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Great new Rockport shoe

Posted by Donna SL on 4/27/02 at 22:05 (081411)

I found an incredible shoe by Rockport the other day called the Taconic. I don't know if all foot types will like it, but it seems to be the most comfortable supportive shoe I have ever put on my foot. I have high arches yet I think all foot types would feel good in it. It doesn't look it, but it is very stable, and supportive laterally, and medially with a perfect heel lift, and has a very cushioned flexible forefoot. The leather is very soft, yet supportive too, and there are no seams to rub anywhere, yet the heel counter is very firm. There's a steel shank in the shoe for extra midfoot support. It also has a rocker type sole that seems to propel the foot foward, and takes stress off the entire foot, and heel. It's more comfortable than any sneaker, or any $300.00 mephisto shoe (IMO) that I've tried. It's only $80.00.

None of the other shoes in their line felt as good as this to me. It comes with a very cushioned removable insole which was a little too much extra cushion for me, so I removed it, and just put in one of the flat eva ones that come with the running shoes, and it felt even better.

I bought it in a wide width, and sized up a whole size so I could wear it with thorlo socks. It sort of looks like a bowling shoe, but it's a cute shoe. I bought it in black, and can change the white laces to black to give it a different look. It comes in many colors

Rockport.com shows all the colors on pg 2, and 3.

http://www.rockport.com/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=rkptlatin1/36_subcategory.html

zappos.com has some good pictures of it too, but doesn't show all the colors.
http://shop.zappos.com/n/b?page_id=3&d=669500000

If anyone has a chance to try this shoe let me know what you think. I hope Rockport doesn't discontinue it. They make it for men too, and the men's can be seen on both the Rockport, and Zappos site also.

I also tried the Ecco receptors mid weight cross terrain shoe. It had a comfortable sole, and decent support yet wasn't as supportive as the Taconic, even though it was a big bulky shoe. It also runs narrow, and the thick scratchy mesh uppers were uncomfortable. Maybe Ecco will change them. It's not a bad shoe if the uppers don't bother you. The 'Receptor Light' fit nicely, but wasn't nearly as supportive as the Taconic.

Donna

Re: Great new Rockport shoe

Carole C in NOLA on 4/27/02 at 22:31 (081414)

Sounds like a great shoe, Donna!

I've been wearing my New Balance 879's most of the time lately, and my SAS sometimes too. The heel on the NB doesn't bother me any more and I think that is probably because I have been recovering pretty rapidly recently, a happy turn of events.

Carole C

Re: Rockport Link

Donna SL on 4/27/02 at 22:38 (081415)

If the Rockport link that I put in doesn't work go to Rockport site directly http://www.rockport-shoes.com/

then to shop, then to women's or men's footwear, then to the casual shoe list, then to 'Open Road', and the Taconic is on the second, and third pages. The first page shows the Liard which is not as stable.

Donna

Re: Great new Rockport shoe

Donna SL on 4/27/02 at 23:04 (081416)

Carole,

I think it is wonderful shoe, and liked it better than the world tour. It also feels so light on the foot. It has better cushion and support, and has a roomier toe box then the world tour, but the world tour isn't a bad shoe either.

I'm so glad you can wear the 879's now, and you are recovering so nicely. Did you ever try the runner's loop I told you about to snug up the heel? If the heel gets too soft put a firm to hard 1/16th inch heel lift in under the insole, not a soft gel lift.

I was thinking about you when I was in the New Balance concept store the other day. Most of the shoes felt awful too me. I didn't try the 879 because the 878 didn't work for me, but tried some of the new cross trainers, and a couple of walking shoes, and most of the shoes were so sinky in the heel, and had no lateral support. Most of the NB shoes have little lateral support except their hiking shoes. I also can't stand the absorb, because it's too soft, and pulls on my heels, fascia, TTS area, etc. I don't have the greatest range of motion in my ankles. The only NB shoe that wasn't too bad, was their cheapie 300 tennis shoe. I think it was all firm EVA w/o absorb. I don't know if it would hold up very long though.

Donna

Re: Great new Rockport shoe

Carole C in NOLA on 4/28/02 at 09:02 (081438)

That Rockport sounds FABULOUS! Also, it looks reasonably conservative in the photos, and I like that. This information is definitely valuable for me and I will keep it in mind for a future shoe purchase. I never did make it to the Rockport store, but I know where it is. :)

I never did find out how to do the runner's loop. A less 'sloppy' heel in the NB 879 would still be an improvement, but even though the heel still seems 'sloppy' that doesn't bother me as much now. If the heel gets too soft, I'll keep that heel lift in mind. I suspect I may never need another special insert or orthotic. I haven't worn any (not even my custom orthotics) for the past few weeks and so far so good, except that I'm walking so much (and I'm quite obese) so my arthritic knees are hurting like they used to. Gotta lose some weight.

Believe it or not, the one thing that I truly enjoy about the NB 879 is the CUSHIONING, especially in the heel..... I can walk and walk and walk and walk now, without my feet feeling as though they were being pounded. My SAS shoes don't have as much cushioning, though they are still comfortable at work where I don't walk as much. Cushioning seems to have become more of a big deal for me the more I am capable of walking. I can fairly BOUND through Super Wal-Mart and a half dozen other stores in one day, now, wearing my 879's which are so well cushioning and put a bounce in my step.

I know this seems reverse to what I was saying before, but my feet are doing more for me and seem to have different needs now since they have been changing/recovering. Or maybe it's just the beneficial effects of changing shoes now and then.

I agree with you about the lateral support, and this is something that I noticed more with the 879's than with the 854's. Maybe that's because of the PF-2 last instead of the PF-1 (which seems to fit my feet better), or maybe because of the better lacing system of the 854's. I'm still glad I didn't get the 854's, because the more I walk, the more my knees and hips are affected by my gait, and the more important heel cushioning seems to me. My feet are rapidly growing stronger and I'm not getting any set-backs due to the lateral support problem in the 879's.

I'm not 100% yet but I am normally at a pain level of less than 0.5. If I overdo a little it can go up to 1 or even 2, but it's back down by the next morning or the day after. And almost every day I seem to make noticeable progress which is so encouraging.

Carole C

Re: Found lacing diagram

Donna SL on 4/28/02 at 14:02 (081473)

Hi Carole,

I found a lacing diagram from the afoas. Scroll down to heel problems. It may look a little confusing, but when you put the lace in the last hole you put it in the hole on the same side as the hole before that one. Then criss cross the remaining laces into the little loops that you formed. This will snug up the heel when you pull.

http://www.aofas.org/lacing.asp

It's weird, but I like the sL1 fit better too. A wide width works perfectly for me in the sL1 last, but the sL2 runs a little short, and wide yet the medium isn't wide enough, and the wide is a litte too wide. If I size up much more the shoe is too long. NB assumes people with high arches have shorter feet which is not true.

I looked at the picture of the 879, and NB seemed to improve it somewhat over the 878, except for maybe the sloppy heel fit. From the picture it looks a little more supportive. I haven't looked at the 879 in the store yet. Maybe I'll give it a try. I remember the old 877 was a little more supportive, and then the 878 got really mushy. My pod hated that shoe on my foot. Also the 1021 wasn't bad from what I remember, and it seemed a little firmer especially in the heel area. NB also came out with an
'N-Ergy' cartridge in a couple of shoes. It's in the W1040RS neutral shoe, and it may offer a little more stability. I haven't tried that either yet. I think when NB became very popular, and they started pumping out tons of shoes their quality control went down the drain, but maybe they have cleaned up their act. They had a small number of good models, but they were also producing a lot of junk.

It's tough though to find running shoes in any brand with any decent lateral support. That feature is usually in hiking/trail, tennis, basketball, cross-training, and volley ball shoes. The Taconic heel is flaired which contributes to the stability, which is rare in a casual shoe.

Roadrunnersports has a critic line. Have you seen it?

The main complaint on the 879 was the heel fit, and durability of the shoe, but maybe it would hold up better for walking only.

http://www.roadrunnersports.com/cgi-bin/rrs/rrs/rrShoeCritic.jsp?BV_SessionID=@@@@2089754110.1020017516@@@@&BV_EngineID=eadcdljimjegbekgcgecfeedgf.0

You can also get to the critic section by going through the main menu
http://www.roadrunnersports.com

then to 'expert shoe help' then to 'shoe critic'

Browns NB catalog center has such clear pictures of the shoes, and you can enlarge them, and look at them from many different angles, but they don't show all NB models.

http://www.newbalancecatalogcenter.com/default.htm

NB web express also shows clear picture, and offers more from the line, but they can't been seen at different angles like Browns.

http://www.nbwebexpress.com/

I'm not a big fan of NB, but may re-try a couple more pairs of shoes. It looks like they might have improved the ww974 walking shoe also. Last years model was terrible, and ran very short, and narrow, and wasn't very stable. From the picture it looks a little better than before, but it may just be cosmetics.

The Asics new Kayano 02 isn't a bad shoe either. They drastically changed it from the previous style. I thought the heel counter was a little too low though.

Keep up the good work. You seem to be making an amazing recovery.

Donna

Re: Found lacing diagram

Carole C in NOLA on 4/28/02 at 17:24 (081494)

Yes, the rate of my recovery in the past two months has amazed me, too. For a long time it seemed like my progress was so slow, and then it was like I passed some 'critical point' beyond which it has all been downhill.

Thanks for the diagram for making a runner's loop! It is easy to see how it is done from the picture. I will try it, for sure.

I agree so completely with what you say about the SL2. It is almost too short for me, and yet the toe box is too wide in some places for even my very wide feet. It is supportive along some parts of the foot, but not in others.

Re: and more

Carole C in NOLA on 4/28/02 at 17:32 (081495)

Well I wasn't done posting but hit the button. 'Loose nut at the keys'. LOL

Anyway, I was just sayint the 879 is not supportive everywhere that I would want support. I may try on a 1021 and the 1040 (even if that DOES remind me of taxes!). Some day I will want to get another NB (especially if the 879 self-destructs quickly like the critiques at roadrunners say). I read those critiques and they are right on the money. I can't judge the durability, but everything else they said seemed correct to me.

Also, thanks for the new links.

Any time I think I don't like NB, I try on the Nike Airs that I bought at the beginning of PF when I didn't know better. I could wear them, but my NB are much more comfortable for me right now.

Carole C

Re: I like that runner's loop! thanks :) (nm)

Carole C on 4/29/02 at 08:15 (081566)

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Re: I like that runner's loop! thanks :) (nm)

Donna SL on 4/29/02 at 12:06 (081590)

Carole,

Oh good! Hope the heel area feels more snug.

Donna

Re: I like that runner's loop! thanks :)

Carole C in NOLA on 4/29/02 at 12:14 (081593)

Yes it does feel a little more snug (though it's still a little sloppy this morning; but maybe as I work with it from day to day, it will feel snugger).

Mostly, it is MUCH easier and faster to 'snug up' that area with the runner's loop than trying to do it with the usual lacing. I don't have to spend nearly as long pulling different parts of the lacing and adjusting and so on.

Yesterday I looked at the runnersworld website, and looked at the feedback from people who have owned the 1021 and the 1040. Whew! They got some really bad reviews. People said the 1020 was much better than the 1021.

Carole C

Re: more shoe options

Donna SL on 4/29/02 at 16:14 (081607)

Carole,

If the 1020 is the one I'm thinking about I thought it was an awful shoe, and the 1021 was a big improvement. The 1020 had a medial piece in what was supposed to be a neutral shoe. The 1020 felt stiff, awkward, and had a terrible heel to toe transition. IMO the 1021 is a much better shoe, and more stable. I noticed they said the 1040 did not have a good heel counter.

I didn't have a chance to try the 879 yesterday, but tried the NB 974 walking shoe, and thought it was too stiff, and had terrible heel stability. I also tried their trail shoe.

The Rockport walking adventure shoe that I brought home in addition to the Taconic feels better than the NB. The NB trail shoe wasn't bad, but was a little difficult to walk in, and didn't breath well. I wanted to get a very rugged walking shoe for when we walk all day on these hills in San Francisco, which is like taking a major hike. The Taconic is still my favorite, and the most comfortable, but the adventure shoes were on sale, so I thought I'd give them a try. The adventure shoes felt a little stiff in the forefoot at first in my right foot, but are starting to feel better the more I walk in them at home. They also have a nice lift in the heel, and a lot of mid foot support. I still need to decide on them, but they still feel better than any of the running shoes so far. I don't think I could wear running shoes all day like these shoes unless I had an orthotic in it. Running shoes don't seem to offer enough support for me for all day walking.

If you get a chance you can see them on the rockport.com site in the performance/ outdoor xcs adventure walking shoes section. The Mojave looks nice in person in black/silver. I bought the Shenandoah in the taupe which looks nice with jeans, and am going to get the Mojave in black/silver also for a more conservative look. They both look much better in person. Your knees may feel better in these, and the Taconics, because both have more support than the running shoes, and even the SAS shoes. I thought the SAS shoe was nice, but not the most supportive shoe at least for me for long term walking.

All the Rockport Concept/retail stores are having a 1/2 price sale on them until May 3rd, so they may be worth a try for $42.50. The Rockport stores will send them out to you if you can't get to them, and will take them back if you don't like them. They also come in wide widths. They run a little short though, so size up a whole size if you decide to try them. I also liked the wider width. The online store is still charging full price. They come with a dmx insole which I'm not thrilled about, but it can be removed. and a regular insole can be put it.

Donna

Re: more shoe options

Carole C in NOLA on 4/29/02 at 18:51 (081648)

The adventure shoe doesn't appeal to me, but like you said, the photo may not do it justice. I may look at it when I go to the Rockport store.

Half price off is wonderful! Is it only the Adventure shoes that are half price, or the Taconics and World Tours too?

I agree with you about SAS, although I like them when I'm not walking a lot and need something a little more conservative than an athletic shoe.

Thanks for the tip on the NB 974; that definitely doesn't sound like the shoe for me, with those heel problems. I will definitely have to try the 1021 on, out of curiousity if nothing else! When I read the reviews, it seemed like several people were saying they loved the 1020 but hated the 1021. They said the 1021 was too loose in the heel. But then, they said that the 1040 had insufficient cushioning and resulted in knee pain. Guess you can't please everyone all the time.

I'm going to go try on some of these NB and Rockport shoes myself, maybe soon, and compare them and take notes about how they feel to me in the store. I might be able to narrow my list down, and find a shoe that I like better than the 879 for daily life. Now that I'm doing so well, there's no rush. I can look carefully, and once I've selected a shoe, I can wait and/or scour the net for a sale. The only time limitation is the lifespan of my 879's. :)

By the way, an unexpected pleasure with the runner's loop; I can get the shoes OFF more easily too. It's a lot easier to both loosen and tighten the laces, and they feel more snug.

Carole C

Re: more shoe options

Donna SL on 4/29/02 at 20:43 (081675)

Carole,

There are several shoes on sale, but the Taconic, and the world tour are not. The Taconic is new, and is flying out the door, so I don't think they will be putting them on sale anytime soon. Maybe if they change colors for the fall. I've never seen the world tour on sale either.

Salepeople in various shoe stores the last few days have told me that there are so many shoes made today that are overly cushioned, and not really supportive, because many shoe companies are only interested in point of sale comfort. The shoes feel really good when the person slips then on, because they are so soft, and people buy them, but after a couple of days to weeks they break down, and offer no support, and the person has foot pain in some cases. I think if more people wore better shoes there would be less need for orthotics. There are so many junky shose on the market. I remember around 8 years ago the first podiatrist I saw told me the Nike's I was wearing, and most sneakers were junk, and to get a pair of Rockports. I thought he was nuts, and didn't listen to him. Maybe if I had looked for a more supportive shoe at the time, I may not have sought orthotics, and developed so many problems.

The Rockport shoes may feel different than a soft sneaker when you first put them on, but you can feel the difference in the support, and even the firmest ones become comfortable very quickly. Also not every shoe in the Rockport line is good either, so you have to be selective. Most better shoe companies have good and bad shoes in the line, and there are many good shoes on the market, but you have to search for them. Even Ecco has some shoes other than the receptors that are very supportive, and trimmer looking, yet a lot of their shoes offer no support either. I've only seen an extensive selection of Ecco's at the Ecco concept store. They have a shoe call the soft sneaker which isn't bad, and also many other walking shoes that have a trimmer look, but a lot of them run so narrow. Also companies like Clarks, Bass, Timberland, Munro, Romika, Portania, Dexter, Mephisto, Merrell etc. make quality shoes, but they are harder to find.

IMO these are superior to any NB shoe. If you notice there are only a few of the same old models that are decent that most pods keep recommending over, and over again out of this line, and maybe a couple of Brooks, or Asics shoes. Most of the remaining ones in the line are crap. Also, what if you are not a pronator, or don't want to wear those hulky looking things?

The US market seems to be flooded with mostly poor quality athletic shoes, or uncomfortable dress shoes, and you have to work harder to find a better cushioned supportive shoe here. I noticed it was easier in Europe to find quality good looking comfort shoes. Things are starting to change here slowly though, and it's been getting a little better.

Also, as far as the running shoe reviews remember you are reading reviews mostly from runners using the shoe to run in. There is a different stride for a runner vs a walker, and what might work for running might not work for walking. Running shoes are also very light, because so many runners are concerned about every little ounce of weight rather than then the durablity so much. The uppers are not very supportive either.

I was trying orthotics in athletic shoes for years without success, and feel like I have the support of an orthotic in these Rockport shoes. I'm just wondering how an orthotic can really work if someone wears them in an athletic shoe with some type of gel, air, absorb, etc. It seems to me that they distort the correction of the orthotic, because the back is dropping into the negative heel cushion. When I put a heel lift in it didn't really help. Even without an orthotic it seems like if the heels are too soft that after a while the fascia would get strained again, either from the instability of the heel on the soft material, or the pulling on the fascia, tendons, etc. If I was a podiatrist an athletic shoe with extra heel cushion would be the last thing I would recommend for PF. I know I mentioned this before, but most of the salespeople at RRS don't recommend running shoes for walking.

Too much cushion in a shoe will cause more strain on your joints, tissues, etc., and excessive movement in your lower extremities. It will also throw off your balance. How do you knees feel in the 879 so far? If they are working stick with them, but if not look for a more supportive shoe.

I'm so glad the runner's loop is working.

Donna

Re: more shoe options

Carole C in NOLA on 4/29/02 at 22:36 (081700)

Thanks for the terrific and informative post. About four of those high quality brands of shoes were names I was unfamiliar with, so I will remember them and check them out in the months ahead.

In answer to your question, yes, my knees have started to hurt again. They are swelled so I am back on Celebrex. My left hip also has been getting sharp cramps in it after a couple of hours of shopping, and but this can be lessened by shaking and/or stretching.

Basically, I'm almost back where I started. My knees are painful but no worse than always, and my PF only bother me a little now. My hip sometimes hurt before, and though these hip cramps are much stronger, I can shake them out.

What you are saying makes sense. My knee and hip trouble might possibly be due to a slight need for more support or stability in the shoe, magnified by the fact that I'm almost 100 pounds overweight. I'm trying to lose weight.

I can walk in the NB 879's, so this neutral cushioning shoe is vaguely in the ballpark. I don't think it is going to injure my PF because the latter seem very strong right now. I think my tendonitis has just about disappeared too, though it returns when I overdo. The only reason I'm not going barefoot is because I don't want to tempt fate.

Carole C

Re: more athletic shoe options hips, knees

Donna SL on 4/30/02 at 13:30 (081792)

Carole,

I'm thinking some of the pain in your hips, knees, etc, may be also due to the increased walking you are doing, and tight/weak muscles elsewhere. Have you been doing extensive stretching/strenthening exercises for other parts of your body other than your feet? Some of the hip pain may be due to a tight IT band, tight piraformis, etc., and precise stretching for that particular area may help. Also, you need to do stretches for your back, hamstrings, quads, etc. Also, strengthening the ABs is very important to stabilize the whole torso. Some supervised sessions with either an athletic trainer, or PT to show you how to stretch, and strengthen these areas properly would probably help you more than celebrex.

Pilates would be the best if you had the time. For example, since I started pilates I rarely have to go to my chiro for my back, hip, etc., problems now. Pilates gives you great strength, stabilization, and flexiblity on every every part of the body, including the feet.

I also forgot to mention the Asics Nimbus III. You may like it. It is very firm yet cushioned, and seems to have a nice lift in the heel. I only had a quick chance to try it on before the store was closing, but it felt good. I didn't like the old Nimbus, but this is a big improvement. Asics is using this new material called Speva which has a firmer more responsive feel, and it doesn't break down so fast. It would be worth giving it a try.

Asics also has a white leather cross trainer called the gel cruise which is a nice stable shoe with a lot of cushioning for $57.00. RRS shows it on the specialty store section for Asics. It has a different feel then the running shoe, but it's worth considering. I didn't like the other x-trainers they have.

If you order it from RRS, and join their club for $20.00 you can wear the shoes for 60 days, and return them if you hate them. It's worth it. I would have lost hundreds of dollars on shoes I couldn't wear. I usually order several at a time to compare.

Asics runs very small. Whatever size you take in NB, order a 1/2 size on top of that for Asics. For example if you look at the cm size on a 9 1/2 NB it is equivalent to a 10 Asics. The NB 1021 also runs much more narrow than the 879, and a little short, so you would probably need a wide, or size up another 1/2 a size in that too.

RRS is always offering free shipping deals. They usually pop up when you browse through their screens, but if not just ask about it when you call the 800 #. If you tell them you saw it they will give you the free shipping.

Donna

Re: more athletic shoe options hips, knees

Carole C on 5/01/02 at 06:51 (081916)

Regaining my mobility is something that I'm constantly working on. In fact, that is how I got PF to begin with; an injudicious and overly exuberant new fitness regimen while trying to regain my mobility (arthritis had robbed me of it for years, and Celebrex worked wonders for me). I learned the lesson of the tortoise and the hare. If I had been the tortoise, and gradually, sensibly, and cautiously increased my exercise each day, I'd probably be capable of a lot more physical activity than I can presently handle.

I'm not going to get a personal trainer at present but I got some excellent cards with stretches illustrated on them, during our 'Safety Week' at work. These stretches all seem very safe and not overly rigorous (as you might expect of something given to hundreds of unselected people at a time). Some of them stretch the muscles that are cramping up, as well as the other muscles and tissues you mention. I've found the hamstring stretches are very pleasant and helpful in loosening things up. In general I'm starting some stretching, slowly and cautiously since I'm the tortoise now.

The Nimbus III is on sale at Roadrunner or somewhere; I'm pretty sure I saw it. I'd want to try it on first, though. Thanks for the tips concerning size; I am wearing a 9 1/2 in my 879's, and it is almost too short. Of course with that huge toe box, I would have been swimming in a 10. But, I would probably need a 10 in the 1021 and Asics.

Carole C

Re: Great new Rockport shoe

Carole C in NOLA on 4/27/02 at 22:31 (081414)

Sounds like a great shoe, Donna!

I've been wearing my New Balance 879's most of the time lately, and my SAS sometimes too. The heel on the NB doesn't bother me any more and I think that is probably because I have been recovering pretty rapidly recently, a happy turn of events.

Carole C

Re: Rockport Link

Donna SL on 4/27/02 at 22:38 (081415)

If the Rockport link that I put in doesn't work go to Rockport site directly http://www.rockport-shoes.com/

then to shop, then to women's or men's footwear, then to the casual shoe list, then to 'Open Road', and the Taconic is on the second, and third pages. The first page shows the Liard which is not as stable.

Donna

Re: Great new Rockport shoe

Donna SL on 4/27/02 at 23:04 (081416)

Carole,

I think it is wonderful shoe, and liked it better than the world tour. It also feels so light on the foot. It has better cushion and support, and has a roomier toe box then the world tour, but the world tour isn't a bad shoe either.

I'm so glad you can wear the 879's now, and you are recovering so nicely. Did you ever try the runner's loop I told you about to snug up the heel? If the heel gets too soft put a firm to hard 1/16th inch heel lift in under the insole, not a soft gel lift.

I was thinking about you when I was in the New Balance concept store the other day. Most of the shoes felt awful too me. I didn't try the 879 because the 878 didn't work for me, but tried some of the new cross trainers, and a couple of walking shoes, and most of the shoes were so sinky in the heel, and had no lateral support. Most of the NB shoes have little lateral support except their hiking shoes. I also can't stand the absorb, because it's too soft, and pulls on my heels, fascia, TTS area, etc. I don't have the greatest range of motion in my ankles. The only NB shoe that wasn't too bad, was their cheapie 300 tennis shoe. I think it was all firm EVA w/o absorb. I don't know if it would hold up very long though.

Donna

Re: Great new Rockport shoe

Carole C in NOLA on 4/28/02 at 09:02 (081438)

That Rockport sounds FABULOUS! Also, it looks reasonably conservative in the photos, and I like that. This information is definitely valuable for me and I will keep it in mind for a future shoe purchase. I never did make it to the Rockport store, but I know where it is. :)

I never did find out how to do the runner's loop. A less 'sloppy' heel in the NB 879 would still be an improvement, but even though the heel still seems 'sloppy' that doesn't bother me as much now. If the heel gets too soft, I'll keep that heel lift in mind. I suspect I may never need another special insert or orthotic. I haven't worn any (not even my custom orthotics) for the past few weeks and so far so good, except that I'm walking so much (and I'm quite obese) so my arthritic knees are hurting like they used to. Gotta lose some weight.

Believe it or not, the one thing that I truly enjoy about the NB 879 is the CUSHIONING, especially in the heel..... I can walk and walk and walk and walk now, without my feet feeling as though they were being pounded. My SAS shoes don't have as much cushioning, though they are still comfortable at work where I don't walk as much. Cushioning seems to have become more of a big deal for me the more I am capable of walking. I can fairly BOUND through Super Wal-Mart and a half dozen other stores in one day, now, wearing my 879's which are so well cushioning and put a bounce in my step.

I know this seems reverse to what I was saying before, but my feet are doing more for me and seem to have different needs now since they have been changing/recovering. Or maybe it's just the beneficial effects of changing shoes now and then.

I agree with you about the lateral support, and this is something that I noticed more with the 879's than with the 854's. Maybe that's because of the PF-2 last instead of the PF-1 (which seems to fit my feet better), or maybe because of the better lacing system of the 854's. I'm still glad I didn't get the 854's, because the more I walk, the more my knees and hips are affected by my gait, and the more important heel cushioning seems to me. My feet are rapidly growing stronger and I'm not getting any set-backs due to the lateral support problem in the 879's.

I'm not 100% yet but I am normally at a pain level of less than 0.5. If I overdo a little it can go up to 1 or even 2, but it's back down by the next morning or the day after. And almost every day I seem to make noticeable progress which is so encouraging.

Carole C

Re: Found lacing diagram

Donna SL on 4/28/02 at 14:02 (081473)

Hi Carole,

I found a lacing diagram from the afoas. Scroll down to heel problems. It may look a little confusing, but when you put the lace in the last hole you put it in the hole on the same side as the hole before that one. Then criss cross the remaining laces into the little loops that you formed. This will snug up the heel when you pull.

http://www.aofas.org/lacing.asp

It's weird, but I like the sL1 fit better too. A wide width works perfectly for me in the sL1 last, but the sL2 runs a little short, and wide yet the medium isn't wide enough, and the wide is a litte too wide. If I size up much more the shoe is too long. NB assumes people with high arches have shorter feet which is not true.

I looked at the picture of the 879, and NB seemed to improve it somewhat over the 878, except for maybe the sloppy heel fit. From the picture it looks a little more supportive. I haven't looked at the 879 in the store yet. Maybe I'll give it a try. I remember the old 877 was a little more supportive, and then the 878 got really mushy. My pod hated that shoe on my foot. Also the 1021 wasn't bad from what I remember, and it seemed a little firmer especially in the heel area. NB also came out with an
'N-Ergy' cartridge in a couple of shoes. It's in the W1040RS neutral shoe, and it may offer a little more stability. I haven't tried that either yet. I think when NB became very popular, and they started pumping out tons of shoes their quality control went down the drain, but maybe they have cleaned up their act. They had a small number of good models, but they were also producing a lot of junk.

It's tough though to find running shoes in any brand with any decent lateral support. That feature is usually in hiking/trail, tennis, basketball, cross-training, and volley ball shoes. The Taconic heel is flaired which contributes to the stability, which is rare in a casual shoe.

Roadrunnersports has a critic line. Have you seen it?

The main complaint on the 879 was the heel fit, and durability of the shoe, but maybe it would hold up better for walking only.

http://www.roadrunnersports.com/cgi-bin/rrs/rrs/rrShoeCritic.jsp?BV_SessionID=@@@@2089754110.1020017516@@@@&BV_EngineID=eadcdljimjegbekgcgecfeedgf.0

You can also get to the critic section by going through the main menu
http://www.roadrunnersports.com

then to 'expert shoe help' then to 'shoe critic'

Browns NB catalog center has such clear pictures of the shoes, and you can enlarge them, and look at them from many different angles, but they don't show all NB models.

http://www.newbalancecatalogcenter.com/default.htm

NB web express also shows clear picture, and offers more from the line, but they can't been seen at different angles like Browns.

http://www.nbwebexpress.com/

I'm not a big fan of NB, but may re-try a couple more pairs of shoes. It looks like they might have improved the ww974 walking shoe also. Last years model was terrible, and ran very short, and narrow, and wasn't very stable. From the picture it looks a little better than before, but it may just be cosmetics.

The Asics new Kayano 02 isn't a bad shoe either. They drastically changed it from the previous style. I thought the heel counter was a little too low though.

Keep up the good work. You seem to be making an amazing recovery.

Donna

Re: Found lacing diagram

Carole C in NOLA on 4/28/02 at 17:24 (081494)

Yes, the rate of my recovery in the past two months has amazed me, too. For a long time it seemed like my progress was so slow, and then it was like I passed some 'critical point' beyond which it has all been downhill.

Thanks for the diagram for making a runner's loop! It is easy to see how it is done from the picture. I will try it, for sure.

I agree so completely with what you say about the SL2. It is almost too short for me, and yet the toe box is too wide in some places for even my very wide feet. It is supportive along some parts of the foot, but not in others.

Re: and more

Carole C in NOLA on 4/28/02 at 17:32 (081495)

Well I wasn't done posting but hit the button. 'Loose nut at the keys'. LOL

Anyway, I was just sayint the 879 is not supportive everywhere that I would want support. I may try on a 1021 and the 1040 (even if that DOES remind me of taxes!). Some day I will want to get another NB (especially if the 879 self-destructs quickly like the critiques at roadrunners say). I read those critiques and they are right on the money. I can't judge the durability, but everything else they said seemed correct to me.

Also, thanks for the new links.

Any time I think I don't like NB, I try on the Nike Airs that I bought at the beginning of PF when I didn't know better. I could wear them, but my NB are much more comfortable for me right now.

Carole C

Re: I like that runner's loop! thanks :) (nm)

Carole C on 4/29/02 at 08:15 (081566)

.

Re: I like that runner's loop! thanks :) (nm)

Donna SL on 4/29/02 at 12:06 (081590)

Carole,

Oh good! Hope the heel area feels more snug.

Donna

Re: I like that runner's loop! thanks :)

Carole C in NOLA on 4/29/02 at 12:14 (081593)

Yes it does feel a little more snug (though it's still a little sloppy this morning; but maybe as I work with it from day to day, it will feel snugger).

Mostly, it is MUCH easier and faster to 'snug up' that area with the runner's loop than trying to do it with the usual lacing. I don't have to spend nearly as long pulling different parts of the lacing and adjusting and so on.

Yesterday I looked at the runnersworld website, and looked at the feedback from people who have owned the 1021 and the 1040. Whew! They got some really bad reviews. People said the 1020 was much better than the 1021.

Carole C

Re: more shoe options

Donna SL on 4/29/02 at 16:14 (081607)

Carole,

If the 1020 is the one I'm thinking about I thought it was an awful shoe, and the 1021 was a big improvement. The 1020 had a medial piece in what was supposed to be a neutral shoe. The 1020 felt stiff, awkward, and had a terrible heel to toe transition. IMO the 1021 is a much better shoe, and more stable. I noticed they said the 1040 did not have a good heel counter.

I didn't have a chance to try the 879 yesterday, but tried the NB 974 walking shoe, and thought it was too stiff, and had terrible heel stability. I also tried their trail shoe.

The Rockport walking adventure shoe that I brought home in addition to the Taconic feels better than the NB. The NB trail shoe wasn't bad, but was a little difficult to walk in, and didn't breath well. I wanted to get a very rugged walking shoe for when we walk all day on these hills in San Francisco, which is like taking a major hike. The Taconic is still my favorite, and the most comfortable, but the adventure shoes were on sale, so I thought I'd give them a try. The adventure shoes felt a little stiff in the forefoot at first in my right foot, but are starting to feel better the more I walk in them at home. They also have a nice lift in the heel, and a lot of mid foot support. I still need to decide on them, but they still feel better than any of the running shoes so far. I don't think I could wear running shoes all day like these shoes unless I had an orthotic in it. Running shoes don't seem to offer enough support for me for all day walking.

If you get a chance you can see them on the rockport.com site in the performance/ outdoor xcs adventure walking shoes section. The Mojave looks nice in person in black/silver. I bought the Shenandoah in the taupe which looks nice with jeans, and am going to get the Mojave in black/silver also for a more conservative look. They both look much better in person. Your knees may feel better in these, and the Taconics, because both have more support than the running shoes, and even the SAS shoes. I thought the SAS shoe was nice, but not the most supportive shoe at least for me for long term walking.

All the Rockport Concept/retail stores are having a 1/2 price sale on them until May 3rd, so they may be worth a try for $42.50. The Rockport stores will send them out to you if you can't get to them, and will take them back if you don't like them. They also come in wide widths. They run a little short though, so size up a whole size if you decide to try them. I also liked the wider width. The online store is still charging full price. They come with a dmx insole which I'm not thrilled about, but it can be removed. and a regular insole can be put it.

Donna

Re: more shoe options

Carole C in NOLA on 4/29/02 at 18:51 (081648)

The adventure shoe doesn't appeal to me, but like you said, the photo may not do it justice. I may look at it when I go to the Rockport store.

Half price off is wonderful! Is it only the Adventure shoes that are half price, or the Taconics and World Tours too?

I agree with you about SAS, although I like them when I'm not walking a lot and need something a little more conservative than an athletic shoe.

Thanks for the tip on the NB 974; that definitely doesn't sound like the shoe for me, with those heel problems. I will definitely have to try the 1021 on, out of curiousity if nothing else! When I read the reviews, it seemed like several people were saying they loved the 1020 but hated the 1021. They said the 1021 was too loose in the heel. But then, they said that the 1040 had insufficient cushioning and resulted in knee pain. Guess you can't please everyone all the time.

I'm going to go try on some of these NB and Rockport shoes myself, maybe soon, and compare them and take notes about how they feel to me in the store. I might be able to narrow my list down, and find a shoe that I like better than the 879 for daily life. Now that I'm doing so well, there's no rush. I can look carefully, and once I've selected a shoe, I can wait and/or scour the net for a sale. The only time limitation is the lifespan of my 879's. :)

By the way, an unexpected pleasure with the runner's loop; I can get the shoes OFF more easily too. It's a lot easier to both loosen and tighten the laces, and they feel more snug.

Carole C

Re: more shoe options

Donna SL on 4/29/02 at 20:43 (081675)

Carole,

There are several shoes on sale, but the Taconic, and the world tour are not. The Taconic is new, and is flying out the door, so I don't think they will be putting them on sale anytime soon. Maybe if they change colors for the fall. I've never seen the world tour on sale either.

Salepeople in various shoe stores the last few days have told me that there are so many shoes made today that are overly cushioned, and not really supportive, because many shoe companies are only interested in point of sale comfort. The shoes feel really good when the person slips then on, because they are so soft, and people buy them, but after a couple of days to weeks they break down, and offer no support, and the person has foot pain in some cases. I think if more people wore better shoes there would be less need for orthotics. There are so many junky shose on the market. I remember around 8 years ago the first podiatrist I saw told me the Nike's I was wearing, and most sneakers were junk, and to get a pair of Rockports. I thought he was nuts, and didn't listen to him. Maybe if I had looked for a more supportive shoe at the time, I may not have sought orthotics, and developed so many problems.

The Rockport shoes may feel different than a soft sneaker when you first put them on, but you can feel the difference in the support, and even the firmest ones become comfortable very quickly. Also not every shoe in the Rockport line is good either, so you have to be selective. Most better shoe companies have good and bad shoes in the line, and there are many good shoes on the market, but you have to search for them. Even Ecco has some shoes other than the receptors that are very supportive, and trimmer looking, yet a lot of their shoes offer no support either. I've only seen an extensive selection of Ecco's at the Ecco concept store. They have a shoe call the soft sneaker which isn't bad, and also many other walking shoes that have a trimmer look, but a lot of them run so narrow. Also companies like Clarks, Bass, Timberland, Munro, Romika, Portania, Dexter, Mephisto, Merrell etc. make quality shoes, but they are harder to find.

IMO these are superior to any NB shoe. If you notice there are only a few of the same old models that are decent that most pods keep recommending over, and over again out of this line, and maybe a couple of Brooks, or Asics shoes. Most of the remaining ones in the line are crap. Also, what if you are not a pronator, or don't want to wear those hulky looking things?

The US market seems to be flooded with mostly poor quality athletic shoes, or uncomfortable dress shoes, and you have to work harder to find a better cushioned supportive shoe here. I noticed it was easier in Europe to find quality good looking comfort shoes. Things are starting to change here slowly though, and it's been getting a little better.

Also, as far as the running shoe reviews remember you are reading reviews mostly from runners using the shoe to run in. There is a different stride for a runner vs a walker, and what might work for running might not work for walking. Running shoes are also very light, because so many runners are concerned about every little ounce of weight rather than then the durablity so much. The uppers are not very supportive either.

I was trying orthotics in athletic shoes for years without success, and feel like I have the support of an orthotic in these Rockport shoes. I'm just wondering how an orthotic can really work if someone wears them in an athletic shoe with some type of gel, air, absorb, etc. It seems to me that they distort the correction of the orthotic, because the back is dropping into the negative heel cushion. When I put a heel lift in it didn't really help. Even without an orthotic it seems like if the heels are too soft that after a while the fascia would get strained again, either from the instability of the heel on the soft material, or the pulling on the fascia, tendons, etc. If I was a podiatrist an athletic shoe with extra heel cushion would be the last thing I would recommend for PF. I know I mentioned this before, but most of the salespeople at RRS don't recommend running shoes for walking.

Too much cushion in a shoe will cause more strain on your joints, tissues, etc., and excessive movement in your lower extremities. It will also throw off your balance. How do you knees feel in the 879 so far? If they are working stick with them, but if not look for a more supportive shoe.

I'm so glad the runner's loop is working.

Donna

Re: more shoe options

Carole C in NOLA on 4/29/02 at 22:36 (081700)

Thanks for the terrific and informative post. About four of those high quality brands of shoes were names I was unfamiliar with, so I will remember them and check them out in the months ahead.

In answer to your question, yes, my knees have started to hurt again. They are swelled so I am back on Celebrex. My left hip also has been getting sharp cramps in it after a couple of hours of shopping, and but this can be lessened by shaking and/or stretching.

Basically, I'm almost back where I started. My knees are painful but no worse than always, and my PF only bother me a little now. My hip sometimes hurt before, and though these hip cramps are much stronger, I can shake them out.

What you are saying makes sense. My knee and hip trouble might possibly be due to a slight need for more support or stability in the shoe, magnified by the fact that I'm almost 100 pounds overweight. I'm trying to lose weight.

I can walk in the NB 879's, so this neutral cushioning shoe is vaguely in the ballpark. I don't think it is going to injure my PF because the latter seem very strong right now. I think my tendonitis has just about disappeared too, though it returns when I overdo. The only reason I'm not going barefoot is because I don't want to tempt fate.

Carole C

Re: more athletic shoe options hips, knees

Donna SL on 4/30/02 at 13:30 (081792)

Carole,

I'm thinking some of the pain in your hips, knees, etc, may be also due to the increased walking you are doing, and tight/weak muscles elsewhere. Have you been doing extensive stretching/strenthening exercises for other parts of your body other than your feet? Some of the hip pain may be due to a tight IT band, tight piraformis, etc., and precise stretching for that particular area may help. Also, you need to do stretches for your back, hamstrings, quads, etc. Also, strengthening the ABs is very important to stabilize the whole torso. Some supervised sessions with either an athletic trainer, or PT to show you how to stretch, and strengthen these areas properly would probably help you more than celebrex.

Pilates would be the best if you had the time. For example, since I started pilates I rarely have to go to my chiro for my back, hip, etc., problems now. Pilates gives you great strength, stabilization, and flexiblity on every every part of the body, including the feet.

I also forgot to mention the Asics Nimbus III. You may like it. It is very firm yet cushioned, and seems to have a nice lift in the heel. I only had a quick chance to try it on before the store was closing, but it felt good. I didn't like the old Nimbus, but this is a big improvement. Asics is using this new material called Speva which has a firmer more responsive feel, and it doesn't break down so fast. It would be worth giving it a try.

Asics also has a white leather cross trainer called the gel cruise which is a nice stable shoe with a lot of cushioning for $57.00. RRS shows it on the specialty store section for Asics. It has a different feel then the running shoe, but it's worth considering. I didn't like the other x-trainers they have.

If you order it from RRS, and join their club for $20.00 you can wear the shoes for 60 days, and return them if you hate them. It's worth it. I would have lost hundreds of dollars on shoes I couldn't wear. I usually order several at a time to compare.

Asics runs very small. Whatever size you take in NB, order a 1/2 size on top of that for Asics. For example if you look at the cm size on a 9 1/2 NB it is equivalent to a 10 Asics. The NB 1021 also runs much more narrow than the 879, and a little short, so you would probably need a wide, or size up another 1/2 a size in that too.

RRS is always offering free shipping deals. They usually pop up when you browse through their screens, but if not just ask about it when you call the 800 #. If you tell them you saw it they will give you the free shipping.

Donna

Re: more athletic shoe options hips, knees

Carole C on 5/01/02 at 06:51 (081916)

Regaining my mobility is something that I'm constantly working on. In fact, that is how I got PF to begin with; an injudicious and overly exuberant new fitness regimen while trying to regain my mobility (arthritis had robbed me of it for years, and Celebrex worked wonders for me). I learned the lesson of the tortoise and the hare. If I had been the tortoise, and gradually, sensibly, and cautiously increased my exercise each day, I'd probably be capable of a lot more physical activity than I can presently handle.

I'm not going to get a personal trainer at present but I got some excellent cards with stretches illustrated on them, during our 'Safety Week' at work. These stretches all seem very safe and not overly rigorous (as you might expect of something given to hundreds of unselected people at a time). Some of them stretch the muscles that are cramping up, as well as the other muscles and tissues you mention. I've found the hamstring stretches are very pleasant and helpful in loosening things up. In general I'm starting some stretching, slowly and cautiously since I'm the tortoise now.

The Nimbus III is on sale at Roadrunner or somewhere; I'm pretty sure I saw it. I'd want to try it on first, though. Thanks for the tips concerning size; I am wearing a 9 1/2 in my 879's, and it is almost too short. Of course with that huge toe box, I would have been swimming in a 10. But, I would probably need a 10 in the 1021 and Asics.

Carole C