#603 – Walking on Pillows!

My New Balance "walking on pillows" running shoes

I used to dream about walking on pillows. Shoes that are so comfortable that it felt like I was walking on pillows. Happily, that dream is now a reality.

When you have rheumatoid arthritis (RA), every step you take can hurt. A lot. Footwear has come a long way since I was first diagnosed 44 years ago. Back then, it was hard to find something - anything! - that would accommodate RA feet. Bunions, dislocated toes, inflamed metatarsal heads and sore ankles can take a beating from improper footwear.

To complete my fifth municipality walking project (Operation New Westminster), I needed new runners. I went to the New Balance store and came home with two pairs, one of which I would keep. They were the Fresh Foam More V-3 Women's Running Shoes and the Women's Fresh Foam 880 V-11.

The V-3 definitely has more cushioning and because of that extra cushioning, the sole measures 2 inches thick. Yes, you will be taller in those shoes.

These New Balance shoes would certainly be Goldilocks approved. They come in three widths - narrow, regular and wide and are built to accommodate orthotics.

Marianna Makes a Decision

After much deliberation and more than a few laps around the living room and dining room, I chose the V-11.

I chose them for two reasons:

  1. If, and that's a remote if, I should twist my ankle, it's a further drop, which could result in a greater injury.
  2. I was thinking ahead to future travel. The bigger the shoe, the more real estate it occupies in a suitcase.

The V-ll has an ample amount of cushioning, even though the sole is thinner at about 1 1/4 inches. It is by far the most cushioned shoe that I've ever worn. All through New Westminster and further afield, the soles have retained their cushiony feel.

There's one little thing that I'd change if I had a say at New Balance. I'd level out the footbed so that when I did the marble test, the marble wouldn't roll to the forefoot. People who have RA often have metatarsal pain. If the footbed is level, it doesn't angle the weight of the body towards the balls of the feet.

Although I broke my own rule, it was easily remedied with a half-sole. Even without it, I wasn't experiencing the usual amount of discomfort I'd have with an elevated heel. Perhaps the cushioning made all the difference.

Side by side image comparing soles on the New Balance V-3(left) and V-11.(right) running shoes.
Comparison of the soles on the New Balance V-3 (left) and V-11 (right) running shoes
A view of the New Balance V-3 (left) and V-11 (right) shoes from the back.
A view of the New Balance V-3 (left) and V-11 (right) shoes from the back

If you like the idea of walking on pillows, do check out the New Balance shoes.

Disclosure: No, I am not being compensated by New Balance for this recommendation. Darn!

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