going back to neutrals?

10 messages
22/12/2012 at 22:27
Been using asics 2100 series for stability as fitted at a running store quite a few years back. Mid mileage runner and did first marathon last year but after a few injuries over last 12 months incl ACL and meniscus tears im thinking of going back to a neutral shoe as the asics just dont feel right and following discussions with the knee surgeon ive started thinking we shouldnt be messing with our natural gait. Anyone gone back to neutrals from years in stability shoe?
23/12/2012 at 04:13

Presumably you've run a lot of miles since your last gait analysis.  It's quite possible that your gait has changed.  Might be worth checking.

23/12/2012 at 10:47

I had similar thoughts after recovering from my knee op (for a torn meniscus).  I've also read "Born to Run" and the minimalist shoe approach kinda made sense to me.  I had been using various iterations of the asics 2000 series as well, although they were not linked to my injury, as that was caused by a cycling accident.

As my running is all pavement-based I didn't want to go the full minimalist approach, but found the Saucony range with reduced heel-to-toe drop that are marketed as transition to minimalist shoes.  I looked at the Kinvara, but opted for the Mirage which still has some support within it (and were on sale at the time ).  They are the only shoe I've bought that immeditely just felt right, and I'll happily stick with these in the future.

26/12/2012 at 23:59

I too have read born to run and am inspired to try natural running, but not before I do my first marathon in April. Those Saucony Miarage's look like a good shout though. They have some support but due to the 4mm heel drop I guess they encourage you to forefoot/midfoot strike. Is that right?

Seems the mirage 3 just came out so the mirage 2 are up for big discounts on Amazon right now. I just ordered a pair on a punt. I plan to use them for only my shorter 5 mile runs as I am currently out injured. I don't want to agravate things. I am sure my injury was caused by pronation. I thought I was midfoot striking but looking at my shoes the heels are worn away! I am hoping the mirage will help me fix this.

27/12/2012 at 09:33

I always had heavily cushioned stability shoes due to weak ankles with severe over pronation, I had loads of niggles that wouldn't go away in the knees & ankles & I only ran on the roads due to stability. After a while I drifted away from running as tbh my joints felt better when I wasn't pounding them on the roads, last year I had a resurgence of interest due mainly to a waist expansion I thought needed addressing, so I bought Nike Pegasus 29's which were ok but after reading up on minimalist running I bought some Inov 8 RoadX255's & tried to convert to a forefoot runner as all of my problems were ankle stability problems as a heavy ankle striker. Although the Inov 8's are great shoes, I get sore achilles & calf muscles so I reckon I need more cushioning, so I am going to try out Brooks Pure Cadence & Saucony Kinvara's. I don't think I need gait analysis if I continue down the forefoot route, just maybe running form clinics. 

27/12/2012 at 09:47

Andy from what I have read the soreness in the calves you are feeling is normal and to be expected. This is due to the change in the way you are running and you need to build those muscles up very slowly by running short distances barefoot or in minimalist shoes. I am a total beginner though so I may be wrong.

27/12/2012 at 10:55

Thanks, I've read that in many places too Khanivore, & although it was expected, it's worse than I thought it would be so I'm gonna try one of the more cushioned forefoot running shoes I mentioned, I would try Newtons but at £125 it's a pricey gamble.

Good luck in your Marathon BTW! 

Edited: 27/12/2012 at 10:58
27/12/2012 at 11:25
For the achillies and calf pain it's all about building up the mileage slowly. Once you get used to the new style of running it should start to subside. Rather than spend ??125 on new shoes why not alternate your sessions in the new shoes and your old ones
28/12/2012 at 14:51

I've done that Millsy, as instructed on Inov 8's website. (amongst others) I like running in the Inov 8's but really can't see me doing long runs in them.

28/12/2012 at 23:57
Sorry chaps, seems the email notifications aren't working so only spotted your responses when I checked back.

Born to Run is one of the books I've read, there's also mention of barefoot running in Running with the Kenyans and a few others. It all sounds like common sense, just let your body run naturally and stop messing with your biometrics. I think if I were trying to shave seconds off a PB and my main rival had better biometrics, it might matter. But that's not my game.

The saucony sound a good option to try. Less heel strike will take the stress off the joints and keep the knee surgeon happy

How many runners when told to stop running actually stop? Its just not an option for a good few years, I'm not even 40!

Some new shoes and a softer foot strike must surely keep the joints working for a while yet.

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