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This isn’t quite a typical Human Guinea Pig post — if there can be such a thing as typical when we’re only comparing it to two previous posts.
I haven’t really tried any new products recently. But I did want to write a post about sneakers, specifically the sneakers that have made exercising a pleasure (almost) for me.
For years, I bought whatever exercise sneaker was on sale. I did no research before going to the store and picking out a new pair.
Meanwhile, I noticed that my arches hurt if I walked for a long time (like, more than 20 minutes. That’s a long time for me, OK?). Also, I seemed to sprain an ankle every couple of months, especially the left one. I broke that ankle in 2004 and it never healed quite right.
One day, I was flipping through the newspaper and ran across a column that talked about how to pick out the right kind of shoe for the type of exercise you’re doing and to solve specific foot problems. The article (which of course I can’t find, because it was at least three years ago) mentioned a couple of things that sounded like what I was having trouble with.
I think now is a good time to put in the standard “Please talk to your doctor or a podiatrist if you believe you have either of these problems or any other foot problems. For that matter, talk to a doctor before starting an exercise program.”
Based on that article, I began to suspect that I was an overpronator and had flat feet, possibly caused by the fact that I was doing high-impact exercise and needed to lose 75+ pounds. I started researching shoes that were designed for people with these problems. I found running shoes by Saucony called ProGrid Stabil CS, and let me tell you, they felt like heaven.
Now, I can’t get into all the fancy specifics of why the shoe feels good on my foot. The description of the shoe talks about “superior motion control” and stuff. Here’s what I can say: I’ve tried a couple of different brands and Saucony doesn’t hurt my arch. I also haven’t twisted or sprained my ankle since I started wearing these shoes.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s a clunky looking shoe. It has a lot of sole, and not in the “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” kind of way (see what I did there? Ahahaha). It doesn’t have a defined arch, so it looks kind of like a marshmallow on your foot. But looks are not as important as finishing an hour of medium-intensity cardio or spending the day walking around New York City without wanting to surgically remove my feet. These shoes fit the bill.
I had a hard time finding another pair of ProGrid Stabil CS in my size a few weeks ago, so I bought the ProGrid Stabil CS 2 and hoped for the best. It does not look as much like a big-ass marshmallow on your foot, and I was worried they would hurt my arches. But so far, so good. They’re a little lighter, a little sleeker but it feels just as good.
So the Saucony ProGrid Stabil shoe works well for me. To find a shoe that works for you, think about what kind of foot pain you’re having and talk to a podiatrist or your doctor about what kind of shoe might be better for you.
Rating: 4 stars out of a possible 4
Cost: From $75 to $120
Available online or at running stores. Visit http://www.saucony.com/store/SiteController/saucony/home for more information.