Running shoes have fixed my injuries, and caused my injuries. From 1995 to 2004 I ran in Nike Air Structure stability shoes, heel striking from injury to injury. In 2004 I read a magazine article about a Romanian coach, Nicholas Romanov, who advocated forefoot striking. I found that I could keep up with faster runners, with my heart rate lower. In 2005 Nike came out with the Free, with a flexible forefoot and a barefoot feel that makes forefoot striking easy. I ran injury-free in Frees until 2015. Then I got metatarsal inflammation in both feet. Physical therapists and a podiatrist saw my crooked toes and bunions and told me to do “yoga toes” exercises, to no effect. After more than a year, my massage therapist, Kevin Jordan, looked at the muscle chart on his wall to see what connects to the metatarsals — my plantar fascia. Plantar fasciitis is usually painful where your plantar fascia connects to your heels, but maybe I had plantar fasciitis where my plantar fascia connects to my metatarsals. I bought a new pair of Nike Air Structures and the inflammation and pain was gone in three days.
Over the years I’ve run less and less as I’ve passed my 40s and am in my 50s. In the spring of 2018 I decided to “turn back the clock” and do three hard workouts a week. By May my lateral quads hurt so much that I couldn’t run more than once a week, just 5K.
Months of “days off” didn’t fix the problem. In January I decided to get a new pair of shoes. Maybe a pair of those Nikes with the carbon fiber plates? The reviews raved about the Nike Air Zoom Fly 3. $160 was lot to try a pair of shoes I wasn’t sure about, but then I saw that Nike had marked down some colors that weren’t selling to $128. Three days later a pair of hot pink Nikes were delivered to my house. I can’t imagine why men aren’t buying this color.
My lateral quads pain was gone as soon as I ran in these shoes. And they’re the funnest shoes I’ve ever worn. I can’t run slowly in these. The shoes “pop” when I pick up the pace. I want to run fast.
This led me to buy Brian Metzler’s recent book Kicksology. Brian is another Boulder, Colorado runner, and founder and editor of Trail Runner magazine. I started reading the book, then looked to see if it’s available as an audiobook. It is, and I happily listened to the book while running in the Zoom Fly 3's.