Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Some frustration

There will come a day when I don't talk about shoes in my blog. That day is not today.

As some of my two devote readers might remember, I was super excited about END Footwear's road running line. A few weeks ago, despite still not being able to run because of my knee, I ordered a pair of the company's stability road shoes -- the OTG -- when they became available on REI.

I own a pair of their trail racers, and while really good, they're a little big (not so much that I can't run in them, but there's more toe room than I prefer). In an effort to outsmart myself, I ordered the road runners a half-size smaller. You can probably see where this is going.

The shoes are too small. The toe box has the right mount of space (so, I got that right anyway), but the sides and top of my foot are wedged in there. I can get around in them okay, but they are snug. And by snug I mean I'd probably hurt my foot if I tried to run in them for more than a few miles. I tried swapping in all different kinds of insoles that I have lying around -- strangely enough, the best fit are my custom orthotics, despite them having the most pronounced arch.

Long, uninteresting story short, these sneakers aren't for me. I've done a decent amount of walking in them, but they just don't work. I think if I kept trying to use them, I'd end up with some new injury, and I haven't even fully healed from my last injury.

Why didn't I return them for the a larger size? Well, because I'm an idiot and I was overwhelmed by their coolness factor. I was so excited about getting the shoes that I immediately tried them on and walked around. When they didn't fit quite right, I switched out the insole. Then walked around some more. Then the next day, I tried a little treadmill running. Basically, I think I used them too much for me to be allowed to return them (or to return them in good conscience). The perils of purchasing footwear online.

So, if you know anyone with size 8.5 feet who wants a barely used free pair of cool running shoes (I'm talking maybe five miles of walking and two of running), let me know. I really don't want to just toss them -- that's definitely not the environmentally-friendly thing to do.

Since these things were $90 ($30 above my "What the hell, I'll give them a try" price point), I'm a little frustrated. Maybe in the late spring I'll drop the money again for a larger size; but right now I'm thinking I'll stick with what works.

Although, with my family's Grand Canyon hike planned for April, maybe I'll pick up a new pair of trail runners. Because, clearly, I haven't learned my lesson. I mean, I only own four pairs of trail runners already.

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