I’m not really a shoe kind of girl – while I do have quite a few pairs of shoes, it’s only because so many of them are specific and practical (ie. road cycling shoes, MTB cycling shoes, running shoes, walking boots, walking shoes…). Generally, I like wearing trainers or big clumpy boots. I find shoe shopping boring and can’t imagine getting excited about shoes.
This said, yesterday I felt a *tiny* bit excited about getting new running shoes. I’ve had a few pairs of the same shoe – Adidas Supernova Sequence Boost – now, bulk buying at the end of the season. I really liked the shoes when I first got them (August 2014) but I wanted to try something new. With 500km running and quite a bit more walking done in the latest pair, the soles are looking a bit worn and so it was time to at least start looking for new shoes.
I took my old shoes into the shop and showed them what I’d been wearing and how they’d worn. The sales assistant pronounced me an overpronator (nothing new) and brought out some shoes for me to try, letting me run on the treadmill in them and filming the results. One really noticeable thing about the way I run is that I’m a forefoot runner. This is quite interesting as I definitely heel strike when I walk – but not when I run.
Adidas Ultra Boost ST – this shoe felt light and the upper was a nice texture, kind of like a sock. It felt a little like I was on a bouncy castle and the shoes are insanely ugly both in terms of overall shape as well as colour. The heel is an odd shape, with a very high back.
Asics GT1000 – I quite liked the feel of these but the fit was wrong. I wanted to try them in a different size but the assistant got me another model instead.
Asics Kayano – can’t remember anything about these.
Brooks Adrenaline – these felt good but unexciting. They felt more solid than some of the other shoes, quite a big heel and a lot of shoe.
Brooks Ravenna – I hated these, they felt really clunky.
Nike Air Zoom Structure – by the time I tried these on I was a bit bored of trying on shoes and running on the treadmill and taking off shoes and trying to explain why I didn’t like them. They seemed fine, they were perhaps a little on the solid side but they were super comfy across the toes (I have very wide feet). They are lighter than my current shoes and with less of a heel drop too. And they’re vile, a really awful (but almost good) colourway.
*After* trying on lots of shoes, the sales assistant told me that as I am a forefoot runner I could probably wear a neutral shoe, as it doesn’t matter so much about overpronating if you don’t land on your heels. I think by this point he was sick of bringing out shoes for me to reject, and he said that he thought I wanted shoes similar to my current ones – which wasn’t really what I said to begin with. I kind of wish I had tried on a few more shoes but I’m not 100% sure that I don’t heel strike a bit more when I’m tired – I’m going to look out for it on my next long run – so didn’t want to push it or buy shoes I’m not happy with.
I ended up buying the Nikes, as I need shoes and they fitted well and were fine. But is “fine” enough? Could I get away with more minimalist shoes? I would like to reduce my heel drop and wear something a bit lighter. I’ll get another gait assessment when I need another pair of shoes.
See!! This is why I don’t like shoe shopping!