The Gear:

Is it really necessary to size your running shoes up one half size larger? The general consensus on the web seems to be yes. Feet swell, particularly when they are running long distances over uneven terrain. Sizing up a half size is supposed to combat blisters and tightness.

This week I splurged, on new shoes for my big day. I had reached the halfway mark and so I decided to hit Road Runner Sports to see what they had in stock.

I had already done a bit of research. I have high arches… I determined this by wetting my feet and standing on a piece of construction paper. Very little of my foot actually touches the paper and makes a mark thus signaling a high arch. High arches demand arch support and a lot of cushioning. I have always been a runner but generally averaged about 7 – 10 miles per week. I have experienced some difficulties because of my high arches before, but more on this later.

Road Runner does a thorough job. The sales person asks for: a running history, what the shoe will be used for, and what you shoes you are currently wearing. I was asked to take off my shoes and to walk several feet while stepping on a pad with one foot, than the other. The pad uses sensors to measure where one distributes his/her weight. I studied this with the sales person. I ran on a treadmill for about 15 seconds; this was filmed and the footage was analyzed to see the placement of the foot and to look for problematic patterns. My foot placement was fairly even. So we decided upon a neutral shoe with a lot of cushioning, but still fairly lightweight.

So far, so good… Here is where things go a bit astray. Road Runner suggests sizing up about a half a size, so while there was a good selection I only tried on shoes in a size 9. I generally wear and 8.5. Now that I have had them home for a few days I am having second thoughts. Not about the shoes, I love the Mizunos I finally settled on. I’ve been wearing New Balances for the last few years and think they make great shoes. I wanted a change, Mizunos are new to me and people on the web seemed to be die hard fans. I just wish I had tried on a 9 and and 8.5. The verdict is to be determined.

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