Running with Structure

Do you feel like you are constantly having to buy new runners? I feel like it’s only the other week that I was breaking in my first pair of the Nike Structure 19s and yet (having checked the stats in RunMeter) I have already clocked 1160.19 km in them. When did that happen?! Normally I know the runners are gone when I start having issues with aches and pains that won’t normally trouble me but the shoes are still going strong. A sales rep at Nike told me that they recommend a new pair every 700-800km or so, though this is dependent on the weight, gait etc of the runner. But then they would, eh?… The reason I wanted to retire these trainers early as my regular shoes was that I need a separate pair for running in the countryside where The Boy and I are planning to spend a lot of time (more on that later).

So after a bit of googling I was able to find a new, decently priced (£75 iso £104.99) pair  of the 19s on SweatShop. Ah the joy of knowing the shoe and size that works for you – no actual legwork required (sorry -not sorry- for the pun).

When you’re an “urban runner” (by which I mean I avoid mud like it was radioactive waste), your runners tend to stay pretty clean and look barely used. The issue that I used to have was my big toes (as a foot-phobic even writing the t-word is making me feel slightly nauseous) poking holes on the upper – this is something that Nike seems to have fixed by having strengthened the mesh. Or when I say “fixed” I mean that it now takes a lot longer for that to happen.

However, I had a real “a-ha”moment (as in “a-ha – these shoes HAVE been used!) when I turned the shoes over and looked at the soles. It is only when you compare a used pair to a new pair (I had done 25km in the new runners by this pic) that you really see how much they have been worn down.

Grip is not really something you think about (until you need it and find the shoes lacking – looking at you, Primrose Hill with frost!) but both Structure 19s blew me away during the first run – those bumps on the soles really do make a difference. And when you have worn them away, the grip is definitely not as good. Who knew – the designers actually know what they are doing!…

Now, if I had really thought about it, I would have taken photos of both of the old shoes and tried to do an analysis on my foot strike pattern. But I wasn’t that organised and now I am just too impatient to shoot this post off. Based on this shoe though, I’d say I am mid/forefoot runner. Now there’s a bit of information that I bet you desperately needed to know.

Another thing that I have been meaning to write about for aaaaaages now (and again failed) was regarding the massive hole in the bottom of one of my old 19s (note a lack of picture here…). A few months ago I started having issues with my left foot striking the right, inner ankle as it hit the ground. I couldn’t figure out what was going on and what was causing this weird breakdown of my gait all of a sudden. Until I looked at the bottom of the shoe and saw a (relatively) massive piece of sharp ceramic that was wedged deep into it (in the deep groove in the heal of the shoe so it wasn’t the first point of contact with the ground) throwing my foot off every time it hit the ground. It took some work to get it out and left a gaping hole behind. But the issues I had been having were fixed. Just goes to show how little it takes for things to be thrown off balance…

What can I say – these Nikes are cracking pair of shoes and definitely the only pair that works for me and my awkward feet. Oh, and if you are interested in tracking the distance you do in your shoes then do check out RunMeter which has a function that does this for you. RunMeter is my Holy Grail of running apps and the only I one I every run with. Weirdly it doesn’t get as much press or love it deserves but I recommend it unreservedly.

That’s all the (uncompensated) plugging for now – happy running!


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