Do people still call running shoes sneakers?
This weekend I finally made it to the New Balance store to buy a new pair of sneakers – or running shoes. I had been using the same old pair for a number of years and with the Pride and Remembrance 5K coming up (and my old ones looking pretty ragged), I thought it best to finally shell out the cash for a new pair (see my blog Training for the Pride and Remembrance 5K.).
The one thing I never have to do is spend much time looking for new running shoes. This is because your humble blogger has pes planus (otherwise known as flat feet).
And there are never many choices for folks with flat feet.
Of course my flat feet would have kept me out of the army if I had ever been drafted – if the fact that I dig guys didn’t keep me out first (though I should say that gay and lesbians have been able to serve openly in the Canadian Armed Forces for some time now). Actually, I recently discovered that flat feet won’t keep one out of the army anymore anyway (even in the US).
But I digress.
Because I had flat feet, from the time I could walk I had to wear special orthopedic shoes with expensive prescribed orthoses insoles (shoe inserts) that created a slight arch in my foot. These shoes were always brown and ugly and (unfortunately for my parents) very expensive. And because a child grows rapidly, I would have to be dragged to the shoe store (it was called Kiddy Kobbler) every few months to buy a new ugly pair. Did I mention that they often had buckles!
I hated getting shoes.
So unfortunately, I was never allowed to wear running shoes or sandals until I was about nine (when I finally stopped wearing said special ugly shoes). Isn’t that sad? Though I have to thank the arch (such as it is) that I have to those ugly shoes I hated so much.
I also had years of speech therapy for a lisp – but that’s another blog.
So how ugly were my orthopedic shoes?
I still hate buying shoes.
But today I took my big wide flat feet (they are double-E… as flat feet are often also wide) down to the New Balance store to get a new pair of running shoes.
And although they had walls and walls of shoes at New Balance, for flat feet they had exactly two choices. So I chose the more expensive (since that’s how I judge quality) and bought the New Balance 1123. It’s great to actually have a shoe made for flat feet – and it’s rare to find a double-E shoe since today most shoes have a standard width. Usually I have to wait until the shoe stretches around the width of my feet before they are comfortable (which is why I love my flip-flops).
I came home and went for a 3 mile run.
And I have to say that my new sneakers were great.
But I’m still glad that I won’t have to buy another bloody pair for a couple of years.
Jeffrey, The Gay Groom