New Running Shoes
For the back half of last week, we were visiting my folks in Kent. On Saturday, they took our daughter to see the pantomime at Chatham’s Central Hall - Peter Pan (”Oh no it wasn’t! Oh yes it was!”) (if you’re not from the UK, that won’t mean anything to you - never mind).
This left Cathy and I free for the afternoon, so we headed off to Bluewater. This is one of my favourite shopping centres (does that mark me out as a complete anorak?) - mainly because of the location & architecture. It’s built in the bottom of an abandoned chalk quarry, and looks like the perfect Bond Villian’s base. (”No Mr Bond, I expect you to shop!”).
Oh, and it also has an Apple Store. But this is rather small and cramped - nothing like the opulence of New York or Regent Street in London.
Anyway . . . there’s a new store there - She Runs He Runs. And seeing as I needed some new trainers (/sneakers / running shoes, etc), I thought I’d pop in. My first impression was that there wasn’t much selection. But then I noticed that every shoe had ratings for speed, cushioning, and comfort. I’d never seen this kind of attention to detail before. So I asked one of the assistants for advice, and was passed on to the ever-so-helpful Rose, who took me up to the fitting area.
The attention to detail here was incredible, as the running shoe fitting comprised:
- A discussion of my running aims for the year, weekly mileage, terrain, etc.
- An inspection of both of my feet, checking for injuries, stance, wear points.
- A loan of a decent pair of socks, and then a trial fitting of some shoes.
- A few minutes on a treadmill to experience the shoes in use.
- My running was video recorded while I was on the treadmill. This was then used to analyse my pronation / supination, and how this was being supported / corrected by the shoes.
- Several other pairs of shoes tried, with encouragement to run in them, and then comparison with the original shoe in video analysis.
So in the end I bought a pair of Asics Cumulus VIII for £55, reduced from £70. Of course, this all took time, which meant I then had to find Cathy again - couldn’t really expect her to hang around while I got all geeky. She didn’t seem too surprised that I’d bought them. Indeed, she had the cheek to say that all the above effort to find a pair of running shoes that fit me was just a cunning sales pitch.
That may or may not be the case. But it still marks SheRunsHeRuns out as the only place I’ll shop at for running shoes from now on.