Thursday, May 30, 2013

Today's walk report: 053013

Can't afford no shoes...

Somewhere out there is somebody wanting to know my experience in buying shoes. I'm almost sure of it. Well this is your lucky day because today I bought shoes. Two pairs even. I've been telling myself for about 2 weeks now, you need to look into buying some new running shoes. What generally happens is I put it off until just 2-3 days before my current runners start giving my feet grief. That means I either suffer for about 5-6 days before the new shoes arrive or I scramble going through old shoes to ward off problems. Once there's pain involved it also causes issues with the new shoes because my feet are already suffering yet I'm trying to determine if the new model is working. I always end up keeping the shoes convinced that I'll break them in or something. You can easily return Nikes, you can send them back or you can take them into a retail location. So far, you don't care, right?

How I buy shoes might help someone at least a little though. I've tried a lot of different running shoes, brands and styles, retail specials and online shopping. I've also bought "walking shoes" twice. Don't ever buy walking shoes unless what you really want to do is stand around.

I've settled on Nike. Nike shoes work more frequently than any other brand I've tried. I have problem feet. I also have what is known as chronic ankle instability, a.k.a, weak ankles. Again, you don't care, unless perhaps your that special person with the same sorts of problems. Everybody I ever talk to who walks or runs has had some issues over shoes.

Here's the deal with Nike. One, you can go to a Nike store and check out shoes. I wouldn't recommend buying them there though. I've only been to a Nike store twice and I never bought shoes. I did however find styles I like. Certain types of Nikes get re-issued under slightly different styles or designs. I like either a barefoot ride (lightweight and flexible) or a neutral ride (superior cushioning for a smooth ride.) So I sort those options at the Nike Clearance Shop. That URL seems to change sometimes so I generally just Google Nike Clearance and go in that way. Anyway, those two options and then I sort lowest > highest price. Some shoes are ridiculously high priced. I look for the lowest price in a style I'm used to or think I might like... I've made mistakes too...

Here's one mistake... The top shoe. The style looked kinda OK for a barefoot ride and the price was about as low as any Nike I've ever bought. It was a gamble and I lost. Those shoes are awful BUT I don't think they are bad looking so if say I had  a dinner casual date or something I might wear them. For a walk, anything beyond 100m, forget it. They are also so light they can't really support the insoles I use. OH YEAH, real important, if you like to walk or run get some good insoles. They will last forever. I use these.

The Nike Free in yellow I had bought before. The Free 3.0 style shoe tends to work best for me but I can't constantly wear the same style shoe, I have to switch from time to time. You probably do too. By the way, notice the size difference. My foot measures closer to 11.5 than 12 (U.S.) but size 12 in Nikes works best for me. I gave 11.5 a shot here because $59.97 was a really good price for a 3.0 and they were out on 12. That's one of the problems with clearance and it's also a reason for checking the online store more often than you might need shoes. I know now that if I see a Free 3.0 in size 12 for $59.97 to buy them. The 11.5 shoes didn't really work out for me though. Not for everyday but they can be called up to pinch hit.

Speaking of pinch hitting that's a good thing to do on occasion just because and it especially comes in handy for me when I'm waiting for new shoes while my current model is causing me grief. I have a lot of alternate shoes. There's a couple more pairs not in the closet. Usually an old pair of shoes works for a day. Trying two days in a row somehow never seems to work BUT they CAN pinch hit again successfully on another date. There's a ton of discussions on alternating shoes on the web and I've already gone too far with this.

The New Balance suck. I've already discussed those bastards here. In fact I'm repeating some of that post but that's alright, nobody read the f'n thing anyway. There was a 4th wearing on the NB shoes since I wrote that... agonizing but they're OK around the house and my feet look good in orange.

Here's a model and price I wish I could find again. I had two pairs of these and they were great for a neutral ride shoe. These were bought last year. In 2012 I spent $305.85 on running shoes.

$50 shoes might be a bygone era?
My current pair of 3.0s
Shoes are typically good for 350-450 miles or about 70-90 days although my current shoes are on day 101... Another strong indicator that they've about had it. This current pair is also a Nike Free 3.0. The first pair of yellow Nike 3.0s lasted 5 months! That was a record. They remain in the closet too as an alternate.

Here's what I bought today which brings me back to smart Nike shopping school. Register at Nike, it's no big deal. If you register you don't pay shipping for orders over $100. Otherwise shipping is $8 a pair, it is for me anyway. So that's $16 savings. Plus I saved $40 in the clearance store. I'd love to see something more reasonable in a shoe I like again because $79.97 is still ridiculous but I don't do well barefoot.

I wasn't going to get into all this detail about shoes but honestly if you walk or run you MUST understand some of this, especially if you're on a budget like I am.  Not everybody knows about the Nike Clearance Store and if you shop retail I don't believe they ever have that option at a Nike store--you pay full pop. That's insane, shoe's are insanely overpriced. They make these things in Vietnam probably for pennies on every dollar you pay.

Tomorrow I'm back walking with camera so hopefully we'll see some pretty pictures if you decide to come back. Sensor still needs cleaning on the camera but I can get away with stuff by shooting close-ups.

Here's Can't Afford No Shoes by Frank Zappa to take you out of this blog...

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