Eric Van De Vens Blog

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New Shoes!!

Today was the day I went on the “shoe hunt”. I have been researching running shoes since the first calf injury. It became apparent that the New Balance 400s were not going to be the running shoe for any distance. The tightness in my calves just from wearing them was bad enough. The injuries, at least in my mind, can also be attributed to these shoes. Not to the shoes themselves, but to the shoes with respect to them not being the proper size or design for the application.

I had three stores to choose from. The Runners Depot and two others that were recommended to me. I spoke with “Tom” at the running depot and explained my knee issues as well as the problems I was having. He said to come in and he would take care of me.

When I got to the store, I explained to him in great detail, my injuries, surgeries, related aches and pains and everything I felt he needed to know. He then asked me to stand in one position for ten seconds and then walk about 20 feet, turn around and walk back. I followed his instructions and he then told me that most likely, due to my knee injury, my left foot is wandering off in one direction while my right foot is going, more or less, straight.

This was going to make finding a set of shoes more difficult than with other people as it eliminates quite a few types of shoes. I needed some type of control shoe, but, one that wouldn’t affect my right foot, while correcting my left foot.

The first issue was to get the right size shoe. I would recommend that everyone go to a foot specialist in order to get their feet sized to their shoes correctly. As recently as last year, my Sketchers were size 9, standard width. My New Balance shoes are size 10 2E width and those were purchased from Sports Authority and using the metal foot measuring device, those were supposed to fit. They always did feel tight!

Tom just looked at my feet and said, “Those shoes are the wrong size”! We started off with a size 11 2E and they were too long and not wide enough. Then we went with a size 10.5 and 4E width. The shoes I was trying on were just to get the size right and did not end up being the shoes I bought. Now that the size was correct, time to actually select a shoe.

The problem now is that there are even greater limits when you go to wider widths as a majority of manufacturers do not stock wider shoes. You can get them via special order, but that doesn’t do you any good while you are sitting in the store.

I tried on several types of shoes as I also need a set of “walking around” shoes. The choice came down to Asics or Brooks. I may still try to get some New Balance shoes in the future via the web, where I can return them if they don’t fit. I need a new pair of shoes now as I am closing in on the six month window approaching the Disney 1/2 marathon.

Eventually, the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11s won out. The Asics Evoloutions were a close second, but wearing one shoe of each brand, showed me the difference in fit and comfort. Although minor, the Brooks fit better. The final cost with tax was $106.00 and included a free new pair of fancy running socks!

Now that this is out of the way, I can continue my running, except, that while testing out the various shoes, my left calf injury reared its ugly head! I will see how it feels tomorrow morning and if it is OK, I’ll start running again. Tomorrow is also “Legs” day at the gym.


March 2, 2011 - Posted by | Running | , , , , , ,


  1. I hope those shoe’s work out for you.. That is a difficult issue, what the sales person pointed out to you. I remember seeing those shoes the last time I was at the running store, they are nice shoes. We have a little mom and pop sports store, in the city I live, where I buy all my running stuff. They are excellent as they will return ANYTHING even a month down the road, including shoes, if they aren’t working out for the purchaser. Every city needs a store like this. Shoes can be expensive and when you have to make a decision and can’t return after wearing, it can be difficult


    Comment by bearrunner | March 2, 2011 | Reply

  2. Being able to get properly fitted and the return policy were the reasons I didn’t bother going to the other two stores. This guy knew what he was talking about and also had the same injury, only not as severe, as mine.

    After my second knee surgery, I noticed that my left leg pointed out more than my right one. I didn’t think anything of it at the time.
    Getting old sucks!

    On another note, I was reading your post about running and the temperature being 2 degrees. My wife is starting to jog and yesterday she said she couldn’t run because it was “wet” out!It had just rained. I may have to motivate her a little bit more!

    Comment by magnuminsp | March 2, 2011 | Reply

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