss book.

But there is one type of footwear that I despise having to shop for.  And it’s all because of my stupid flat feet.

I’ve searched high and low for a running shoe that will not hurt my feet.  I’ve read articles and visited experts, all to no avail.  It’s always the same, it only takes minutes of running before my feet start to rebel.  It doesn’t help that I suffer from Air Jordanitis Syndrome.  It’s a side effect of growing up in the 90’s.  A tragedy really, it’s responsible for my compulsive tendency to believe that a new pair of shoes will actually increase my running speed and drastically improve my agility.  If I could only find THE pair of running shoes.  Similar to the holy grail or an easy diet, I’ve heard of their rumored existence, but I’ve yet to encounter them.

This is why I need your help, internet friends.  I don’t know which shoes to buy.  I have about 2 and a half months until my first big race of the season, plenty of time to break in a new pair of kicks.  Do I go minimalist or a trusted favorite?  Do I dare make the switch to a barefoot shoe? Do I just need to wear my inserts?  Show me the way, oh trusted internet!

I have narrowed my search to the following contenders.  All pictures have been borrowed from their respective links.

1. Saucony Omni 12


I currently own these and they’re not bad.  They worked out okay and still look pretty decent after a year of abuse.  They’re not perfect, I still have foot pain and lately I’ve been having some shin pain.  It’s unknown if this is caused by my erratic fitness regime or my flat feet but if there’s the hope of that perfect shoe out there, I simply can’t just settle for decent, right?

2. Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13


I took a little quiz on their site and this is the shoe they paired me with.  I’m not crazy about it, it seems all the flat foot friendly shoes aren’t very cute.  And we all know cuteness matters.  However, everyone raves about Brooks.  I have ran in Brooks before and they do have a more generous toe box, which I like.  But they’re so borrrrrring.

3. Mizuno Wave Sayonara


I have this good friend who writes this blog that I love and she seems to like her Mizunos.  This shoe is pretty light-weight and it looks snazzy too.  I like the mesh and it just looks fast.  This shoe definitely plays into my Air Jordanitis Syndrome.  I feel like it will shave minutes off my pace!


4. Merrell Road Glove Dash 2


I love this shoe.  I have been interested in trying out Merrell for a while now, but I’m extremely nervous about this whole “barefoot” idea.  This shoe just screams my style and it weighs a whopping 6 ounces.   And it’s adorable.  Have I mentioned how much I want to be able to run in these shoes?   My fear is that I want them to be “the one” more than they actually will be.  Kind of like that guy I dated in college.



5. Newton Energy

newtonNow, I hadn’t heard of these shoes until I started researching my options.  I googled “running shoes for flat feet” and into my life these little gems appeared. I love the style, I like the breathable mesh, and they have a kick-ass tread.  And it was Shoe of the Year.  I dig how wide they are, I’m no dainty dame and my Flintstone feet need a bit of accommodating.


As you can see, I have quite the decision to make.  What’s a stylish, yet comfort-seeking, gal to do???