Bridge to 10K

Shoes - and my disastrous 89th parkrun

My parkrun PB is 29 minutes - today's parkrun - my 89th- took me 47:30.

A couple of years ago I was in the US and bought a pair of Brooks Pure Drift 2 running shoes in a discount store. They are extremely lightweight, flexible minimalist style shoes. They have an insert which gives them a 4mm heel/toe drop which can be removed for a zero heel/toe drop. I have mostly run in NIKE Free5's with an 8mm drop - but I have also owned and ran in Saucony Kinvaras with a 4 mm drop. I am aware of the why's and wherefore's of running in low drop shoes. Most of my days are spent shoeless so, really, a low drop shoe should not worry me. But I have never liked these Brooks shoes - they are very comfortable on my feet but feel very "strange" when walking or running in them. I get the feel that they are trying to realign my legs/ankles/knees. Today I decided I would try them out in a 5k parkrun. At the 1klm mark, I started to struggle - at the halfway mark I had to stop and by 3 klms I had to take the shoes off and walk the rest!!! My legs from the ankle up were really hurt - my breathing was high - now after a 4 hour rest back at home, I feel quite sore in the legs from ankle to knee. Anyway these shoes are going in the bin!!! But I am left wondering WTF happened ? Why are these so comfortable fitting shoes impossible for me to run in?? BTW - I am a mid to forefoot runner with a highish cadence. Anybody else experienced anything like this???

On the same issue -- All men's walking and dress shoes have built up heels. The average black pumps/dress shoes have probably 1 inch heels (in the old day they were made out of leather with leather soles as well.) As humans were not born with built up heels, I am wondering what the history of this is?

7 Replies

Sorry you had such a difficult run. I have no idea about the history of built up heels, but wondered if you'd take the offending articles either to a charity shop or put it in a clothing collection bin as I'm sure that would save landfill and someone else might benefit from them (not for running but for leisure maybe).

Hope you have a better run next time.



Lesson learnt there

Stick with what your comfortable with!



They tend to push you up onto your toes, which can't be right can it. I had the Brooks Glycerine which are 12 mm but transitioned down to 4 mm post shin splints debacle (Saucony Kinvara 5) I am happy with these and hope I can continue to be able to buy them

You'd think being as your legs are fully conditioned that you could manage this one-off switch without a problem. It just shows that you can't. Maybe your Achilles tendons were stressed by the change.


I had a pair of Brooks Pureflows and to be honest, I never really got on with them... like you, couldn't really pin down why we didn't gel!! So, was pleased when I got a sufficient millage in them that I could retire them... I'm sure that some people love their Brooks... but me... Asics every time :-)


I have now had a close look at the underside of these Brooks Pure Drifts. I can see that on the external undersole of the shoe, the sole on the outside of the shoe is kind of "built up" such that it is several mm higher than the inner side. This is mostly towards the back of the shoe. This causes excessive pronation inwards as I run. If I only landed and ran on the forefoot , this would not happen - but because I tend to run mid-foot my ankles are being "twisted" inwards!! I have always felt that walking in these shoes felt really strange and can see why now. I have plenty of running shoes so don't really need these - it is just that they are very light, flexible and physically comfortable on my feet


Early on in my running 'career', I was advised to run with low drop shoes (I am a bit of tippy-toer) and they were fine/great to begin with. After a month or so with them though I started getting real pain in both Achilles.

It seems that what was happening is that my running style was changing slightly and that the lower drop was not offering enough 'support' to the less tippy-toe style.

I currently run in a pair of NBs which have a 8mm drop and another pair which have a 'standard' 12mm drop and can't really feel the difference between them.

You are right, of course, that we are not born with 1 inch heels but neither did we evolve to run barefoot on tarmac.


I also love to walk barefoot and have done so whenever I could all my life but developed plantar faciitis a few years ago and now cannot walk barefoot as it hurts too much. I can only wear trainers, regular shoes feel like I have a cheese grater in the heel after only a few steps.

Just thought I would throw that in to all this technical running talk that is over my head :-)



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