If the Shoe Fits

If the shoe fits

By Michelle Coach Mee

January and February are shoe month for marathon and ultra marathon runners. If you are running a marathon, Comrades, Two Oceans, Loskop etc you need to read this! 

Please make sure by the end of February you have established which brand and model of shoe you are going to run in for your qualifying marathon, long club run, Two Oceans and Comrades.

Go buy shoes at the end of February! Buy at least one new pair (if budget allows, buy 2 pairs*) of your chosen pair of shoes. Shoe manufacturer’s may change your favourite shoe by introducing a new version which is not the same as the current version you own. Slight changes in version may not work for you. As the season progresses towards the big Ultra races, the stores may run out of your size. Control the controllables, like your shoes, your training programme, your diet, your rest and your most importantly your stress levels. The weather is not in your hands but your shoes are. I have seen runners place themselves in unnecessary stress a week before a big goal race searching frantically for a new pair of racing shoes. 

Once you have made your purchase of your favourite pair of running shoes, run a few club runs and maybe your qualifying marathon in your new shoes. Roughly clock up 200km on your “chosen” shoes. Your shoes will reach that point when they feel like marshmallows wrapping your feet and toes like a soft baby blanket and the sole will soothe your soul while the miles click by easily. It’s time to carefully lay them in a safe space in your cupboard. They are race ready. After all the hard miles of training and the battle lines have been drawn and you start that final two weeks of tapering, go to the cupboard, it’s time to bring out your “chosen” ones. Your last 2 weeks of race preparation before your BIG race must be done in your “chosen” shoes. Good luck and have a great race.   


*The advantage of buying 2 pairs is that you can rotate your current shoes with one of the two new pairs. 

According to an article published in the Runnerworld (5 Dec 2013) written by Scott Douglas, a study shows there is evidence that rotating shoes can lower the injury risk. For further reading on this please click on the link below:


Please contact me if you have any shoe related questions or require any additional advice. I love to talk shoes!