A running shoe that’s nearly customized
It was a four Band-Aid day when I found the running shoes of my dreams.My longtime shoes had developed holes, and before ponying up the cash for new ones I had abused my feet for a couple of weeks with an ill-fitting pair of standby shoes in the back of my closet. After several days of limping around and reapplying Neosporin and bandages to my blisters, I began a quest for better shoes.My quest was short. I called up Independence Run and Hike in Carbondale and made certain they carried my favorite brand, Saucony, which I love for having a wider toe box. “We’ll measure your feet so we can find out which shoes are right for you,” a guy at the shop told me on the phone.I used to subscribe to running magazines, so I know that there are these mythical shoe stores where they measure your feet meticulously, and maybe even watch you running and walking on a treadmill to find the shoes that will cater to your every podiatric need. I was psyched when I heard one such shop had opened in the valley. I’m just getting back into the sport and I haven’t signed up for any marathons yet, but I wanted expert advice to buy a runner’s most important piece of gear.So on a Saturday morning I drove down to the store in Carbondale and, just like he said he would, Matt measured my feet standing up and sitting down on one of those cold, metal measuring devices. Shoes off, I then took a slow walk on the store’s treadmill while Matt bent down and watched how my feet hit the walking surface. A few minutes later he sat in front of me, holding a model of the bones and tendons in my foot and showing me what my foot does when it hits the ground, with its very slight tendency to roll inward. He didn’t even mention my bevy of Band-Aids that day; I’m sure he’s seen it all before.And that’s when I started trying on shoes. We stuck to Sauconys because of my loyalty to the brand, and three shoes into the process there they were – the Saucony ProGrid Hurricane 9, with just enough stability to keep my feet from rolling in, and plenty of cushioning to make me look forward to my daily plod. I loved the feel of them so much I didn’t even flinch (much) when he said they would cost me $130. A new lacing technique Matt showed me was worth at least $20 of that.Running shoes are a personal thing, and clearly hard to find. I’m delighted with my new pair. In about 350 miles, I’ll look forward to replacing them.Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is email@example.com
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