A war with the shoe gods

Oh man, the poor kid working the Running Room tonight had no idea what he was in for the second I walked through those doors. Had he have known, he may very well have bolted the doors before me and my picky shoe selecting ways could torment him. And torment I did.

Yes, I am a picky shoe shopper, even when it comes to my running shoes. I know I’m not supposed to look at them as a fashion accessory, but more as a functional tool. But seriously, when someone’s trying to convince you to buy a shoe that looks like a Kleenex box and feels like a brick and is all like charcoal grey mixed with an ugly, nasty shade of blue – what girl actually wants that? Not me. Nope. No way. So yes, I’ve had a few wars with the Running Room staff over the years when it comes to picking out my shoes. I’ve won lots, which probably hasn’t been the best for my feet, and I’ve lost a few, which definitely hasn’t been best for my fashion-forward tendencies.

The kid tested my stride, and pretty much told me what I already knew: my right ankle massively rolls inwards, otherwise known as pronating, which is basically a diagnosis for ugly shoes. Yay! (Insert sarcastic thumbs up here)

I know you can't really see it here, but that foot in the front, it's so my nemesis! The ankle rolls and it's just plain ugly ... kind of like some of the shoes I was trying on!

I went into the shop with an open mind, I really, really did. But there was absolutely no way I was going for a motion-controlled shoe; I would not be wearing granny shoes with major lifts, I told him. Luckily for me, he wasn’t going after those ones.  Phew. So, after that was all sorted out, I got back to my open state of mind and I told the kid to just bring them out, I’d try on whatever shoe he handed me. I didn’t, however, promise that I wouldn’t gripe and sneer and make fake barfing noises at the selections he chose. The first shoe he picked up was an ugly Saucony and the first thing that came out of my mouth was “Ewwwwww!” I later saw that he was wearing the male version of those same shoes. Oops.

Now, I got to give this kid some credit, he was a bit of stickler. I tried getting him to hand me the pretty pink Nikes or the pretty purple Asics, but he was having none of that. He flat out told me – with a sweet innocent looking smile that you can’t possibly bark at – that they weren’t good for my feet, no sense even trying them on. Hmm … I haven’t had an employee turn me down like that since the former manager, I told him. Turns out, the former manager is his mom!

I think I tried on at least 12 pairs, but none of them were working. Some were too loose around the ankle, some felt like there was a ball sitting under my arches, some rubbed against my toes, some irritated the bruise on the top of my foot, some just flat out squeaked, and my gawd, some were just far too ugly to even consider. The kid was starting to look weary, maybe even a little desperate, when he pulled out the Mizunos. I slipped them on, walked around the store, walked back towards the kid. And just as he’d done with all the other pairs, he asked how they felt, and I think I might have shocked us both when I said “Great!” They were the closest thing to feeling like a slipper I’d tried on all evening. And you wouldn’t believe the look on his face, it literally lit right up. His eyes went as wide as saucers with disbelief and his smile extended from ear to ear with relief. And it turns out these were the best ones yet for my rolling ankle – woohoo!

I can work with green 😉

But I wasn’t done with him just yet. See, most running shoes last for about 600 to 800 km. Mizunos, however, are the exception. Because Mizunos are more lightweight, they usually only last a maximum of 600 km. So I asked the kid if these shoes would last me through the clinic, and he looked at me with a blank, you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me stare. Nope, I wasn’t kidding. So, he got out the marathon training book and a calculator and started adding up the amount of kilometres I’ll be running. Turns out, us marathoners, we run a lot – at least 1,000 km!!! Seeing as how I would have worn out any pair before the end of the clinic, I did the kid a solid (and probably my feet a solid too) and bought me the Mizunos.

Thanks for putting up with me kid! You so deserve a raise 😀


  • 4:45 p.m. BG before: 10.1 (forgot to reduce the basal rate, but it didn’t really matter)
  • 20 minutes elliptical trainer
  • 15 minutes on something fancy that I think might have been a stairclimber
  • 20 minutes weight circuit, which included arms, legs and abs, but I really have no idea what it all was and whether or not it’s actually a good cross training supplement to my running.
  • 6 p.m. BG after: 6.1
  • And later: 30 situps and 1 minute plank, broken up into 30 second sessions.

What weight machines do you use at the gym to supplement your running?

4 thoughts on “A war with the shoe gods”

  1. robert Freeman

    I know I promised to be nice … but are those REALLY your feet!? Maybe it’s an optical illusion caused by the camera lens. But your feet look so long, so stretched out, I’m surprised you can find ANY shoes that fit them flippers!! But on the positive side, the Mizunos you bought look GREAT – which is such a joke, cause what do I know? Happy running, anyway 🙂

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