New Balance shoes, which I used for around four years, including for my first full marathon at the SCMM 2012. Since mid-2012, I’ve been running on a pair of Reeboks for which I think I paid Rs. 2,200. My Reeboks are still in good shape though I run around 60-100kilometres per month on average. With my trusted Reeboks, I ran the Vasai Virar Mayor’s Marathon in October 2013. In addition, I have run five half-marathons in the last 18 months.
flatfooted and at one point in time, many years ago, had developed plantar fasciitis. I had been planning to experiment with a pair Bata PT shoes for sometime, but hadn’t been able to get hold of a pair since the Bata shops I visited didn’t stock them. Therefore, when while shopping for a school bag for my daughter, I saw a pile of Hi Fly shoes wrapped in polythene wrappers stacked up in a corner, I couldn’t help but buy a pair. It cost me all of Rs. 235.
The very next day, I went for a run wearing my new shoes. I decided to play it safe and stuck to my basic route, which is around 5.5 kilometres – from home to Carter Road, a single loop up and down the Carter Road Promenade and back home. My feet were instantly transported to a hard new world, one where every small pebble on the ground made a small impact, where my feet could easily make out the difference between sand, clay, gravel, asphalt and concrete. When after doing a few pull ups or dips on the exercise bars put up alongside the Carter Road Promenade (at the Khar end), I dropped a few feet to the ground, my feet felt the pressure almost as if I were barefoot. I enjoyed the new tingling feeling on my soles, despite the need to watch every step I took.
The next day, I did an extra loop of the Carter Road Promenade, which meant I ran around 8 kilometres and when I finished, I felt some pain around my shin bones and knees. I started to worry and gave myself a break of 2 clear days. Nevertheless, on the third day, I did three loops of the Carter Road Promenade, which meant my total mileage was around 10.5 kilometres. This time, there was no mistaking the pain in my knees, soles and shin bones as I finished my run.
I started wondering if my cheap running shoes would really work for me. I took a break of 3 clear days and ran 8 kilometres. The pain persisted. Another break of 3 clear days and the fourth day, I did my basic 5.5 km run, with a single loop of the Carter Road Promenade. The pain lingered and I was forced to take a week’s break from my morning runs.
When I started again, I wore my Reeboks and felt much better, though the discomfort lingered in a mild form. Two weeks later, my wife and I celebrated a new arrival in the family and I didn’t go jogging for the next two months, other than running around the flat, changing nappies etc.
Two weeks ago, I started again, wearing my Reeboks. The first week, I took it easy, doing basic runs of 5.5 kilometres every alternate day. This week, I’ve been running 8 kilometres per day, on alternate days. The pain in my legs has entirely subsided, though my knees still feel wobbly when I start my run each morning. I’m told that if one hurts one’s knees, the injury never fully heals, just as in the case of back injuries. I hope that my brief experiment with those beautiful Hi Fly shoes does not result in everlasting damage to my knees or other leg joints.
Now with that lesson behind me, I am wondering if I should gift myself a pair of Ascis, reputed to be the best running shoes, thought not too easy on the wallet. I think I will, before the next SCMM. As for those cheap Hi Fly shoes, I have packed them up and put them in a basket, knowing I’d never run with them again – I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away. It is quite possible that those might work for a runner who is a natural athlete with the right sized arches under his or her soles. If anyone wants to borrow them from me, please contact me and you may have them, provided you promise to treat it as a permanent loan and not return them to me.