A Twitter friend asked me about my transition to my Zero Drop #AltraRunning shoes. I’ve been thinking about this most of the day and I’ll try to give a little history here without putting everybody to sleep.
When I started running, getting close to 6 years ago, MFH (My Favorite Husband) knew the importance of wearing the correct running shoe. He knew that any old pair of shoes from Walmart wasn’t going to do the job so he bundled me into the car and we drove from our house to a shop in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to be fitted for a pair of running shoes.
Bear in mind, I was a newbie and didn’t know up from down when it came to shoes so I was very seriously at the mercy of the person fitting me. I weighed close to 100lbs more than I do right now and was just getting started on C25K.
MFH had been running pretty much ever since we’d been married (32 years next week!) and knew a bit about running and shoes but he also knew that everybody’s needs are different. Smart man I married! That was why we drove an hour east to T-town for the fitting.
The people there decided that I needed a stability shoe and put me in a pair of shoes.
*Bear in mind, I’m not going to be brand bashing in this post. Like MFH already knew and I was soon to learn, everybody’s needs are different. For me, it just took a while to figure this out. It was a slow learning curve for this kid!
We left the store and the next morning I laced up my new shoes and went out for my workout in the C25K program.
Holy Cow but my knees were killing me and my feet ached after every run! They hurt so bad!!!
I didn’t know any better so I kept on running.
For two years I ran in those shoes. It got so bad that immediately after ending a run, I had to take off those shoes or be unable to walk. I eventually learned that’s not normal.
Even though I wasn’t running any majorly long distances, I started losing toenails. That was an unwelcome turn of events but I also knew it was something that happened to some runners and accepted it as a fact of life.
Along the way, I learned that I did not need a stability shoe. I had not been properly fitted. I was a neutral runner and the shoes in which I had been running were not my friend.
I think it was in 2013 I learned about Hoka’s. I decided to look into them and tried on a pair. They felt TONS better than the other brand I’d been wearing and I was a happy girl!
I’ll never forget that first run in them. They felt funny! I imagined myself running on marshmallows. They were squishy but my feet didn’t hurt! YAY for not hurting feet!
In 2014, Hoka made some “improvements” to their shoes and they started chewing up my feet and spitting out the leftover pieces. I couldn’t wear them anymore. I was a sad girl but by now knew enough to know I needed to find something different. By then I knew what I DIDN’T want!
After doing some detective work, I learned about #AltraRunning. I did some research and learned about the zero drop and the nice, comfy toe box and thought maybe I should give them a try.
MFH and I drove up to Tupelo, Mississippi, to try on the Altra’s. The store in Tupelo only carried the Olympus, a trail shoe. At the time, I was running primarily on roads but the people at the store assured me they were great for road running as well.
I slipped on a pair and my feet said, “Ahhhh!!!” Holy Cow~but my feet were happy!!! They’d never felt such a wonderful shoe ever!!!
I bought two pair.
My first big race in them was the Mississippi River Marathon. My feet were so happy! I didn’t feel the 26.2 miles at all!
Lots of races followed. I found different models of the Altra’s and soon moved to the Torin for my road running. Very nice shoe, the Torin~I’ve logged a lot of miles in those shoes!!!
Altra Running has taken me through the streets of Berlin, Germany, as well as London, United Kingdom!!!
I very dearly love these shoes!!! They have saved my feet. No more discomfort after a run~they’re just incredible!
This brings us to the question about transitioning into a zero drop shoe. I guess the first thing we should do is explain what a “drop” is. Without getting too technical, I like to explain a drop as the equivalent of wearing a pair of high heel shoes. The higher the heel, the larger the “drop.”
If you’re wearing a shoe with an 6mm drop, that’s a medium high heel shoe. Does that make sense? So if you’re wearing a zero drop, there is no heel on your shoe. You’re wearing a pair of flats.
When I was first fitted, as I had mentioned earlier, I was put into a stability shoe. This shoe had a 10mm drop. A high heel shoe. Stiletto if you will! When I switched to the Hoka, I dropped to a 4mm drop, a much lower drop!
The change from the original shoe to the 4mm, worked to my advantage because when I switched to my Altra’s, the transition was super easy and I just went straight into the zero drop without any issues.
Here’s a chart telling how to transition. I will say, it is super important and well worth you taking the time for the transition! #HappyAchilles
I think the thing I loved and still do love very much about Altra’s is their toe box. Even when running an Ultra Marathon, my feet don’t feel pinched. No blisters. No unhappy toenails. Just happy feet. Simply amazing!!!
My transition was super easy.
Since that time, MFH has made the switch to #AltraRunning as well. He had to take a little time to transition because he had been in a pretty high heel stack in his old shoes. I think it took him close to three weeks but after that, he was good to go!
I can’t say enough great things about these shoes and I highly recommend them to everybody!
Hope that answers the question to my Twitter friend?
Wishing you happy miles!!!