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When my podiatrist told me I had plantar fasciitis, I was absolutely heartbroken. Running is not just my morning jolt or something I do to stay healthy, it keeps me mentally sane. On days I don’t run, I swear my character is affected. You wouldn’t want to meet me on a day I didn’t run, because I would probably have resting b*tch face.

The next few months were extremely hard for me, and maybe I approached them in the wrong way. Instead of immediately trying physical therapy or making an appointment with a doctor who treated more aggressively, I sulked around in a walking boot (which was just meant to soften the pain) and took up swimming, which I wasn’t superfond of.

I didn’t end up with plantar fasciitis because I was running too much but because I have a terribly weak right hip, causing my entire leg to drop with each step. I learned this later when I did finally start working with PT specialists who were extremely dedicated to helping me solve my problem and promised me I’d get on the road again.

If you’re hurt, one way to stay optimistic is to remind yourself that the body heals itself. It might take awhile, but your pain will not be forever. Nevertheless, you must also be proactive: never end a workout without stretching properly, apply ice and heat to your injuries instead of ignoring them, and, most importantly, research the products you’re wearing!

After running in Brooks for years (which is a great shoe, don’t get me wrong), I assessed my own problem and realized that in order for my legs to feel light and for me to keep my body balanced on both sides, I had to find a sneaker that was almost completely weightless with a chunky sole, but one that wasn’t heavy. Enter HOKA One One.

My first pair was the 2017 Clayton in this exact colorway, which has been discontinued, but replaced with the Clayton 2. I’ve now moved on to the brand new Clifton 5, which truly makes me feel like I’m running on marshmallows. These sneakers aren’t the complete solution, as I mentioned before, but I recommend them wholeheartedly if you’ve ever felt sluggish or as though you’re “dragging” through your route.

Let me show you my favorite styles — both because of structure and, yes, the ridiculously awesome and fun shades — and when you try them, I promise you’ll be flying. I’ll meet you in the clouds, because you better believe I got my stride back.

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