Running Shoes…….83 days left to DR!!!!

8 05 2010

The most important piece of equipment ( and the only actual necessary one) is the running shoes.  Its even debated by some ( few) that shoes arent necessary but thats another topic……….

The most tourterious part of being a runner for me is shopping for shoes.  Shoes can make or break you.  Ive had injuries from selecting the wrong running shoe and currently ( in part) im blaming my shoes for the injury i have today.

First of all, you need to know i detest shopping!  For anything.  I dont actually “shop” as that would mean i look around and compare prices etc……i BUY.

I walk in.  Find what i like.  I buy it!

With running shoes i get stressed.  They are so important to me. Especially now that ive taken up “trail running”…….it was tricky before selecting a good street shoe, and now the variety narrows considerbly with the quest for trail shoes.

Ive researched, gotten opinions from ameteurs and experts.  Now against all of my being i went shopping for 6 hours.

Heres my findings.

New Balance on Bloor West.  Helpfull, and knowledgible staff.  No real trail shoes.  I like the NB Street shoes but ALWAYS get a blister on my instep.  Feels like the sole moves around.  I do really feel good in them though.

Running Room Bloor west and High Park.  helpfull, and knowledgible staff.  I think they are always so busy but they focus on one customer at a time ( i really like that) and they know a TONNE about running.  They dont carry trail shoes, but if you spend some time with them they will help you get a good running shoe.  A bit more expensive then some other stores, but i think the service is well worth it!

Sports Chk…..ive been to several all around the GTA.  The ones attached to Atmosphere stores seem to have more selection.  They push Salomons HARD.  I havent been thrilled with Salomon runners as of yet, but many of the trail runners i know swear by them.  nice staff but over all not as knowledgible as i would like.

Mountain Equipment Coop  400 King street………..What a disaster.  I want to like that place as its got so many cool things but service is Deplorable….Aweful.  What service?  Yesterday i wanted to buy 2 pair of shoes from them….so about $400.00…i know its not a $3000.00 canoe or something but its a decent sale and i needed help.  Started with a snotty young kid who had a big chip on his shoulder.  he tryed to convince me the Vibram 5 finger is what i should run the DR in!?  Crap and i think i have feet problems now?…..Then he told me that the Salomon XTs couldnt have rubbed my heel and caused blisters.  “They dont do that”  In his vast experiance of running ( hes 19-20 years old) he couldnt help much and then he wandered off to help someone else and left me sitting with 3 boxes of wrong sized runners, so another young girl helped me and 5 other clients……..they had the Brooks Cascadias, and the Mountain Masochists both of which i wanted to try but not in my size.  I left frustrated and without shoes.

Europe Bound, across the street on King is a wild place full, floor to cieling of stuff…….really nice staff, and in fact i was looking at shoes and i had two staff trying to help me.  They are great people over there and i ll definately frequent thier store.  They only carried a few Salomons……..and some crappy merils…..?   SIGH

So back to a Sport Check, on Yonge and Queen…huge store.  No where to park except the crimanal $20.00 flat rate places……..i bought a pair of North Face”Ultra 105 GTX XCR” ( gosh what long names!)   They seem to fit well, although perhaps a bit narrow, partial toe box and a descent tred, although not as much tred as id like.

So heres the deal on shoes ive tried so far

NB, partial toe box, no tred, good street shoe.

Salomons XT, although at first i thought the laceless, lacing system was cool, i cant seem to lace them snug enough to not move in the heel.  Its a narrow shoe for my flipper feet, but has awesome tred, a cool look, breathes well…….too bad, i was excited by them…sigh

Brooks Cascadias, i havent found my size yet, but i am enthusied by them.  Difficult to find in any store.   Nice fit width ways, strong tred, a bit of toe pertection, nice look, good build, awesomely light weight…..Im going to get these before DR

Mountain Masochists…….These look, feel and sound cool!  I liked the shoe.  Light weight.  Strong Build.  I felt a bit “wobbly” in them…like i might tip over……Wicked nice toe box, and tred.  Im going to buy a pair if i can find a 12 wide!!!

North Face Boas….a la Dean Karnazes.   Well now im dubious with the lacing system.  Cant seem to find a store with them but it occurs to me as i type this i may want to chk in a North Face Store?!!!  Cool looking shoe.  Endorsed by the MAN!

North Face Ultra 105 GTX XCR………………….stay tuned, if i ever get to run again i ll have a full report on these but im very hopeful.  They look good also.   Seeing as i plan to wear runners for the next 80 days EVERY WHERE this is a plus.  Look great with jeans

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