Wednesday, September 8, 2010

On the Run - The Shoe Fits

Beginning my path to a more active life starts with the first pair of tennis shoes I have bought in just under a decade. After hearing from more than one source that the shoes are key to your success and that you should not just settle for any old shoe, I hoofed it down to Fleet Feet, a Chicago based shop that handles all things running. 

After a few words with my salesperson and her realization that I know nothing about shoe needs or running, we pulled out a couple styles to look at and then do a quick run in to test my stride and support needs. With the shoes on and heading out the door for a jog down the sidewalk, I realized wearing jeans might not have been the smartest move as I looked around at all the work-out outfitted folks in the store. Luckily, she deduced that I do not need a lot of cushioning support based on my foot rolling inward slightly when landing on the heel as opposed to too far inward.

The challenge was getting away from brand loyalty or color loyalty and instead focusing on how the shoe feels. As a girl who has shoved her feet into shoes too small, too narrrow and too tall in sacrifice for style above comfort this is a tough thing to get past.

After trying on a few more styles and running a few more test jogs, I started to get an idea of what I liked and what I didn't like: lightweight is good, a high heel is bad. 

The biggest surprise, and one a friend had warned me about, was that the shoes I was trying on were between 1/2 and a full size bigger than my usual shoe size. It makes sense when you think about it - your feet are going to need some room to breathe as your feet swell during the run.

In the end, I settled on the Mizuno Wave Rider 13. Now, my plan was to go through the fitttings and the testing, mark down the shoe I wanted and then say I'd think about it and try to find them cheaper online. However, I am horrible at doing that sort of thing when I feel like someone put time in to help me out! Plus, the $100 price tag was not so high that it seemed outrageous. Luckily I'm seeing around the same price as I belatedly look them up online!
Mizuno Running Women's Wave Rider 13 Running Shoe,Dark Shadow/Purple/Pansy,8 M US
A few additional tips for buying shoes:
- Shop later in the day when your feet are at their largest
- Replace every 300-400 miles
- When you are ready for a new pair, look at the wear pattern on your almost dead shoes to see where your feet are making the most impact and how that next pair of shoes can help.

Stay tuned as I detail my 10 week running plan!

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