Friday, November 25, 2005

A Shoe Shopping Excursion

I had a rather non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner last night: a baked Sauerkraut & Spaetzle casserole and a green salad. I even splurged and had a danish that my wife picked up for the occasion. The food tasted great, but alas it did not replace what I really dreamed of, turkey with all the trimmings. Luckily Mia had some extra turkey, pumpkin pie and sweet potatoes for me, so I feel better ;-)

On the way home from work last night I took the streetcar to my wife’s work and we walked down the street to the new shopping mall in Karlsruhe. I needed a new pair of running shoes, so we took our time and looked through all the sports shops. Finally I went to Runner’s Point, the same place I bought my shoes last time. Their prices are slightly higher, but they offer personal consulting by semi-expert sales people. The marathon-running dude that was there last time had the night off, so I had to deal with his Nordic-walking coworker. She did seem to know her running shoes.

The salesperson went through a round of questions with me, how much I ran, what kind of surfaces, was I training for any events etc. to get a feel for what I was looking for. I showed her an old pair of my running shoes that I had brought along and she was able to quickly spot where I landed with my feet (heels). Then she had me take off my shoes and socks and run on the dreadmill. She filmed my running for a minute or so and then we took a look together. She noted that I do land on my heels, but not as directly as some runners. She also noted that my ankle bends just slightly outwards when I land. This is also revealed in the wear pattern of my old shoes. Her recommendation was a shoe with added support to try to help keep the ankle aligned and with thicker heel support. This was not a revelation for me, but I was satisfied that she reached the same conclusion.

I tried on several pairs, running with each one on the dreadmill. Finally, much to the relief of the salesperson and my wife, who were waiting with varying levels of patience, I settled on the Asics Gel GT2100.

These new shoes offer the following features (the most no one has ever heard of):

- Impact Guidance System (sound cool huh!)
- Two-piece SpEVA- middle sole
- Personal Heel Fit
- DUOTRUSS System (no idea)
- DUOMAX Support Element (I think that is the heel padding)
- Visible GEL Cushioning System in the rear foot area (I see lots of padding, but no GEL?)
- Twist GEL Cushioning System in the forward foot area (it is flexible)
- SpEVA-55° Lasting (I think that has something to do with the tread)

Anyway here is a picture of the new babies:

While we were there I looked at cold weather running pants and tights. I was a bit shocked at the price of the thermo running tights (around $60 US). I tried on a couple pairs, they felt light and fit well. My wife must have been in a Christmas mood, as she picked out a pair and told me this was my Christmas present along with the shoes. So I can’t wait to hit the trail tomorrow morning with my new running “friends”!

You couldn't possibly chicken out of the marathon now after spending all that money, could you, Jack?
You got that right! Personally I wouldn't have bought the running pants, but my wife was so willing to get them for me for Christmas that my will to say no just seemed to get stuck in the throat.
Is turkey a big thing in Germany at all? Makes me wonder where your wife managed to find one.

New shoes are wonderful. I love new shoes.

And congrats by the way on moving ahead so quickly with the weight loss. Needless to say, with Thanksgiving I am still stuck where I was when I started.
Cool new shoes are always the best. And new pants too, can you tell me the trick so I can get my hubby in the same
Oooohhhh! Those are beauties! They are the cover model for Road Runner Sports! They call them "The Ride You've Been Dreaming Of..." :)
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