Freedom to Shoes

Monday, 9 March 2009  |  Gear + Gadgets


If there’s one good thing that arose from the ITBS injury it would be this: the freedom to shift from motion-control to neutral shoes. Yeah baby!

The good news came straight out of my doctor’s mouth a couple of weeks ago. It was the same doctor who ordered me, early last year, to use Spenco insoles and, later on, switch to motion-control shoes to correct my overpronating flat-feet.

You know, it’s bad enough to discover that you are a flat-footed runner because you will face issues that those fortunate, biomechanically efficient runners will never have to contend with. But, the worst thing about it is the lack of motion-control shoes locally. (Is it because we flat-footed Filipino runners are a rare breed?)  Mizuno does not sell motion-control shoes, Nike only sells the Nike Zoom Elite 4 for motion-control for women (correct me if I”m wrong), and Asics does not have the Gel Evolution 4 here. Adidas offered the Adistar Control 4 so I made the big purchase. The Adistar Control 4 was what I wore last year, including New Balance 25k and Singapore Half, with my Spenco insoles inside.

So, the doctor did order me to shift to neutral shoes and put a halt to wearing spenco. Woohoo!

The moment I found out, visions of various running shoes in all colors, models, and brands flashed before my eyes. I finally get to wear some of the shoes that have been gathering dust in my closet! And, when it’s time to go shoe shopping again, I get to choose from the wide variety of handsome, fast-looking, neutral shoes displayed on the shelves!  

Oh god, I better get back on the road soon. My feet are itching for some neutrals already…

Goodbye Double Knots!

Tuesday, 13 January 2009  |  Gear + Gadgets

For the past 30 years of my life, I have known only one way to tie my shoelaces.  My mother passed this knowledge unto me, as her mother had passed it on to her and so on and so forth.

It was very simple, really.  She taught me to tie a ribbon, then to knot the two “bunny ears” once again to avoid them from coming untied in school or the playground.  It was ugly, but it did it’s job well.  

Then, it happened.  In the January 2009 issue of Runner’s World, I came upon an article (Knot Perfect) that woke me up to the awful truth: I had been tying my shoelaces the wrong way for practically my entire life.  That there was a much better and prettier alternative to the double knot. That, in my naivete, I had also taught my son the wrong way to lace up.

However, there was a light at the end of the tunnel.  The article provided step-by-step instructions for the Reef Knot: the recommended way to lace up using a balanced knot that would hold throughout a run. I realized soon enough that it was not too late to relearn the lacing system and move forward.


I sat down on my stool in the bathroom and tried the knot. It was amazing! Just subtle changes in my old lacing ways created a completely different ribbon, one that was tight and perfect. Better yet, after running 10km that day, it remained secure and strong!

That same day, I showed the article to hubby. And, within the week, I taught my son how to do it. Mom, you’re next!

Running Shoe Pricing Matrix

Tuesday, 2 December 2008  |  Gear + Gadgets

‘Tis the season to shop for new running items, or perhaps jot them down on a list for loved ones to purchase.

If a new running shoe is at the top of your wish list, my good friend and running shoe adviser Hector prepared this pricing matrix for you to know exactly which shoe fits into your budget (hay, if only price were of no importance)…





Thanks Hector!

Racebelts, anyone?

Wednesday, 15 October 2008  |  Gear + Gadgets

The race belt—although seemingly insignificant compared to one’s training, shoes, bike, attire, and other tri equipment—is an important accessory for a triathlete. You don’t want to be fiddling around with pins at the transition area nor do you want to feel tiny needle pokes on your tummy while you’re racing (there’s enough suffering out there on the road!) I realized the importance of this little belt, a little bit too late, as I prepared for my first tri last month. 

A week or two before the race, I went all over the Metro looking for a race belt; none at ROX, Bike King, or bike shops at Alabang. I heard these were readily available at Cartimar, but I had no intentions of spending money on gas that would have probably cost more than the race belt.  Thankfully, a runner/triathlete friend, Mark P., said he would get his hands on a few race belts from a friend.  As back up (yes, I leave no stone unturned), I also borrowed the belt of another triathlete friend, Jamike, who offered to lend his a day before the race.

To cut a long story short, I ended up with 4 race belts during the Animo Tri. Three from Mark, two of which I handed out to Marga and Philip, and one for me. Then, I used Jamike’s race belt.  Hooray for race belts! Goodbye to pins!

Fast forward to Adidas KOTR—with race belts being the farthest thing on my mind—I meet Rikkiboi and Toto, two guys who approach me proudly showing off their new products: racebelts!  They share their desire to offer belts to runners (not just triathletes) to avoid punching tiny holes in expensive singlets and avoid losing time attaching those 4 pins on your shirts. Soon, they’ll be offering new products such as “the race lace.”


The race belts will be available at future fun runs/ races so keep your eye out for them.  For any inquiries, contact Rikkiboi or Toto at