It’s about a pair of shoes…and a pair of socks

I never knew the importance of a good pair of running shoes until I bought a new pair a couple weeks ago. My old pair had stuck by me since December 2011 and I was in desperate need of a new pair. They say you should get between 300-500 miles into each pair of running shoes before you’re due for another.

I had been noticing with the weeks leading up to my trip to the RunOn store that my running wasn’t up to my standards. I was losing my form, not running as far and simply pooping out sooner than normal. I knew it was the shoes, but for some reason I let it go.

I let it go for several more weeks when I got my very first shin splint. There are a few reasons why you can get shin splints. You may have overworked yourself or you didn’t stretch properly. I’m always so careful when it comes to injuries. I listen to my body and you can always find me stretching during and after my runs. Something wasn’t right and I kept going back to the fact that I needed new shoes.

After a few days of resting my legs, I continued making average runs on the trail. I have no idea why I waited as long as I did. It’s a really stupid decision if you think about it.

Finally, around early August, I made the decision to get some new shoes. I was fitted at a local RunOn store. The sales lady had me walk across the floor without any shoes or socks. She noticed a very minimal pronation. I was a little skeptical that she could find a good shoe all by simply watching me walk.

She headed to the back and came back with three different running shoes. I ended up choosing the Brooks Ravenna 3’s.

Here’s what the Brooks website says about them:

“Perfectly bridging the gap between Neutral and Support, the Ravenna 3 hits the sweet spot for a large number of runners. With a new last and adjustable midfoot saddle, expect a close fit that provides just the right amount of support for mild pronation. Underfoot features include Flextra technology, which offers optimal stiffness during the propulsion phase, and enhanced Omega Flex Grooves for more flexibility.”

My old shoes which were New Balance didn’t compare to these. The Ravenna 3 shoe is lighter and the cushion is perfect for what I was looking for. They breathe real nicely and they seem to have good support. These are meant for the generic runner. There’s nothing that really distinguishes this shoe. It’s just a really good general running shoe.

My first run wearing the Brooks Ravenna 3’s was awesome. I noticed a huge difference in how I was running and the distance I was covering was making me feel like a rockstar. The second run was one big suckfest due to a few reasons. I wore the wrong socks which lead to blisters on both heels. Also, these shoes have a higher back to them. It’s a deep shoe. I believe the purpose is support, but I wasn’t a huge fan about this part of the shoe.

I was still willing to give the shoes a shot, so I opted to buy some high ankle socks that wouldn’t ride too low. I ended up going with Feeture socks. They aren’t made out of cotton so they are very breathable and they have extra support in the arch. They also have an extra flap in the back to prevent heel blisters. Each sock is specifically made for either the right or left foot. They aren’t a unisex kind of sock.

Since then, I haven’t had any problems with my Brooks shoes or my Feeture socks for that matter. They complement each other really well. Even though I had some slight issues with my first pair of Brooks, I’ll stay committed to the Brooks brand. I just won’t stay committed to the Ravenna 3’s.

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