Getting in my own way

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Fording the stream

So if you’re a regular reader, you know the fur-girls and I log some serious miles every week.   Somebody give me a “bless her heart” because I’ve been getting up before sunrise to walk those spoiled brats before the temperatures climb to their outrageous highs.  (Hello weather world?  It’s just the beginning of July.  Please take August back and return it later… or call it done and head straight for early fall after a PLEASANT July.  Thanks.)

Some of you are also familiar with my analysis paralysis.  With the exception of Lilly P and shoes, I rarely buy ANYTHING without over-thinking it and spending days “chewing on it”.   However…  there’s an exception to the shoe exemption…  my walking shoes.

I’ve never been able to trust a shoe store to fit me; it just goes against my personality.  I’m also the one woman in America who prefers to guess at my bra size because I feel I have better luck that some stranger with a limp tape measure… but that’s another story that we’ll probably never get around to… 

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Gretchen, off-roading

See…  I’m a walker.  I’ll run once in a while when Sissy gives me this look that basically says, “Race ya’!”, and we rarely run more than a mile, because it’s not good for my back, knee or other pre-existing conditions.  However, I’ve yet to find a walking shoe, even the one the New Balance fit expert sold me, that works. 

I walk fast.  I’m not a true heel-striker, and despite my host of old sports injuries, I have a neutral enough gait, a slightly high instep (but not arch).  I have shin splints and need cushioning but a lighter shoe.  I also cover asphalt, gravel, concrete, very rough mountain trails and wet river-side trails.

Any suggestions?  I have a coupon for the only local running store, but they’re in the UVA district and I avoid that part of town completely, even during the summer.  Plus, were you paying attention?  I’ve run since I was a teenager, and I have trust issues, but I’m also tired of blisters and shoes that simply don’t suit. 

Where do you shop for your fitness shoes?  Do you let the sales rep guide your selection or do you do your own research first?  Or, like the Knight, do you just browse, letting your eyes and the store’s inventory make the choice for you?

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12 comments on “Getting in my own way

  1. Kari says:

    I se to be a die hard new balance gal till I tried on a pair of asics and I fell in love. Nikes are great for people with very narrow skinny long feet. I go to a local store called “RunTex” to get fitted although now I found my brand and dream shoe I dont go there to get fitted I just go pick out hte latest asics and try them on there and buy them.

  2. Katherine says:

    I love my ASICS. It was the first time I’ve spent $200+ for a pair of walking shoes, having preferred the Knight’s approach in the past, but it has been worth it!

    As for bras–I’m a Genie girl all the way!! No fitting required with a Genie bra. It’s the first time in my life I have been able to wear a bra from dressing in the morning to going to bed at night without it binding, rubbing or pulling somewhere. Total comfort!!

  3. gmariesews says:

    Hmmm – I have usually let the shoe guys direct me. But this last time, I went into the shoe store – foot locker and told the guy all the same stuff you told us. What I was doing, etc. He watched my stride – in ‘real world’ walk mode, not mall strolling, and suggested a shoe. He suggested a brooks that I loved, but ended up not buying. I do love my Nike’s, I did notice that I didn’t get shin splints during the June race. g

  4. km says:

    My mom ended up needing to see a podiatrist after carrying my heavy 3 around when they were babies. He recommended a wide shoes store that’s family owned and local. I bought Aetrex shoes there for my birthday 2 years ago…and I LOVE them. I didn’t really wear them for regular walking until we got Holly, but they have good structure for my back. Others wear them because they fit custom orthotics. I found a zappos link for you, but I’d try to find a place you can try them on unless you’re ok with buying online and returning. And…mine are similar to these, but not exact.

    http://www.zappos.com/aetrex-reina-runner-violet

  5. Kathy says:

    I go to a local running store, try on the lightweight neutral shoes, pick the one that feels best, and stick to that shoe through all the updates for years. When they eventually discontinue it I repeat the same process.

    Rene’s other job is running store employee. They really do know a lot and can guide you in the right direction. When it comes down to choosing between two shoes that are very similar, he always advises “pick the pretty one”.

    The local running store is a lot like the local yarn store. You can get better stuff and advice there than you can at a big box or chain store.

  6. Kathy says:

    Also, I neglected to mention, in running shoes almost everyone wears a full size (or even 1.5 sizes) larger than your regular shoe size. It’s probably similar for walking shoes.

  7. Louise says:

    Me run? I don’t think so:) “Bless your heart,” I give you a lot of credit for doing so though Channon especially in that heat you’re getting down there. Last year we totally went from July to September so I guess we’re getting a taste of August just in case:) Keep cool…good luck finding the perfect running apparatus, lol…

  8. Marjie says:

    I just wear ballerina flats when I have to walk. But I don’t do it every day.

    And I thought “Bless your heart” in Southern means “Aren’t you a dumb@$$!” I wouldn’t say that about you! Instead, I’d consider conferring doggy sainthood for arising so early just to walk!

  9. Nichole says:

    I had good luck with my New Balance hiking shoes…

  10. Blond Duck says:

    You’re talking to the shoe queen. What do you mean high instep versus arch?

  11. Amy says:

    I have flat feet, so I have to try on shoes a lot when I shop for athletic styles. Since I’m on my feet at lot for my job, I replace mine every six months or so, if I can. I usually always go to Kohls, and end up with New Balance or Fila.

  12. I had the same problem until someone told me about the buying a half to one size larger than you normally take. It’s made a huge difference.

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