Sneakers, Bad Choice?
September 9, 2006 7:09 PM   Subscribe

Are these sneakers (Puma Fuego) appropriate for running?

I want to start running; however, I always procrastinate it, as I have no idea if the sneakers I already have are good enough for exercising. I'm scared of injuring myself if they are not appropriate.
posted by Memo to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (18 answers total)
 
Well, I doubt that they are ideal, but depending on how much you will be running, they could be sufficient. I would suggest going through the runner's world shoe guide to get a better idea as to whether or not the design would be right for your foot.

Although those puma's are "1980s running style", I doubt the mid-soles will offer the support you need more more intense runs.

I usually just go to the local store and find the most comfortable fit in the running section in the mid-price range. Some brands also offer various widths, which makes the fit a lot more snug.

I guess you could always consider adding insoles or, better yet, running barefoot... :-)

Happy (running) trails!
posted by eli_d at 7:23 PM on September 9, 2006


Probably not. eli_d fleshed it out more, but these sneakers are from a relatively new category often referred to as "fashion athletic." They look like sports shoes, but they don't really stand up to the test and provide the support that you need when you exercise.
posted by rachelpapers at 7:52 PM on September 9, 2006


It has been my experience that if you really need a pair of shoes for a specific purpose, get the ugliest damn shoes you can find. They will be the ones designed for substance over style. All of my stylish 'running shoes' are actually useless and overpriced. There really is a lot that goes into shoe technology that you may not be aware of until the problem occurs. For example I had a pair of stylish shoes I thought I could get away with playing basketball in and the treads have gone bald on them in no time...
posted by GleepGlop at 7:55 PM on September 9, 2006


If you believe the hype, then you probably don't want 25 year old running shoe technology.
posted by furtive at 8:00 PM on September 9, 2006


Do they have any arch support, at all?
posted by smackfu at 8:32 PM on September 9, 2006


Very little, smackfu.
posted by Memo at 8:42 PM on September 9, 2006


After reading stuff on the running barefoot site and following various links, I've got some better information for you.

Your form is the most important thing, not necessarily the shoe. While many people will tell you to run heel-to-toe, this is false. The most natural stride to runn ball of foot-to gently setting down heel - to ball of other foot. When running with this ball/heel/ball form properly you will hardly be touching the ground, rather you will just be "floating accross the surface", which shouldn't really cause much downward force. Ideally, your feet/shoes won't even really touch the ground.

But, since it's difficult to run ideally: check out the videos "how to choose a running shoe 1" and "how to choose a running shoe 2" by Dr. Romanov at Pose Tech. His recommendations for shoes that are ideal for the ball/heel/ball technique actually look very similar to the Puma Fuego's. On the Pose site there is also a section of shoe recommendations that I think you'll like, including shoe recommendations by brands (Puma included)...

From what I saw, I think you might like the Puma Feline Street shoes.

Starting tomorrow, I'm going to start re-adapting my 10-year-old, incorrect running form. :-/
posted by eli_d at 9:31 PM on September 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


Oops. Sorry about the recommendation for the women's shoes. There's some good men's ones in the links above too.
posted by eli_d at 9:46 PM on September 9, 2006


You're going to hurt yourself. Get some real running shoes. Start reading here.
posted by bim at 9:53 PM on September 9, 2006


Seconding everyone who says you should get some real, modern running shoes. Another thing to consider is that running shoes wear out more quickly than you might think. Many serious runners have shoes that they wear only for running, because wearing shoes on the street or in bad weather or while doing other activities tends to wear them out faster. Plus, having shoes you wear only for running makes it easier to keep track of when they need to be replaced. I'd buy new shoes.
posted by Amy Phillips at 10:05 PM on September 9, 2006 [1 favorite]


I can't afford new running shoes at the moment (poor student here); so, if I'm going to run at all, it will have to be with my current sneakers.

It seems that I'm not going to be able to start running any time soon, considering yout answers. :/
posted by Memo at 10:33 PM on September 9, 2006


Well, I'm not an experienced runner, and I don't have any particular expertise. However, I have run across an answer on the internets that tells you what you want to hear:

Most runners will fall into one of two categories:

You run no more than 30 minutes per day, no more than 3 days per week. If that's the case, a regular pair of sneakers should be fine for you, especially if you are just starting out. You probably don't need to buy new shoes unless you want to. In fact, what you have now is probably fine, so go run! However, if you have been running for a year (or more) or find yourself having trouble with injuries (shin splints, IT band, knee pain), you may want to go ahead and buy a good pair of running shoes.

You run no less than 30 minutes per day, 3 or more times per week. If you are running this often and this long, it is imperative that you have the right shoes for your foot type.


Everything I have read suggests that you wouldn't want to start out running more than 30min x3 anyways. Also, if you are a student, your school might have a track that you could run on, and the surface would help.
posted by advil at 11:53 PM on September 9, 2006


hold on there, sport. I don't know just how close to a major city you are but you *really* should go for a personal fitting. what kind of shoe makes sense for you depends on how you run. don't fall for in-store crap, find a runners store and have a runner sell you something that will actually help you not ruin your feet.
posted by krautland at 12:23 AM on September 10, 2006


Memo, I wouldn't give up yet. The problem with those shoes that you linked to is that they are not designed specifically for running. Many runnning stores will carry shoes styles that are a few years old at reduced prices. If you look around, you can probably find a decent shoe that you can afford.

And your running form is a very individual thing, most people definitly hit heel first (when not sprinting), but you shouldn't think about your form too much. Running barefoot probably isn't a good idea if you have been wearing shoes since you where a baby.
posted by afu at 3:40 AM on September 10, 2006


Heh, very curious about the whole running barefoot thing - anyone here a barefoot runner or read any more about it than just this site? I love the idea but my softy feet are scared to be unleashed....
posted by penguin pie at 7:50 AM on September 10, 2006


Aren't the Nike Free's (warning - boring flash intro) supposed to be a way of running barefoot, but not barefoot? i.e they give your foot the same sort of responses and feeling, whilst giving us softies a chance not to shred our feet.
posted by djgh at 8:34 AM on September 10, 2006


I'll start running anyway, it seems that the probabilities of getting an injury, by running for a few weeks (while I search for new shoes) with the wrong type of sneakers, are very low. :)

Thanks everyone for your answers!
posted by Memo at 12:09 PM on September 10, 2006


anyone here a barefoot runner or read any more about it than just this site?

That site is hideously designed, but there's really good info in there.. :-)

I've been attempting the barefoot running thing over the last few months. It's definately a learning process that requires a change from the modern shoe's heel-first running form to the ball-heel-ball form to absorb the impact. From everything I've read, if you get the proper form down, your feet won't mind at all and your body will actually appreciate it.

In my own experiences, things have been a bit different. :-/ To adapt, I've been running barefoot on the local middle school track, which is made out of shredded rubber? Even there, my form has apparently been far of, as evidenced by the bleeding blisters after about a mile and half.

On a more positive note, you really can perceive your form much better running barefoot, and I can use the blisters to see where the form is off. This video (links directly to a Quicktime video), while not specifically for barefoot runners, does a great job of showing where to land on the foot, if you want to try the barefoot thing out. It's adding a new dynamic to my running that's making things much more exciting than usual. Give it a try!

Also, to Memo... Afu had very good advice up there. Most people who wear modern shoes do run heel-to-toe. So, this is probably most convenient and recommended initially. It sounds like the point of your running now should be just getting out (no matter what form) and starting to enjoy the benefits and joys.
posted by eli_d at 9:26 PM on September 12, 2006


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