Buying workout shoes has become a complex process.  There are choices that I did not know existed.  The Marketing Departments in a backroom deal with the Exercise Industry are attempting to convince us that we need a different pair of shoes for every endeavor.  How many pairs do you have?

If you ask the question of the Exercise community, the response will be overwhelmingly confusing.  I did learn some info that was useful.  Lower heel is better for the gym.  Actually, a lower heel to toe ratio is the new IN.  Back to nature. Lift weights in bare feet – just don’t drop a weight.   Run – Bare Foot in the Park.  Vibrams are the next best thing.  Come on.    I grew up in the country and ended up with one too many Tetanus Shots – not fun.  Let’s not even talk about Plantar Warts.

I had to look myself in the mirror and realize that with the weights I lift, I do not need to invest a couple of hundred dollars in shoes designed for Olympic Weight Lifting.  Not me – that’s for sure.

Also – with  Plantar Fasciitis – I need to be able to insert my Orthotics – or PAIN will ensue.

In my search at the various local Fitness stores – which are less Fitness – and more Clothing stores – I realized that I could not get the low heel shoe in a size 13 Wide – or 2E.  I had been wearing New Balance – they fit comfortably – in fact – I defaulted to them as my regular gym shoes – among the 3 pair that I own.  So I hit their Web Site – Joy to the Modern Digital World.  I ordered shoes on-line – only because I had experience with the Brand and its sizing.  Here is what I ordered: New Balance Minimus 20.

New Balance 20 - MX20GL2 - Men's Lightweight Shoes

They arrived yesterday afternoon – only a slight color variation.  The Heel is low and the bottoms are not super padded.  A whole new feel.  I took out the insoles – inserted my orthotics and put the insoles back.  Problem – the orthotics are not fully covered – this results in an uncomfortable stance.  I wore them for a couple of hours last night and was not happy.  My mind wandered to the display of insoles at Walgreens – that is where I was going to head today.

But – this morning – at 5:30am – as I was putting on my gym clothes – my eyes glanced at the old shoes – sitting forlornly on the floor.  The Light went on – I took the insoles out of them and inserted them on top of the orthotics – problem solved.

Today was a Burpee workout.  My variation on the theme is a Squat Thrust with Push-up done in a count down format.  First set -10 reps, 2nd set -9, etc.  In between sets I do sets of 5 Chin-ups.  I did not believe that this would be a fair test of the shoes – but – what the hey.  Guess what – the lower heel made getting back up just a might bit easier.  Why – as I pulled my feet back from the thrust position into a squat position – and attempted to rock backwards on my heels to then stand – the distance of the rock went further (meaning my arse went further back and down) – just enough to make standing back up a bit easier – happiness.

Tomorrow is a regular workout – I am just a little bit excited to see how these play out in all the different exercises.  So far – worth the price.

ETA 4-18-12:  Did Goblet Squats and Single Arm Dumbbell Swings this morning.  Both were positively effected by the lower heel – nice.

ETA 4-22-12: I have completed a full round of my DIY workout.  What I’ve found is that every movement that includes a squat in any form – is helped by the flatter shoe.  The standing movements are given better balance and force.  All in all – I like them.