Saturday, April 19, 2008

Oh Shoet

OK, I'm having a teeny-tiny freakout here. But before I get to that, let me do a little rant which kind of ties in with it.

There are many magazines, websites, and blogs related to endurance sports. And in that huge journalistic world, the most useless articles are Running Shoe Reviews. Why? Because the absolute NUMBER ONE factor in choosing a running shoe is "does it fit my foot?" I happen to have narrow feet, and I find many shoes to be very uncomfortable. Unless the reviewer has feet the exact same shape as mine, his opinion doesn't matter. If Peter Reid says he owes all of his Ironman wins to his Buster Browns, that doesn't do me any bit of good. Yes, as a starting point it can be helpful to know which shoes are good for stability, but that's more of a Buyer's Guide data point than a subjective review. Shoe reviews: waste of time. End of rant.

My first pair of running shoes were New Balance 1221s. They were also my 2nd and 3rd pair. I probably had 6-7 pairs in all. I ran my first 5k in them, first 10k, first half marathon, first several triathlons, and 2 marathons. Basically, I was very happy with them. Then one day the nice lady at the running store told me "that shoe has been discontinued. This is the new version, but it's the same shoe." Well, no it wasn't. It didn't fit the same and I couldn't use it. I switched to a pair of Mizunos but didn't like them. Had a Saucony pair and didn't like them either. A few months ago I switched to Brooks Adrenaline and these I liked. Good. I found the shoes I would run my Ironman in.

My physical therapist suggested that my shoes were wearing out and it was time for a new pair. I agree. I went to the running store tonight with my old shoes and asked for "a new pair of these". The nice lady at the running store told me "that shoe has been discontinued. This is the new version, but it's the same shoe."

The lady kept telling me it was the same shoe, even as I was trying them on and telling her "no, it fits differently". I can't say it's a bad fit yet, and they have a 7-day return policy so I took them. I will try running in them this weekend, but if at all possible I'm going to try to find my old shoes. With the other shoes I had, it wasn't until I had been running in them for a couple weeks that I started to notice the problems.

My Ironman is in 9 weeks and I may have to switch shoes. Freak out.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was taught that when you find a good shoe, buy at least 2 pairs and rotate them. Of course, my budget only allows for one $100 pair at a time. I have the same "they've discontinued your shoe" problem. I tried on about 10 pairs of shoes, none of them fitting, then noticed all the sales clerks (all runners themselves) were wearing the same Brooks. I tried them on and loved them. The first time I wore them they ate the skin off my ankles. I brought them in for MacGyvering and they seemed to work until I wore them on a trail run last week and they started biting again. I'm back in my old broken down shoes until I save enough energy and will to return to the running store. I bet Jon Cryer doesn't have this hard a time finding shoes that fit.


11:13 PM  
Blogger PaulWakeford said...

Try some of the online stores, I often see up to 3 year old shoes at some sites.

5:33 AM  
Blogger Brent Buckner said...

I am somewhat disturbed by the on-going drive by shoe companies for new models.

Good hunting!

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup, I find the "old" models of shoes that work for me on-line & on the cheap.

Since you know the model & size, you're set for internet shopping. And in this case, you cannot even feel guilty for not supporting the local running store.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

If you can find your old pair on ebay, get it. In fact, get as many pairs as you can afford.

I am with you on this area. I was wearing a pair that are 4 years old. It was discontinued two years ago. Now I 'upgrade' to a diff model that is already discontinued.

Rediculous. The shoe models are driven largely by marketing and faster product cycles (help generate more revenue and $$$). But for us dedicated runners, it's a nightmare.

6:38 AM  
Blogger Iradoman said...

Mike, I can't say enough good things about Newton's, two members of the Axis of Evil wear Newton's and they are very happy with.... Wanna join the club? The Newton's might help...

11:15 AM  
Blogger Gregory said...

Road Runner Sports is a good place to buy shoes. They often offer the discontinued shoes and even notify you when your favorite pair hit the "endangered" list..

3:50 PM  
Blogger monica said...

you don't even have to hit the internet. call around to somelocal running stores: run with us (pasadena), phiddippides (encino), runner's circle (los feliz) and top to top (marina del rey, santa monica) the starting line (venice.marina del rey).

you need to know what year model your adrenlines are, but if anyone has them, you can usually talk them down a good 30-40 bucks in price AND still have the shoe that works for ya. you'll also save on shipping from an online store, but then again with these gas prcies...

good luck, i knowhow frustrating it is to have your shoe discontinued!!!

12:01 AM  

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