What do you know, it looks like the running gods finally felt sorry for me and decided to give me a break.
After I wrote my post about my frustration in trying to find the right combination of shoes and insoles, several readers left comments asking if I had tried the Altra Torins. They are more cushioned than the Intuition 1.5 that I had been wearing, but not extreme like the Hokas. Well, as a matter of fact, I had a pair of brand new Torins in my closet that I completely forgot about. I wore them once or twice many months ago, but it was the middle of my marathon training and the Intuitions were working so well that I didn’t really give the Torins a fair shot. So I dug those bad boys out and decided to take them for a run the next day. And you know, they felt pretty good. No, not just pretty good – they felt awesome! So I had one problem solved, but now I had to figure out the insoles.
I took my custom orthotics back to my chiropractor and almost in tears, I told him how they just didn’t feel right and hurt my feet and now everything was aching. He assured that me that the company would keep fixing them or re-doing them until they were 100% and he would send them back that very day. I left finally feeling like there was hope. A few days later, he talked to the orthotics makers and what do you know…my orthotics were fitted improperly. Something about them not making full contact with my arch, so it was likely causing other bones to be out of alignment and of course I hurt! They found the problem, fixed it (re-made them) and sent them back within a week. I’ve had them since Monday and guess what? My feet don’t hurt anymore!!!
So now I’ve got the new custom orthotics in my Altra Torins and I’m loving running again. I’ve still got a pain in my right knee, but it’s slowly getting better and I’m hopeful that once I get fully used to the orthotics, it will work itself out.
But wait…there’s another secret weapon that I think is really helping me. I posted a photo of them on Facebook a few weeks back, so let me tell you a little about them. They are called Correct Toes, and they are meant to spread your toes to their correct, natural position. From the website:
Correct Toes toe spacers, made of medical-grade silicone, help restore proper toe alignment and help correct bunions, tailor’s bunions, hammertoes, heel pain, ingrown toenails, Morton’s neuroma, capsulitis, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, runner’s knee, and other problems. Correct Toes toe spacers are durable, comfortable, and affordable, especially when compared to the most common alternatives, orthotics or surgery, which cost hundreds or thousands of dollars and frequently are not reimbursed by insurance companies. Correct Toes helps reduce injury rates, improve athletic performance, enhance foot and toe strength and flexibility, and decrease the likelihood of lower extremity osteoarthritis. This toe-spacing device also improves proprioception and balance.
I originally heard of the Correct Toes from Lauren Fleshman, and since I pretty much think she is the coolest person on the planet and will do whatever she says (just kidding…or am I?), I thought about ordering a pair. And then I was reading Anatomy for Runners by Jay Dicharry in which he devoted 2 pages to writing about them (it’s not a coincidence – Lauren works with Jay, a Physical Therapist, in Bend, OR. I was also reading his book at Lauren’s suggestion. Lauren, I promise I’m not a stalker – just a fan.).
The website claims that you can wear them in shoes with a wide toe-box, but I haven’t been able to comfortably fit them in my Altras. So I’ll wear them around the house or else just sleep in them (socks help them stay on your feet). And when I take them off in the morning, my feet feel awesome – I can actually feel them working. They are expensive ($65), but in my opinion, they are worth it if they will prevent more injuries.