Thursday, May 8, 2008

These Shoes Were Made for Running....

and that's just what they'll do...

I'm excited about my new running shoes! But I have never paid so much for a pair of shoes in my life. Surely the most I have ever paid for any type of shoe was less than $50 (and that would have been during my spendthrift single years).

I began running a couple of months ago. When I say running I mean jogging but it seems like people just don't say "jogging", so I'm gonna follow suit. Running sounds more ambitious.

I have never been an athlete. Let's just say I was one of those kids in school that was picked last for a team. Or maybe second last if Lesley P. the school semi-midget with spectacles (and one of my best friends at the time), was in the group. I hated P.E. class.

But now that I'm nearing 40 I've decided to become an athlete. I don't plan on running any marathons, but I'd like to get to the place where I could run a marathon (well at least a 1/2 marathon) if I wanted to.

A couple of weeks ago I talked with a running expert. One thing he mentioned was having the one essential piece of equipment - a pair of decent running shoes. I had bought a cheapie pair of running shoes at Wal-Mart for about $20 - but that wasn't good enough. I found out that I am, what's referred to, as an overpronator (my feet roll in when I walk), and therefore needed some "support shoes". Now I know support shoes sound like something large, clunky, and beige that your granny would wear with a pair of hose - but when it comes to running shoes support shoes don't look any different than the regular running shoes (thankfully!)

Well the first store we went to to look for running shoes was a large general shoe store with TONS of different types of shoes, tennis shoes (runners for you Canadians) and running shoes. But the employees didn't seem to have a clue when we asked them questions. We didn't buy anything. Next we hit a store that specifically sells shoes for running - what a difference. The staff totally knew what they were talking about and the customer service was A++. Of course I thought we were only going there to kind of look around and I'd try stuff on on my own - but we get there and are pretty much waited on hand and foot (the foot part literally!). If I had realized what all I'd be going through I could have at the very least, touched up my toe nail polish for crying out loud! Shoes and socks had to be off, various measurements and foot looking at took place. The employee had me put on the running shoes (well actually she put the shoes on me) and do a little jog outside to see how they fit.

My dh and I both bought some running shoes. To be honest, after all the time they put into us, I would have felt a bit bad not buying anything. I know there is no obligation to buy - but it would seem kind of chintzy to have them help us for an hour and then for us to write down the type of shoes that worked best and then go and buy them somewhere else that is cheaper.

Oh I ought to mention the name of the store - Fleet Feet.

Anywhoo I was rather eager to try out my new shoes - so even though it was pouring rain this morning - I still went for my run. At least I got to check the traction on the shoes as I sidestepped many a puddle - and splashed in all the ones too large to avoid. I know it wasn't b/c of the shoes, but I really felt better after that run that I have during all the previous runs.

And after spending that much money on a pair of shoes (which really is essential to avoid injury) - the $5 I spent on a loaf of bread at the bakery next door, seemed like pennies. Not exactly. But I only popped into the store to check out the prices, and when I realized they were beyond what I liked to pay for a loaf and was about to walk out the door, the kids heard an employee say "free samples". We turned back around. It was close to supper time and the kids had a hunger in their bellies. As my daughter said when I mentioned the cost of the bread, "Well we got about 5 pieces of free bread (they loved it!) and you can't really have a bunch of samples and then not buy something." Hmmm I guess she kind of felt how her mom felt at the shoe store :)

I do make a lot of bread myself - but if I had a bakery like this next door - I might have to give up on baking my own. Well except for the cost that is...I guess we could just run over and fill up on "free samples".


Jennifer said...

Good for you to get the right shoes. I ran the Disney Half-Marathon in 2007 (while ~2 months pregnant) and am glad that I did. When I started my training I went to a running store and had a gait analysis and everything to make sure I bought the right shoes. I ended up spending ~$70, but never really had any foot problems at all. I consider it money well spent.

Shoes are one thing I will never buy at a thrift store (except maybe for my daughter, while she is young).