Captain's Log, Stardate 08.05.2010
For a little while. Let me explain.
I went to get new running shoes on Sunday, but since I have a million and one things weird about my feet—they’re extra narrow, I have flat feet, I was getting blisters on my pinky toes, I have flat feet, my heels tend to slip in shoes, I need a wide enough toe box, and did I mention I have flat feet?—the salesgirl had to pause for a freak-out moment before settling down to help me.
I was in more pain from my blisters than anything else, and since I’ve lived with my narrow feet for so long, it doesn’t register as a major thing wrong with my feet when I go shoe shopping. I had told the salesgirl I had narrow feet, but I also mentioned that my feet had expanded considerably in the few months I’ve been running. In fact, I ended up needing a shoe size TWO half-sizes larger than the pair I walked into the store with. But I also didn’t insist the salesgirl remeasure my feet to make sure my width wasn’t the same narrow 2A it had been.
So the salesgirl concentrated on my raging blisters and my need for stability (for my flat feet) and got me a nice roomy toebox pair of shoes that were unfortunately a D width.
I didn’t notice because the new pair was so SHINY! and they felt very cushy when I tried them on at the store.
I went for a run the next day. The first thirty minutes were great. But then after thirty minutes, my arches were killing me. The D width was just tons of room for my miniscule arches to collapse. I needed the narrower width to prevent that from happening.
So I went to the store yesterday to get another pair. They were very nice about letting me return the shoes for store credit even though I’d run outdoors in them. However, I found I had to insist TWICE before the salesgirl remeasured my feet width. And guess what? I’m still a 2A narrow.
My feet are wider than they were when I was a 7.5 narrow size, but now I’m a 9.5—but still narrow. So my feet have grown longer, but they also remained proportionally narrow with my new size.
The store didn’t have any narrow sizes and they ordered a new pair of narrow shoes for me. I’m benched because I’m waiting for my shoes to arrive next week and I can’t run in my current shoes because they’re too small (the blisters I mentioned above? Not pretty). I can only hope that despite the narrower size, the toe box will be large enough to prevent the blisters. But blisters are more preventable than collapsing arches, so I opted for the arches.
The salesgirl was very knowledgeable when I asked her about brands and styles that are best for flat feet, and I feel I’m with the best brand for my feet shape (New Balance). However, I did have to ask semi-intelligent questions to get the answers I wanted. If I’d been clueless, I don’t know if I’d have gotten my needs across. I might still have ended up with a B width shoe that made my arches hurt because it was too wide, and I wouldn’t have understood what was happening.
I guess I assumed that salespeople at specialty running stores are all-knowing gurus who can look at my feet, quiz me, watch me walk and run, and be able to offer some shoes options for me to test out. My salesgirl did not watch me walk and run, and I had to make sure I gave her all information as opposed to her asking me questions, although she did try her best to offer shoe options for me. She looked like she was in high school or college, so perhaps she’s on the school track team and working at the store for the summer. Heck, she might be the owner’s niece or something. She definitely looked like a runner and seemed to know the nuances between the different shoe brands and styles.
Long story short, I’m waiting for my shoes. I’m apprehensive my new (narrower) shoes will not give me blisters (the best part about that D width shoe was the roomy toe box! Heaven!). And I’m a bit frustrated that my search for new shoes is taking so much time.
However, Nicole on Facebook mentioned that my situation is not unheard of among other runners, so I shouldn’t feel put upon. Also, I’ve heard from several people that once you figure out the brand and style of shoe that fits you, you can pretty much count on fit and function from every new product from that shoe style line until they stop making it.
Oh, and I had gone online to New Balance and saw a style of shoe that I wanted to try. It was a special “last,” or mold for the shoe, that was made for overpronators like me (flat feet). However, the running store didn’t have it, so I went home and ordered a pair online. So now I’ll have two different shoe styles to run with, and hopefully find my perfect style. And live happily ever after.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Captain's Log, Stardate 08.05.2010