Back in April, I bought a new pair of top-of-the-line Adidas Scorch Microbounce + trainers to help indulge my burgeoning workout habit. I used them mostly at the gym as I lifted weights and used the cardio machines. In June, I took up running outdoors, gradually increasing the distance and intensity as all the trainers suggest. I kept using the same shoes, and my feet felt fine in them. The only minor irritant with the fancy shock-absorbing design of the Adidas Bounce springs is that they sometimes pick up gravel, which gets jammed between the springs, forcing you to stop and remove the rock. You can definitely feel a rock that’s jammed in your sole while you’re running, so I learned to avoid gravel.

Last Sunday, part way through a run, my left foot started to feel a bit sore. I pushed through it and finished the run. My foot felt fine after resting. I ran the following Tuesday, and this time the pain started almost at the beginning of the run and was more intense at the end. This time the pain lingered for a few days afterward. Nothing intense, just a bit of soreness on the outer edge of my left foot, about two third of the way from my little toe to my heel. I skipped the run on Thursday and used the elliptical at the gym.

On Friday and Saturday, we attended the Sackville Fall Fair and I did a fair bit of walking. By the end of the event, my foot was killing me and I had developed a limp. I decided to seek medical attention the next day.

And so I visited the Sackville ER and had x-rays done. The doc didn’t see anything but said it could be a developing stress fracture. He told me to stop all impact exercices for a while and he’d get a bone scan booked for me in a few days.

A few hours later, the phone rang at home. The doctor was calling back to say that another radiologist had looked at the x-rays and pointed out a hairline fracture. The doc made arrangements for me to pick up some crutches at the local drugstore and take all weight off of it. He also set up an appointment for me with an orthopedic specialist at Georges Dumont Hospital in Moncton the following morning.

The second doctor also saw the hairline fracture on my 5th metatarsal and said it was an unusual fracture to get from running. He prescribed SIX WEEKS on crutches while it heals. Well, I had tried carrying a glass of water on crutches the night before and had realized that these implements were something I’d rather avoid if I could. I inquired about alternative treatments.

“Well, you could wear an Aircast,” he suggested. “You might not heal as quickly with it, though.” 

It was a risk that seemed acceptable to me, so I picked up my Aircast later that day and submitted the insurance claim form shortly afterwards.

So now I’m wearing one of these:

Aircast

Aircast

Instead of one of these:

Adidas Scorch Microbounce

Adidas Scorch Microbounce

…and I’m not terribly happy about it.

Now, one could say that I just pushed myself too hard, too quickly and that it’s all my fault that I didn’t listen to my body. Hey, I’m a relatively new jogger. However, I happened to take a closer look at my shoe yesterday and noticed something that wouldn’t normally happen to a conventional foam sole.

Broken Spring

Broken Spring

This broken “Bounce” spring in my shoe definitely has more give in it than the intact springs on either side of it. Not just that, but it happens to be the spring right under the bone in my foot that’s fractured.

Broken spring, third from left

What does this mean? Well, I don’t know what sort of recourse I have at this point. I’ll be contacting Adidas to find out. But for now, I definitely don’t intend to use this type of shoe for running once my foot heals enough to get back out there again.

Caveat emptor, and check your springs regularly if you buy shoes like these.