Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Feet don't lie - with apologies to Shakira

Stuart and I went down to the acquarium today, only to find a queue and a waiting time of 1 hour prior to entry! No fun in icy cold winds, so we trekked down to Faneuil Hall and after browsing around the Quincy Market, found ourselves in front of the Bill Rodgers Running Center. After reading so much about it, I had to go in. The shop is on 2 floors. The ground floor has a small room with various types of clothing, but the shoes are in a separate department which is accessed down some stairs. There an entire wall of shoes greets your eyes - and they certainly look majestic! This wall looks nothing like the places I usually buy my running shoes at (last pair was at an outlet). Shoes of all hues, styles, weights and brands tempt the eyes which survey them. It is also quite a tactile experience as you feel you want to reach out and touch them.
We were greeted by a really nice man who went about his business and told us to call him if we needed him. After browsing a bit, I went to ask about getting a second pair of shoes, and whether it should be the same make as the ones I already had. Now, I usually feel quite intimidated by these kinds of shops. I am out of my comfort zone, and don't know a thing about shoes, let alone a whole discussion on pronation, supports and other issues. Jason answered my question, then started asking me about my running. He made me feel at ease, relaxed and then offered to look at my feet. Naturally I hesitated as I had not come prepared to buy shoes, was wearing boots and tights. From looking at my feet, tights still in place, Jason brought out 3 possible pairs of shoes.
I tried them on and the toss up was between 2 pairs. Further discussion with Jason led to me purchasing a pair of luxurious Infiniti by Brooks.
I was still plagued by a few doubts as the pair I had chosen has a slight built in support and I had no idea whether my old shoes has this. However, they also felt 'right' on my feet. Although I could not explain exactly what I meant, Jason told me to try them out at home on a treadmill for a half hour, and to bring them back if they didn't work out. At home I not only discovered that my old Adidas pair did have a built in arch support, but on visiting brooksrunning and taking their online test, their recommendation for me was....you guessed it, the Infiniti!
I am so pleased with my new shoes. I have never bought a pair with such expert advice. Jason is not only thoroughly knowledgeable in the area, but offered me a few useful running tips. The store is well equipped, but most importantly the customer service is superb! I shall certainly be going back there, and for my fellow runners who have similar anxieties about these kinds of shops, take the plunge, you may meet someone as cool as Jason who gives you a lot more than just the pair of shoes you walk out with. And most importantly, trust yourself, and listen to your feet. They never lie.

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