NOTE: I actually sold these shoes on eBay in January 2010... they did not work for me at all! They were too heavy for my running gait. Next time, I will trust myself instead of some running evaluation to determine what shoes would work for me...
Given that my most recent pair of running shoes have made it over a year with me, it was time for the next annual purchase of these necessary pieces of running gear. I never thought I'd be running in Brooks, since I did not think they made them for my wide feet.
I was a bit PO-ed (i.e., unhappy) when I walked into A Snail's Pace this weekend and found the salespeople to be unattentive. One was with a customer, completely oblivious to the fact that I was, for many minutes, intently browsing the shoes, picking them up, flexing them, wondering why the selection had decreased since I was last there. Another was playing on the treadmill that they use for shoe-testing. Sorry to bag, but this is my blog, and one should be liable that bad word-of-blog/mouth will spread if you don't service your customers. Anyway, I left, vowing to just get my next pair of shoes online, chancing the last of the three models they recommended me two years ago that I have not yet tried.
Instead, I ended up going to The Running Lab in the city of Orange. For $20 (a fee which is waved if you buy their shoes), they assessed my gait by watching me walk, do funny one-legged squat-ish things, took my foot imprint, measured my feet, and stretched me out on a table. In conclusion, they recommended that I wear a beefed-up insole in my left shoe due to one leg being longer than the other (slightly). They said that this might have caused my hip pain.
They (or should I say, he=Anthony... thanks!) also concluded that I need a high-control shoe, and that the previous recommendations of shoes I have had at the other place were both too small and only had mechanisms for moderate control. No wonder I haven't yet found a shoe that I've really liked, I guess. So I walked out with this pair of shoes for $100, plus more for the insole. I think these look like basketball shoes, but oh well.
I am glad that I finally tried out another running store, as the guys in here were attentive (even though there were other customers around) and even got a second opinion when it came to my leg unevenness. I also learned that I have been tying my shoes too loosely at the heel and that I should not just stuff my foot in my shoe when I put them on and should retie each time. That (and the shoes in general) will take some getting used to, but better to try something new than to be dissatisfied and injured all the time. Finally, I learned that unless you have very high arches, your foot arch (or lack thereof, in my case), doesn't affect the choice of running shoe, and in turn, running.
Hope these shoes help me get over my injury and running funk. Meanwhile, I need to get some dirt on 'em, because too-clean shoes always look weird to me!