A month ago I was starting to get aches and pains in my legs and hips. Two weeks into the aches I decided it was time to get a new pair of shoes. When you are training for a marathon, shoes go fast! I’ve been wearing Mizuno’s Inspire 9 for a few years now, but I knew my days with my beloved shoes were numbered. I decided to try out a new shoe store near my son’s school, A Runner’s Mind, since I knew what I wanted.
The owner tells me that Mizuno retired the Inspire 9’s and came out with a 10. I tried them on and they were ok. I could tell immediately that they had fudged with the arch support. I don’t need cushion really, but I do need a bit of arch in my shoes. Nothing else really fit well, so I bought them. I wore them for an afternoon and my entire left leg started to hurt.
Needless to say, I went back to the store the very next day and spent about an hour trying on shoes. Nothing felt good. I had a long run coming up so out of desperation I settled on a very expensive Asics, the Kayano 20.
It is a great shoe, but just not for my feet. Numb toes and sliding feet makes for a very uncomfortable run. I ran in them for three days before I finally threw in the towel. I had been scouring the internet trying to find my Mizuno’s in my size, yet none were to be found. Finally, I remembered that the store owner, Monte, said that he had my size in my shoe at his other store. Luckily, I was able to get in touch with him and had my shoes waiting for me within a couple of days.
They aren’t the same pretty blue, but who cares! They are the perfect fit. Once I get through this marathon, I will then seek for another perfect shoe. For now, I will take these and another pair I won on an ebay auction… and RUN!
Throughout this shoe seeking journey, two things happened, 1) Monte of A Runner’ Mind let me return my shoes 2x even with 25 miles already on the second pair I returned. He didn’t charge me extra or anything. Wow! More shoe stores need to adapt this understanding and policy! 2) I went from running painful, awkward, slow miles to fast, flying miles. I was struggling to run 8:30 miles, I mean STRU-GG-LING! However, my first run with my Mizuno’s I was running 7:00-7:10 min. miles easily! What a difference a shoe makes.
For all of you runners & walkers out there. If your body starts feeling achey and stiff, think about whether or not you are due for a new pair of shoes. Most people can get away with getting shoes every 6 months. But if you are running miles like me, it’ll be about every 3 months or so. You can typically get 300-500 miles on a shoe, depending on the type. Lightweight and minimalist shoes get less mileage than a heavier, more conventional trainer.
Everyone has different feet, so a shoe will feel differently on each person. My tip is to immediately take the shoe off at your first doubt. If you can’t tell, wear it around a bit. If you love it right away, it’s probably a keeper. If you are unsure, take it home and give it a go. After one bout of exercise, walk or run, you should be able to tell whether or not it’s good for you. Don’t try to make it work like I did. You won’t want to exercise if your feet don’t feel right.
Run on my friends and enjoy each step!