These Shoes Are Made for Walkin’

Saturday was a catch-up day. We took my original wedding ring set to the jeweler to have it sized (up). I just can’t seem to find finger slimming exercises. So after several years of mostly not wearing any rings, I finally decided it was time to give up the illusion of losing weight in my fingers. Besides, my family suffers from arthritis and I know my knuckles are doomed to swell. We also had hubby’s ring checked out. It seems that his problem is a detergent allergy. The backside of his ring is rough and has a ton of grooves where soap & gunk can collect. The jeweler cleaned and sanitized it, and gave him instructions on how to deal with the irritation. So far, so good.

Next stop: Road Runner Sports. Neither of us had ever been there, but since I was having such a tough time finding shoes that felt good, I figured a runner’s store would be the answer. It was bustling! The fit process at this store is unique. They have some cute mascot (Road Dog?) that will “retrieve” your shoe fit for you. First you meet with a fit specialist and discuss your desired excercise type, injuries and other specifics. Then, they set you up (barefoot) on this head/weight sensor pad. It measures your balance and where you place the most pressure on your feet. I leaned more to the left and back, with the most pressure on my left heel. It also determines your arch type. I’ve been told my whole life that I have flat feet. NOT SO! I have fairly normal arches – maybe a bit on the flat side.

The next step was to hop on the treadmill (still barefoot). This is where your gait is analyzed via video. You walk or run on the treadmill for a minute or two while your feet are recorded. You and your fit specialist then watch it back on the big screen and decide if you under/over pronate. I over-pronate slightly. Also, you watch how your ankle lines up with your heel and that helps determine if you need a more stable shoe. I do.

Based on all of this techy info, you have custom insoles made! Still barefoot, you stand on one leg on a big rectangular cushion. A warm insole is placed on the opposite foot and your fit specialist guides you to the other cushion. She guides you into molding the insole to your foot by rocking back & forth and her pressing the insole to your foot. Do this again for the other foot, and then you’re finally ready to try on some shoes! It sounds like a long process but it really only took about 10 minutes.

I tried on about five different shoes, and settled on the Adidas. (!!!) I haven’t owned Adidas shoes since I was in grade school. These were way comfortable, and the custom insole seemed to make the difference. I couldn’t wait to try them out – somewhere – anywhere! Fast forward to Sunday afternoon and hubby and I decide to go for a walk. (I was stunned – he normally hates walking!) I dug out my old cheapie pedometer and we decided that it probably needed to be retired. I wore it anyway (and yes, it was horribly wrong).

We walked nearly four miles! The shoes felt GREAT. I did decide that it was the last day for my toe ring. It was looking pretty grubby and felt tight sometimes. I’m excited to see how the shoes feel at the gym. It will also be interesting to see how they hold up over time. My trusty Asics worked well for me for about 18 months. (I did buy two pairs and alternated them.) The socks they sold me were awesome too. It seems that synthetic socks are the way to go. They have a cool no-show style with a tab in the back to prevent blisters. The only thing I don’t like is that they’re orange. Yuck. But that designates the style, so there’s no choice in the matter. The shoes & insoles come with a money back guarantee, so what’s to lose, right?

Oh, and every day (gym or no gym) I have woken up with terrible foot pain as soon as I step out of bed. Today – just my left foot. I expect that to go away over the next few days too!

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