If the Shoe Fits

As expensive as they can be, shoes are the only things in my entire closet that I’m willing to pay full price for. I blame my mother for this. As children, my brothers and I were religiously taken to the shoe store every 4 months to see if our feet had grown into the next size. I suppose I should really be thanking her as none of us have had or do have any problems with our toes, feet, knees or hips today – and with our combined ages being well over 100, that’s pretty impressive. However, this means I am now programmed to return to my favorite running shoe store whenever I sense that my shoes are nearing the end of their running days (only, of course, to become my favorite playshoes).

Last month, I went to replace (sniff, sniff) my ASICS, the pair that had seen me finish my half-marathon training, run during the winter for the first time in years, and helped me win many age group awards. With a resume like that, how could I not want this year’s version of the same model? So, I tried the same size, the size below (just to make sure) and bought a 9 1/2, the same size I had worn for years.

Within the first week, I had a black toenail. By the end of the second week, the same toenail on the opposite foot had also blackened. This made no sense to me at all and, when I checked the size of these and their predecessors, they showed that they were the same. “Darn,” I thought. “I did need the 9’s.” So back to the shoe store I went.

After retrying the 9’s and commenting that they were definitely too tight, and lacing up umpteen other makes and models of shoes, I realized that the unforeseenable had happened to my feet: they shrunk. I didn’t think this was possible, especially when all of my female running mamma friends complain that their feet got bigger after childbirth. Not me, though; mine had to be different from the others – an abnormality. And worse than that is they had shrunk 1/4 of a size. Now I had the crisis of figuring out what to wear on my feet for the rest of my running days. This was decidely worse that finding that perfect dress for a formal event.

After retrying many of the not-so-badly fitting shoes and likely trying the patience of the sales associate, I walked away with a pair of Mizuno’s. They are not the prettiest shoe but, for me, they were the most comfortable. And, today, a week and 35 kilometres later, my feet and toes are happy. If the shoe fits, wear it.

Leave a Reply