The first replacements were my running shoes. For my running shoes, I decided to go to a specialty running store for the first time. Someone suggested Fleet Feet. And I must tell you, the service there was EXCELLENT. It was well worth spending regular price. The attendant created a chart for me to keep track of my shoes, size, and problems so that they can further improve their services in the future. In addition, he was crazy knowledgeable of everything I needed to know to make a good decision on my shoes. I also was allowed to run outside in them before purchasing. On top of that, I’m allowed to return within 30 days, even if I use them. That’s CRAZY!
After an obscene amount of occupying the attendant’s time with my dumb questions, I bought a pair of 7-1/2 Saucony Progrid Omni 6 Moderate Medium for one hundred dollars.
Per the attendant’s suggestion, I also bought expensive insoles made by Superfeet, so that was another 40 dollars. But those have a 60 day satisfaction guarantee, so I can return them if I want.
The second replacements were for my cross trainers. I had been using a pair of RYKA Intensity XT, which were okay.
I liked how RYKA specialized in woman’s athletic shoes and the fit is supposed to be ideal for women (thin heel and wide foot bed). Additionally, they didn’t give me blisters. However, they weren’t very good court shoes. I not only use cross trainers for aerobics and weight training, but I also used them for badminton, which required me to make quick stops. This was not the case with these shoes, where I would end up sliding halfway across the court when I had actually wanted to start heading back to the other side. Even Ly noticed this and told me to stop (as if I could). So when it came time to replace them, I decided to try another shoe. I went to Lady Foot Locker. (Can you tell that I have a weakness for woman-specific apparel?) The service there was not nearly as spectacular as at Fleet Feet. Actually, I found them to be barely knowledgeable and maybe even a little mis-informative. The attendant there suggested the Nike Shox Ballo.
I ended up buy those shoes anyways, because I have a tendency to buy anything if the attendant was nice enough, but as I examined them at home, I decided that she didn’t know what she was talking about and that I WOULD exchanged them for a less flashy pair. I also decided to give them a test drive at home, while I still have them because I was still planning to buy Nike Shox, just less glamorous. So the next day, I did aerobics in them at home and I discovered that they felt uncomfortable. I took off the shoes and discovered that my feet were red on the sides. The shoes were too tight. Memories of blisters from cheap shoes came flooding back to me, so I whipped the bottom with a baby whip and I exchanged them for a totally different pair. A different lady helped me. Not so teenager-y or Ghetto Superstar-y, but not so friendly either. She kept tight-lipped with offering me any suggestions at all, and I wondered if she did so for ethical reasons, because she probably wasn’t trained to know.
I went with a pair of white New Balance 504. My sister buys this brand, because she tells me they’re made a little wider. And at 80 dollars, they were 20 dollars cheaper than the Nikes. So far I like them. I especially like how brilliantly white they are and how the reflectors twinkle up at me. I wore them to aerobics class with my white baby tee and black stretch pants, and I must tell you, I looked awesome!