Sunday, June 18, 2006

Shoe denial

In my training session last week we chatted a fair amount about injuries. My trainer said he had suffered with foot injuries, too and found one factor was shoes. He said he had to buy new shoes every six months. I have heard that before. In fact, I planned on it... when I was running.

But I sat there nodding and thinking quietly, "That's nice, Chris, but it doesn't apply to me. I haven't been running in these shoes... Not really, anyway. I got them in the fall... about the same time as I got the knee injury... and have hardly run at all."

Today I was at the gym, noticing my shoes... A few plastic bits on top have cracked, the lining is worn to threadbare inside and they were looking... well... saggy. I shook my head and said, "Girl, you are in such denial. You SO need new shoes!"

Running or not, I walk a lot in them... and work out in them six days a week for a couple hours a day... They get used on cardio machines, weight machines... they have jumped on the bosu numerous times... And outside the gym, they've been walking all over campus... through malls, through parks, and... well... all over the province, actually... They're not completely worn out... but you can bet they don't exactly have much support or cushioning in them any more either.

I sighed.

How can you wear out a pair of running shoes without actually running in them?

I'll just go have a look, I thought. I won't buy anything... I don't really need them yet... Not till I'm back running. (Denial is a happy, happy place.)

So, I went to my favorite store for shoes... Forzani's on 4th St. I go in. I scan the wall with shoes. The clerk comes over to me, looks at my feet (stuffed in my worn out runners) and says, "Looking for replacement shoes?"

"Umm.... Just looking, really." But she knew. She took one look at my feet and knew. Replacemenet shoes needed. Denial in process. We chit chat... running, injuries, the weather...

Then... I see them.

They had MY shoes on sale. I swear by Sauconys. I was fitted with my first pair a few years back, long before I ever started working out... I just wanted something good quality that fit well and so forth. I've never looked back.

Sale. Good sale. Getting rid of old stock to make room for new versions, kind of sale.

She hauls my shoe off the shelf. I look at it. I look at my feet. I see the difference. I sigh and say, "Size 8."

She comes back with them and as I'm taking my orthotics out of my old runners to try in the new ones, she says, "You have othotics? You shouldn't be wearing a stability shoe! The shoe you have is designed to correct pronation... Which is what your othotics do. If you wear a stability shoe with orthotics, it can cause over correction! That could be part of the reason you're still injured, actually... I'm not a doctor, of course..."

Why hadn't anyone (othotics maker, physio or anyone else in my battery of health professionals) mentioned this before? And don't you love how people always add in the disclaimer about not being a doctor, when you and they both know full well that they probably know exactly what they are talking about? Sad, really, that people have to do that...

"I just got the orthotics in April," I say.

She continues, "You need a neutral shoe."

"O.K.... I'll try one... But I'm pretty used to these ones I have now," thinking about how comfy they are... How I am not ready for any kind of new shoe at all, really... I like the ones I have... They fit like a dream.

She pulls down another pair of Sauconys for me to look at saying, "I'll get you an 8 to try."

Moments later she's back. I try them.

Heaven. Pure bliss... Much, much better than my trusty old saggy ones. And $20 cheaper than the pronation control ones, to boot.

"I'll take them." I say, as I am walking around the store, adding that they actually feel much better than the ones I have on.

"I'm not surprised," she says. "I think you'll find the neutral shoe works much better with the orthotics."

I leave with the Saucony box tucked under my arm, thinking that despite not wanting new shoes... despite being in denial... despite not being a big fan of the "new runner" look (too white!) ... that I was lucky to find a sale... especially on Sauconys... and even luckier to find a sales clerk who knew her stuff... and how this is a good sign... Running shoes for running... Soon, precious, we'll be over the injuries and testing you on the roads... Soon.


Sarah said...

Sounds like it was meant to be. : )

Enjoy your new shoes and I hope you'll be running in them soon!

Granny said...

It's great to find someone who knows what they're doing and is kind enough to share the info.

Wish it weren't quite so rare these days.

Enjoy your shoes.

Janice said...

Hi Sarah,

I understand why she added the disclaimer, "I'm not a doctor. . .But."

It's because so many people are sue happy! So she had to add that part, but at least she told you!

Some times we do need new shoes, and don't notice the old ones just an't what they use to be.

Good luck with the new shoes.


sissoula said...

Haven't you found that everybody's got advice? The first thing my doc told me when I started my own "body awareness" revolution (quite different from yours, I admit) was not to read books, not to talk to other people, not to take advice. It's impossible, of course, but good advice (!) just the same.

On the other hand, I'm glad you're happy with your new shoes. You took a risk and it paid off.

ipodmomma said...

Well done! catching a sale, getting good advice and sporty new shoes, all in one go... yeah!

I try and replace my walking shoes every 6 months, but it usually ends up being 7 or 8. and by that time they really are ready to go...

thinking happy thoughts for you!nl

Jeremiah said...

It takes pain or an intimate contact with the concrete to get me to change out my shoes--a pair of worn shoes is like an old buddy to me. We've known each other so long and now they're comfortable enough in my company to fall apart right in front of me.

Robb said...

My Running Wife is picky about her shoes. She used to sell shoes in a former life...and can quickly tell if a shoe clerk knows what he/she is talking about. She was super-impressed with an eager minimum wage teenager at Sport Chek in Halifax a few weeks ago...this guy knew his stuff! That's the great irony...the sports meds often do not...they've got a degree and understand mechanics, etc...but they do not know 'shoes'. The irony of it all.

angie's pink fuzzy said...


megz_mum said...

That sounds like a step in the right direction!

psbowe said...

You're not alone, it happens, we become attached to a certain brand of for me New Balance was my favorite for a long time before a salesperson convinced me to try on a Brooks.

Like you said "WOW!"

Now, I don't play favorites anymore to only one brand.

I wear orthotics too, but never knew that...good to know.

Anvilcloud said...

Hmmm, I wear Sauconys and orthotics too. But I won't be running anywhere.