Buying Shoes

Shoes are hard to buy for long distance running, because you don't really know what they'll be like until you've run a serious few in them - and then it's too late to take them back.

Here, then, are some problems I've found over the last 4 years:

  • Stripes - dynamic stylish stripes on shoes can cut into the instep. Maybe they're added for arch support? But for me, they are usually a sign of bleeding soles to come.
  • Width fitting - I've got skinny ankles but wide toes, and my spread starts back at the arch. If I don't get medium width or wider shoes, I get compression across the bones of the middle of my foot.
  • Differences in sizing - a 9 is not a 9 from all the shoe makers. At least this one is easy to spot in the shoe shop, or before I go running, but sometimes I've been caught out by shoes that are only slightly too small, and thinking I'll get away with it. Black toenails from repetitive briuising are the result - not good.

Moat of these issues take about 6km (3-4 miles) to manifest. The shoes by then are muddy and the soles are clearly scuffed. It's cost me an average of about £100 each year in hardly used shoes - I wear out shoes every 500 miles or so.

This outburst today was brought to you by the shoe sale at our local sports store, from which two pairs of low priced lemons have recently made their way, via a 6 mile detour round my running routes, into the charity shops.

So for the 33 mile ultramarathon next month, I'll be running in my old, nearly worn out shoes - cause I'm not risking wrong shoes on the race day!

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