I had perhaps the most traumatic shoe-shopping experience of my life–and the most enlightening.
My first pair of runners were just the pair that fit the best and were the right price, bought at the local Shoe Warehouse. The extent of my research was ‘what’s the difference between a runner and a cross trainer?’ I had no idea if I’d even finish Couch to 5K, after all. The shoes were my Gideon’s fleece. If there was a pair for less than X dollars, I’d buy them and start running that day.
And there they were. Purple New Balance runners. I had no running gear, but I put on a pair of sweats and a t-shirt and hit the pavement. That was June 2014.
Today I drove to the big city to hit up the Running Room for a real pair of runners. I wanted the whole fitting experience. I wanted to know if I walked funny, supinated, pronated, whatever all that was.
Unfortunately, despite the help of a nice young gentleman, I didn’t find any shoes there. I have weird, freak feet apparently. As a sidenote, you won’t see skinnier legs than in a running store. Not even on the catwalk in Paris.
Anyway, I moseyed on down to City Park Runners. Or I should say, I tested the full limits of my iPhone’s navigational skills. That was the traumatic part. When I finally ended up in the right store, the sales girl measured and observed and studied (I have one neutral foot, and one that pronates it seems) and then started pulling out shoes. Oh did I try on shoes, and none of them fit! Finally I found one pair to test on the treadmill. They were okay, though a bit clunky. Electric blue, too (that was fine, though). Then I found the winners, my beautiful Mizuno Inspires.
And dang, they didn’t come cheap. But I suppose education costs money. Before today I didn’t know about neutral shoes, or stability shoes, or different types of heel padding. What I wanted was a full shoe education, and it seems I got what I wanted.
And on the way home, my phone died. That was traumatic. Fortunately I was in sight of familiar territory. :)
I realized then, that I’d just bought my first half-marathon shoes. I’m pretty pumped about that. I’m a bit sentimental about retiring my first pair of runners, but I’m excited about where these new shoes will take me.