Then, I realized it might be my shoes.
Two weeks ago, I went to two different stores that were recommended to me by friends. The first was the New Balance store. It has this cool computerized foot analysis thing. (Yes, that’s the official name. *ahem*) I don’t know if all the stores have them, but I highly recommend, if you have a New Balance store nearby, call and find out if they have it.
I stood on this platform and it created a computerized image of my feet, showing my foot size from heel to toe, whether I had a high, low, or neutral arch, and my pressure points. The biggest thing that came out of that was that I discovered I’ve been wearing the wrong size shoe for most of my life – a half-size to a full-size too small!
Then, I went to a local store that specializes in all things running. There, the highly-experienced clerk visually analyzed my step and made some suggestions. One of the biggest things I took from that trip was that I should almost feel that I’m not wearing shoes. My toes should be able to move about inside the toe box as if I were barefoot.
Both places were a little pricey for what I could afford at this stage in the game (but I do have cards with my favorite shoe’s product numbers for later), so I went to the local sporting goods store, armed with new information, and started trying on shoes. I wound up with a pair of reasonably-priced Saucony running shoes a full size larger than what I’d been wearing.
Since I got my new shoes, I’ve not worn a knee brace once and I haven’t had any pain in my knees. I guess it could be that the muscles and tendons are strengthening, but that seems too coincidental to me.
So, my advice to you is, if you’re running and having knee trouble, I would strongly encourage investing in a well-fitting, quality pair of running shoes. It’s made a world of difference with me.