Photo Credit: courtesy of Asics
In honor of our message board of the month, The Running Woman, we're checking out running gear marketed toward women.
If someone asked me to design a dream shoe to wear every fourth week, I’d ask to see the following features:
-Enhanced flexibility to help me chase after the ice cream man has he rounds the corner
-Side pocket for toting a travel–size bottle of Clearasil, four Advil and a Valium.
-Built-in infrared toe lasers to sever annoying salespeople's legs at the ankles.
-Hi-tech coil technology to improve my partner-pouncing ability, should my husband dare speak out of turn
-Sure-tie laces so they don’t unravel as I run to the freezer for my frozen Baby Ruth stash
-Easy-to-clean soles so I don’t track in mud as I check in to my five-day stay at the Red Roof Inn.
Alas, the folks at Asics have one-upped me with the creation of their Asics GEL-KAYANO 16, the first shoes designed to mold and adjust to your changing premenstrual feet. You probably know that during pregnancy, a woman’s body releases hormones that cause the ligaments to stretch, which is why so many preggies have to buy bigger shoes for nine months and often beyond. Well, when the Red Tent approaches, shifting estrogen levels also affect footsie flexibility and arch height. When the Big E is high, the arch drops. Later in the month, during your period, estrogen decreases and the arch rises. The Asics GEL-KAYANO 16 has three layers of multi-material cushioning beneath the arch which supposedly compress and expand as the arch changes. These sneaks are also specifically shaped for women’s narrower heels and have extra cushioning under the ball of the foot for shock absorption.
But their asking price of $140 is fairly steep. That could buy you 13 boxes of tampons, 8 Dove bars and you’d still have enough left over for a sturdy, supportive bra to keep your swollen knockers in place as you attempt minor athletic feats like, say, crossing the street. So I asked Jacqueline Sutera, DPM, a surgically trained podiatrist in Manhattan, if she thought these PMS-specific sneaks were legit. She said that while most of us would be just fine sticking with normal running shoes, certain women could really benefit from this product. "In my midtown Manhattan practice, most of my patients are female. Often I will hear complaints about ‘that time of the month’ and how shoes don't fit properly. This creates not only discomfort but also blisters, and encourages neuromas, hammertoes and bunion formation, to name a few." Sutera adds that women who experience premenstrual bloating may find that tight-fitting shoes might exacerbate their condition and "might really like this dynamic sneaker. " Her bottom line: "A sneaker that adapts to your foot? I approve, especially if the price wasn't so expensive!"
It sounds like these shoes are better for women who experience truly significant foot changes when their period comes, but that the rest of us could just stick with our regular running shoes. And don't put off working out just because your monthly gift has arrived on your doorstep: Exercise boosts natural brain chemicals called endorphins that make your feel happier.
Would you try a PMS-specific sneaker? Chime in below.