Wednesday, September 26, 2007

MomCat Reviews: RYKA Shoes

It's finally time! Time to review the RYKA running shoes for the Parent Bloggers Network--the shoes that I had so eagerly waited for, sent back because they were too small, and then whined to you all about not having them yet!

But, before I do this review, I must take a step back and explain a little something about me that you probably do not know. First, let's start with a graphical representation of what I need to say:

In short, folks, my feet have been through heck and back in my 37 years. I have flat feet to begin with, but also spent years running cross country and long distance, which only exacerbates some of my foot issues. If I wear the wrong shoes for any length of time, I will be up nights with my legs aching, or find serious bruising the next day in my arch region.

Some of you may remember when I blogged about a freakish accident that left me briefly with an L-shaped toe , and what I can be sure is years of traumatic flashbacks of the incident. But, aside from that, I have broken both feet (separate incidents) before, had several minor stress fractures and sprains, and more seriously stubbed toes than one human being should have to endure. It is not uncommon at least once a month for me to be found hobbling on one foot, holding my other and slewing expletives while a toe quickly turns purple and then blue. I kid you not.

So, when I was approached to review a RYKA running or walking shoe, I was very excited, but a little cautious about how it would all turn out. My feet were in dire need of new running shoes, so I quickly signed up to review the RYKA MC2Run, which is a great looking sports shoe.

I had high expectations of RYKA too. A favorite kickboxing/aerobics instructor of mine swore by their cross-trainers and I'd almost ordered a pair several years ago. Most of our aerobics class went out and bought RYKAs and came back raving as well.

I like to run, even with my crippled feet. And, over the years I have tried a lot of running shoes. I typically know when a shoe is going to work for me, within about a few minutes of putting it on.

As I slid my eager tootsies into my trial pair of RYKAs, I got a good feeling of support. I took note immediately of how structured the heel/Achilles region of the shoe was. I had never put on a workout shoe and felt like it was literally holding my heel in the right place, and I did with this one. The MC2Run shoes are very well constructed, as well. No flimsy soles or shoddy workmanship on these babies.

My first big run with the shoes went fine. The shoes feel light as you're running. I like the gray color because it hides the dust you get running on the trails as I do. But, as I finished up my first few miles with the shoes, I became concerned. My legs were aching in new places, including all the way up to my knee joints.

But, I realized that if a shoe was holding my feet in exactly the right alignment, maybe this was to be expected after wearing my worn down shoes for months and months on end, which definitely didn't do anything for my foot issues.

Unfortunately, after several trial runs with these shoes, my aches and pains only got worse. The last run, this past weekend, left me with hip joint pain for days after that I've never experienced before and a huge blister on one of my Achilles. I still do not know if I can attribute this to the mere fact that my feet and legs have not been properly supported, and so now I'm having to realign my stance to the correct position. But, I do know I'm not sure I will continue to run in these shoes.

Now, not everyone has some of the foot issues that I have. And, if you do not, I still would recommend trying RYKA shoes. They are very durable and for those without flat feet, they might be just the shoe you have been looking for.

And, you have the opportunity to even win a free pair! RYKA is giving away 50 shoes a day through October on their site at You can enter and every time someone you "recommend" signs up, you can another entry.



Anonymous Angela said...

Hmmm... interesting... I've been running in Nike's for about 8 or 9 months now, and I really am not a fan. I'm not sure what it is exactly, which makes it hard when looking for a replacement shoe. I'm intrigued by these, but get a little worried when you mention aches in your knees and hips since that's where I already have terrible joints. I'm thinking maybe I'll try to find a sports store that will analyze my gait and foot and then find me the perfect shoe. At this point, I'm willing to shell out the extra money if it means I'll be in less pain after a run!

11:29 AM, September 26, 2007  
Blogger Babs said...

I love your footprint diagram! Sorry that the shoes didn't work out for you, but I really liked the review. I know they can be tough to write!

1:59 PM, September 26, 2007  

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