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Come on down!

11/06/2011

When I was a Children’s Librarian, I thought I had the best job ever. I couldn’t believe I got paid to do what I did. Every two weeks I would sprint to the bank at lunch time to deposit my check before they asked for it back. I knew I had to be somehow tricking someone and someone was about to find out! I loved every single day that I worked at my first library and, with the exception of a few hens, my coworkers were amazing! I still can’t believe I left that job voluntarily (stupid falling in love nonsense!) and thought I would never find a job that I enjoyed as much.

…Until now.

I officially started working at the The Very Good Run Fast Shoppe (not its real name) this week and, although sales is a totally different job for me, it is pretty damn awesome. I get to look at running stuff all day, play with running stuff all day, talk to people about running stuff all day, and then go home and drink a beer (the beer is not part of my job description–it’s a perk I added). I’ve found my coworkers to be very friendly and helpful and not at all crazy (even the really pretty ones). And, for the most part, the customers are so happy to have you assist them and truly appreciate the information you can offer.

Then so far so good got even better.

Yesterday I went through the whole shoe fit process with one of my coworkers who has been there for 2.5 years. While he asked questions about my running–miles per week, type of terrain I run on, history of injuries, future training plans, et cetera–he looked at my feet barefoot and measured each foot both sitting down and standing up (this helps to judge how much your arches collapse). He videotaped me running on the treadmill and pointed out some things about my stride (things I already knew–overpronation, heel strike–but the person not obsessed with running would appreciate these observations), and then he brought out some shoes for me to try on.

I’ve been wearing a size 7 forever and ever but because I am going to begin training for some longer distances (like the 50K), he recommended I go up a half-size to accommodate for any foot swelling. First, I tried on a pair of Nikes that I really didn’t like, but I have never liked the way Nikes felt on my feet. They seem long and narrow, and the arch of the shoe never seemed lined up with the arch of my foot. It’s a shame because Nikes are so darn pretty. (These were the only neutral shoes I tried on; the rest were stability shoes because of my flat feet.) Next up was the Asics 1170, a very updated model of the Asics I wore for marathon training (I think I trained in 1150’s or 1160’s). They were just ok–I didn’t feel like they were anything special and almost preferred the feeling of my old, beat-up pair. Then came the Addidas which I would never normally chose for a running shoe, mostly because I only associate Addidas with Run DMC. I liked the arch support but the lacing over the top of my foot felt really stiff. Plus there was a lot of room in the toe box and my heels kept slipping. Fourth was a pair of Sauconys. Even with the half-size up, I felt like my feet were being strangled. I like a snug fit, but these were very uncomfortable. I wore Sauconys all through high school but have been a New Balance/Asics girl ever since. No wonder–I couldn’t wait to unlace these torture devices!

Last up was the Mizuno Wave Inspire 8. I’ve never tried Mizunos but a few people I know (including Sole Sista Sue) made the switch and loved them. I really liked the way they felt immediately! Stability shoes can be a little clunky but these felt lightweight. They were snug in all the right places–arch and heel–but still had room in the toe box. Like I did with all the other test pairs, I took them for a jog around the parking lot. This was the only part of the fit process I did not enjoy because 1) I was wearing jeans and 2) my hair was down. To anyone passing by, I was THAT lady running in jeans with her hair down–the type of lady I would mock in my brain and on this blog. I was terrified I was going to end up on Jogging Jeans, and would that not be the greatest irony (besides a traffic jam when you’re already late and having 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife)?

In addition to being incredibly comfortable, I liked how responsive and bouncy the Mizunos felt. Since they were my favorite of all the shoes I tested, I re-tried them on with Superfeet. I’ve never run with insoles but EVERYONE in the store wears Superfeet (including a mother of 3 who competes in ultras and once ran on a treadmill 24 hours straight for charity), and they are probably one of our best sellers. When you compare them to the manufacturer’s foam inserts that come in the shoes, you can see a big difference in the support. There are three main kinds that we stock: green which is the most aggressive, berry (for the girls)/orange (for the guys) which offer medium support, and the blue Superfeet give light support. While a good pair of shoes will have a very, very small breaking-in period, Superfeet do require 2-3 weeks to ease them in, something I could tell–they were extremely noticeable even wearing them around the store for just a few minutes. Not only do they are highly recommended but Superfeet will last through 2-3 pairs of running shoes.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 8 Women's Osaka Marathon Edition

 

The whole fit process was really fun and I could see how our customers would feel special having someone fawn over their feet for 40 minutes to an hour.

When we were reshelving the shoes in the back, my manager asked “Which ones did you like?” I told her the Wave Inspires. And then she said the bestest words I ever heard in all my life (well, except for “Will you marry me?”, “It’s a girl!”, “It’s a boy!”, and “It’s a girl!”). She said “Good. Because we are giving them to you along with a pair of Superfeet and a pair of socks!” I felt like a crazy old lady who finally–FINALLY!!!–gets called down to the Contestants’ Row on The Price is Right (when Bob Barker was the host, no one gets THAT excited over Drew Carey). When I was a librarian I would sometimes get an ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) in the mail but that was worth like $15 bucks and still needed a ton of proofreading. Yesterday I got a pair of Mizunos, Superfeet, and a pair of Balega socks! That’s the equivalent of 11 paperbacks! And they aren’t a one-and-done like books–I will be using these almost every single day! Talk about perks!

It’s only been 3 days but I seriously love my job.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. 11/06/2011 7:19 PM

    That video made me laugh more than it should have.

    • Suzanne permalink*
      11/06/2011 7:44 PM

      People falling down is always funny!

  2. 11/06/2011 7:40 PM

    Great post! Made me laugh out loud a couple of times. :)

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