In January, I like to start with a few new goals and resolutions for the coming year. Some of them are reoccuring, like a list of 12 books I want to read. I adjusted that one this year to reading one biography a month. I also usually select a few events I want to attend, some local and some a little farther away. Two events I have pinpointed this year are the Augusta Half Marathon, here in Augusta, GA, on February 26th, and the Iron Girl Triathlon in Atlanta on May 20th.
Since I started adding on more long runs on my weekends, I figured it was time to get some new running shoes. I usually like to get three new pairs a year, which has served me as a good rule of thumb since high school.
I think it's important for Soldiers to be informed about what kind of running shoes they need to fit their feet. When I was a platoon leader, I saw Soldiers coming to PT in a wide range of shoes, whether they were the latest or greatest new Nikes or the same old shoes they bought before basic training, but not very many of them knew how to pick out the right pair of shoes. I frequently turned them to a recent issue of Runner's World perhaps, or to a running store near Fort Gordon where they could get fitted for a pair of shoes. It's amazing what correctly-fitted and correctly-prescribed shoes can do to help keeps Soldiers happy and fit and ready to run.
Personally, I have a slightly high but mostly normal arch with slight overpronation and tend to run with a heel-first strike. I tend to stick with shoes with some stability. Once I did try a minimalist shoe (not FiveFingers, just a lighter version of a running shoe) but that method of running doesn't make my knees happy with a natural heel-striking stride. Also, it's definitely important to try shoes on every time you buy them, even if you buy the exact same pair of shoes every year like I have in the past. My feet have actually varied between a 7 and 7.5 size shoe with no consistency, so it's good to make sure they fit right.
On a side note to all that, I'm just going to say that, while I do not actually hunt out brightly colored shoes just for the color, pink running shoes do make me laugh a little bit inside. Even though Barton Field Dust quickly makes them a nice, neutral Georgia Clay color, I like having the extra bit that says, "I'm a girl and I'm wearing pink running shoes" when I have to wear men's sized and fitted Army PTs.