So, last May, I finally decided to try running. This meant, I assumed, that I needed special shoes. But what kind to get? Presumably, I needed shoes that would support my feet and keep my knees from aching, but would these be easy to find? Was there likely to be pain and suffering ahead?
I figured that finding shoes would be especially difficult for me, since I am not easy to fit: I simultaneously have wide feet, high arches, and narrow ankles. This has caused problems for me before. For example, skating is never fun. To have a hope of being able to stand up on skates without bending at the ankles, I need extra-long laces that I can wrap around the heel of the skate at least once, and even then it is touch and go.
And it is physically impossible for me to wear loafers – my feet are just the wrong shape. I don’t really want to wear loafers anyway, so it’s not much of a deprivation, but just slipping into shoes is not a concept that I am familiar with. Usually, I have to loosen the laces to fit my wide feet in, and then tighten the laces at the base to enclose my narrow ankles. Feel free to pity me at this point, dear reader!
So, with some trepidation, I ventured into a nearby running store, and asked a helpful salesperson for help (it’s best to ask helpful people for help, as opposed to asking them for money or something). He asked me to run up and down the store in my normal gait, which I did, trying not to bounce too much, and hoping he wouldn’t laugh too hard. He didn’t comment or say something like “This is going to be a challenge” or “Oh, dear”, or “You’re probably not cut out for this, you know”. Instead, he pointed out that he was just about to put away a pair of shoes that were size 12, double E width, and would I like to try those on? I did, and they fit perfectly. Hallelujah! With that, and a pair of running shorts (I already had T-shirts), I was good to go.
For the record, my shoes are New Balance 860 v7 size 12 width 2E. I’m now on my second pair, and they fit perfectly too. But OMG OMG they’re discontinuing this model. When my current shoes wear out, I’ll have to either beat the bushes for another pair or cross my fingers and hope that a newer model works out. But I’ll worry about that later.
Next up: beginning the Couch to 5K program. Holy shit, I’m going to try this.