Sunday, August 26, 2018

The shoemaker in me

My last post was about the frustration of having a messed up meniscus and the on again/off again/on again pain that keeps me from running the way I want, and what I am doing about it. It wasn't meant as a woe-is-me thing, but just expressing my frustration and exposing the folly of my chasing every glimmer of hope looking for a miracle cure. Most of my running friends know what I have been dealing with, and have been sympathetic to my situation. Some have encouraged me to just tough it out, which is what I have been doing for better or worse. I can't say trying to run through it has helped or hindered my recovery and knee health. As mentioned, the several different herbs and snake oil concoctions have helped maybe a little. a well-times pain pill seems to help for the moment. Super Beets has put a little bit of pep in my step--figuratively speaking.

I read a lot on knee issues such as mine, and I stumbled on an article that ties in overpronation with kee issues EXACTLY like what I have. Hello. My name is Ken Childress and I am an overpronator. 
I've been that way since I was a kid. see how the right leg rolls in just above the ankle? That could very well be my leg--well, maybe if I shaved it. There was no unfortunate accident that led to this mild deformity. when I first started running again in 2002, I wore road running shoes that had motion control, recommended by my favorite running store RunnersWorld-Tulsa and bought them from a shoe sales lady who ended up being my best friend. Road running shoes like Asics Gel Kayano and the 2000 and 2100 series have the inward side of the sole either built up a little and that brings that leg back into alignment. But I eventually found that I dislike road running and prefer trailz and trail shoes rarely have any pronation control features since every step is different on the trail. That never seemed to bother me.

But since my knee problems, which have been ongoing for four years or so, it seems while running on flat pavement that my right leg seems a wee bit shorter than my left leg. So I am thinking--a slight build-up on the inward side of my foot could possibility correct that. Could it be that easy???

So, I conducted an experiment. I have many many pairs of old shoes that I just cannot seem to throw away, so I robbed an insole out of one, and in the confines of my shoe research lab (aka the bathroom), I modified an old insole to correct my pronation.

Figure 1. Start cut in about the middle of the back of the insole, angling toward the right side about 1/3 of the length.

Figure 2. Admire handiwork, and go to the kitchen for a beer.

Figure 3. Inset modified insole into the shoe.

Figure 4. Put the removed insole from the shoe on top of the modified insole.

Figure 5. Done. Finish beer, and then try those puppies on.

Right away, I know I was on to something. Something wonderful. I walked around and within 50 steps, I got that "awwwww" feeling. It felt so right. My knee was NOT hurting. It was like there was nothing wrong. I wore my Hokas to dinner and then walked the dogs. Virtually no discomfort at all. Seriously, this does take pressure off of my bum knee. Now I know there may be a better solution like a new pair of Gel Kayanos or some other new and snazzy motion control shoe with a built-up medial post. But my experiment has me believing that this is the miracle cure I have been trying to find!!

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