I don't really run (except after the rogue two-year-old) and don't own a pair of tennis shoes, so when our merry trio hit the mall for a celebration shopping spree this last Saturday, I was feeling the pressure!
Being the friends that Spinster Beth and Slick are, the pressure was really self-imposed. They were there trying on clothes for meeting goals or for upcoming family events; I was there for a coffee and to be with my friends. Whatever our reasons and goals, having a strong support system, a set of people who are there to cheer for victories big and small, is important. So we were all at the mall to cheer and have girlie-fun commenting on new clothes!
A mall trip is a twice-a-year event for me. I am not a big mall fan, for so many reasons. But that mall trip was the catalyst for my trip to the store for a pair of sneakers today.
I took my frugal self (and the five monkeys) to the Post Exchange (PX) on Ft. Meade, hoping to spend less than about $50. I am not an easy fit. I wear a women's size 11.5 to 12, have high arches, need extra cushioning at the front of the foot for bunions, and have prescription inserts from foot surgeries a few years back. Really, all this means that I don't bother to look in the women's section, instead I head straight over to look for something in a 10 Men.
Oh yeah, to make matters worse, the little-seen "fashion" side of me doesn't like black tennies. Don't ask me why. I don't have a good reason, I just like the more girlie silvers and whites better. When you're already relegated to the men's section, you don't want your shoes to look any more manly than they have to! My first pick was the less masculine pair in the middle of the picture above.
They weren't marked with the little "C" that is designed for high arches, but I wanted to find out if it made a difference since I have to run with inserts regardless. Welcome the Helpful SalesGuy.
Well, okay, this cutie is actually my almost-three-year-old acting like the sales guy, but you get the idea. He was helpful though and soon had me putting on shoes from different pairs so I could compare how they each felt with my inserts. As it turned out, the pair I picked first was placed under "Cross Trainers" on the wall, but it was really "more for walking."
Hmmm... Helpful Sales Guy asked questions about how I run (heel-to-toe), which way does my foot pronate (roll) when I walk (to the outside)... I ditched the first pair of shoes and HSG brought out a third pair for me to compare. The shoe designed for running was, admittedly, lighter and pretty cushy. I probably looked like a fool jogging my way up and down the aisles of the little shoe department, but I always tell my kids to make sure they really try out the shoes in the various ways they'll use them. For me, that meant running, jumping, picking up children and walking.
Cost and looks are not as important as sports equipment that fits well and works with my "quirks." After way too much time, while the 7-year-old drifted away to the nearby TV section, the pre-teen headed for the iPod Touch section (he really hopes to get one - goodluckwiththat), and the other three were getting antsy, I decided that the $80 black runner (the bottom one in the picture) was the one to go with. Who'da thunk it?
Now to make sure I actually use them enough to make it worth the money. Guess the kids and I will be hitting the track tomorrow morning. I have a 9-year-old who thinks he can beat Mom in a mile race!
What equipment do you find is most valuable to your journey? What advice can you share for deciding what to buy?