**warning, long, detailed post ahead -
I didn't want to forget anything**
For a few months I've been looking forward to the day I would go to a running store and get fitted for "real" running shoes. Basically, I got really excited for....nothing really spectacular. Don't get me wrong, the service at The Runner was wonderful, the man very knowledgeable and I will go back there when I need new shoes again, but I think I set myself up with much higher expectations.
I went thinking I would find out I overpronate and that's why my hip hurt. Then I would try on Sauconys and they would be so amazing I would feel like I was running on air.
First off, I don't overpronate more than normal, just barely. He said my shoes I came in with were just worn down and that was most likely the cause of my pain. I told him I just bought them in January and he said, "Yea, six months, that's about right." He asked how often I run and what kinds of distances. I explained, a little embarrassed, I have trained and run only one 5K and am a beginner. He stuck with his original comment that it's just about time for new ones with that kind of mileage put on my shoes.
He measured my foot and brought out four brands of tennis...in a half size bigger than what I was wearing. He explained the half step up was because I need room for swelling when I run. If I ran more than 5K at a time he would've gone up a whole step. (That's just plain interesting to me...these are details the mall people rarely know I'm sure.)
If I remember correctly he brought out Nike, Saucony, Asics and Brooks. I tried one on each food and each time the Nike felt better.
Yes, almost to my despair, the Sauconys were nothing more than another new running shoe and when compared to the Nike I kind of liked the Nike better. I told the salesman that I had expected to feel this amazing shoe on my foot when I tried the Saucony on and his take on it was, "These four shoes are basically all the same shoe, but by different makers. It's just a personal preference as to what will feel better on your foot, but they are the same in quality."
This is good, but I really had to fight through the thoughts of "Get Sauconys - everyone says they are awesome and they'll help you run better!!" In reality, the Nikes felt fine and I've worn and always preferred Nikes for years. The peer pressure was speaking in full force in my mind, but I had to stick with the reality that the Nike felt fine and the Saucony was no great step up - not for me anyway.
I even shared some of this thinking with him and he said I was smart to go with what feels better for me. Honestly, I felt better knowing he looked like he runs and he was wearing Nike. :)
So, I didn't have any great revelation or began walking on clouds with a new pair of shoes I'd never heard about until this past year, but my husband did.
He ended up having his feet checked because he suffers from shin splits EVERY time he runs and come to find out...he has BAD overpronation. Just standing the salesman kind of chuckled and said, "Oh yea. He's bad."
My husband who has had foot pain just with daily standing (but puts off getting orthotics) and shin splits even when barely jogging left the store with a pair of Brooks running shoes that look like orthotics. Though he HATED how they look he said they were the shoe that felt more stable of the two he tried on, and the salesman said that's what he needs.
The salesman was trying not to chuckle while watching my husband grimace at the look of the shoe. He said they call it "frankenboot", but they really do the job for people that overpronate as badly as my husband. I was laughing out loud, but kept encouraging my husband that he'll finally be pain free and can run again.
So, my husband said it's hard for his pride to think of wearing them, but knowing he will be able to run again makes it a little better. (I am going to tell him I read yesterday that Tricia got custom orthotics and can now wear nicer running shoes, so maybe he'll do that next time he needs new shoes.)
To sum it up, it was a good learning experience and I'm pleased with my purchase, though the exciting part was more for my husband than me. I simply learned that's I'm pretty normal and once again that peer pressure isn't always right. That being said, I will definitely go back to a running store when it's time for a new pair.
Oh, and I'll keep you posted on Mr. Frankenboot. :)