I bought new running shoes. I had to. Running shoes are supposed to be replaced every 400 miles or so. I don’t run much, of course, but after two years of ownership, my last pair had seen a good 2000 miles. It was time, due to both condition and aroma. Sauconys don’t smell the best to start with, so after two years and that many miles, I’m frankly a little grateful that severe allergies have killed most of my sense of smell.
I almost didn’t buy them. I asked to see the latest model of what I was wearing, and sticker shock nearly took me out. I’m a cheapskate. I have shopped at thrift stores for more than ten years (if you were to ever see me in person, you’d be painfully aware of it), so the idea of paying full retail for anything is repugnant. Add to that the price increase. This model has gone up about 30% in the last two years, which seems pretty darned steep. ***
I looked the pricey kicks up and down and wondered if I could gracefully back out of the store and put up with what I had for a few more years. But my legs offered their two cents in the form of a well-timed muscle twinge. I don’t know if it’s my old, beat up shoes or my illness that flares up from time to time, but the last few weeks I’ve been unable to sleep due to leg pain. It might actually be worth coughing up the national debt of a small nation to be able to rest well, right? Cognitive dissonance says yes, friends.
I tried on the shoes to make sure I actually liked them. Saucony has surprised me before. Their Grid Omni III was just heaven. The four was unwearable. I tried the current model. It was okay, but if I’m going to plunk down a chunk of the money I’ve been saving for my camera, I am going to be sure I’m buying the right thing. Thirty minutes and eight pairs later, I walked out with the very first pair of shoes I tried on. Of. Course.
They are ugly. Where most brands are moving to a wider toe box (that’s the part of the shoe where the toes go, for those of you who don’t speak the lingo), these are strangely pointy, but the sole itself is wide. I look like I’m wearing orthopedic elf shoes.
But they do the trick, and that’s what counts. I beat my old time by about two minutes this morning, though that may have had less to do with the shoes than with the bone-chilling temperature. More importantly, my legs hurt less, and that’s worth every penny.
*** Heather’s soapbox Let me just jump in and say that I might could have saved $10 online, but I didn’t. The shop I visited is locally owned. The folks who work there are so knowledgeable that they analyze a customer’s gait before recommending shoes. When my husband first shopped there many years ago, they told him he was actually wearing the wrong kind of shoe for his particular body mechanics. And they were right. You can’t get that kind of advice online. And if I visit a local shop and take more than five minutes of their time getting (good) advice, I sure as heck owe it to them to shop there.
An aquarium shop I used to work for recently went out of business after about 40 years because customers would come in and get lots of great advice on keeping their fish, and then they’d go right down the road to the big box pet supply place to buy what they needed. Or go on the world wide web and buy stuff in bulk. Now there’s no one in town to offer 40 years of experience.