Once I got back into the routine of walking a daily 5k, it quickly became apparent that my athletic shoes were well past their prime. For one thing, they squeaked every time I took a step. I couldn't remember if that had always been the case or not, but it was definitely annoying. They were also developing a hole in the mesh on one side. When I thought about it, I realized they were at least three or four years old.
I knew I was going to need help finding a better shoe for walking and running, so I asked my Twitter followers to recommend a store that actually helps with fittings. The majority suggested Garry Gribble's Running Sports and a couple of people specifically recommended a particular location.
Yesterday I managed to combine the errands of transporting cats for my animal rescue group with visiting the top-recommended store in the same shopping center.
I walked in and actually had to wait a couple of minutes because business was booming. When it was my turn, the sales rep asked me to take off my shoes, roll up my pantlegs to mid-calf, and walk back and forth. Then he measured my feet with a good, old-fashioned Brannock Device and went to the stockroom to pick out some styles for me to try.
While I waited, I looked at the sole of my old shoes. My right shoe was worn so badly on the upper right that the sole was crumbling. When the salesman saw the wear pattern, he said, "I wouldn't have guessed that from the way you walk. I'm going to get you different shoes," whereupon he returned to the stockroom with his initial picks and came back with a different stack of options.
I tried on each pair, doing right/left comparisons between brands/styles. The second pair I tried seemed to be perfect, and that initial impression was borne out to the end. I bought them (they were even on sale!) and wore them out of the store, noticing the whole way home how much more comfortable they were than the shoes I'd had on earlier.
This morning I wore them on my walk and it made such a difference to have properly fitted shoes! For one thing, they're D width, which is considerably wider than any shoes I've purchased before. They're very lightweight and they fit snugly with no rubbing or constriction. I've been adding more jogging into my walks and they made today's jogged blocks much easier.
I kept my old shoes because I may wear them for the Color Run even though they're shot. Otherwise, I'm looking forward to having my wonderful new shoes for other upcoming events and daily walks. At least until they've reached the 300 to 500 miles or three to six months they're expected to last. Yes, I'm learning.