Thursday, 25 October 2012

The running shoe shop

I'd been looking into getting a new pair of running shoes ever since my new podiatrist said that I was injuring my feet with my old ones.  I actually was making my left big toe bleed a little each time I ran and it got worse and worse until it was pretty ugly (but not very painful all the same).

I'd gone to the usual French sports shops (decathalon, intersport etc) and was very diappointed in the choice.  I'd been researching what type of shoe I needed and there was nothing on offer that was suitable.  I knew I'd never get a great service in a sports shop, but I thought if I researched it, I could just wing it, but it wasn't as simple.

Then we were going back to the UK, on the horrid journey home to see Dad in hospital.  I didn't think at all about my shoes.  We were planning on doing a parkrun for the first time and looking in sports shops nearby but that never happened obviously.

J was really sweet and suggested we look for a shop on the route on the way home (I guess to change my ideas).  I found the addresses of a couple of places but my heart wasn't in it.  Leaving my parents was awful and I cried for the first hour of the journey.  When we pulled up outside of the citycentre specialised running shop I freaked out a little.  Emmy, who is totally unsporty with dodgy legs, was outside a specialised running shop thinking about going in.  My cheeks stung from salty tears and I was probably blotchy too and yet I was amazed by how easy it was to push the door open to go in. 

I guess I was numb from the recent events and it didn't actually phase me to be in an environmnent so unfamiliar.

I can honestly say, I had an amazing experience at the shop.  I just simply said I wanted to buy some new shoes. I was immeditely asked to remove my shoes and socks and roll up my skinny jeans to see my legs.  Again I didn't flinch.  Agghh, someone was going to see my dodgy legs.  Whatever.  He confirmed what I already knew - I over pronate and that I have one leg stronger than the other (bless him!)  He asked if I had had an operation and when that was.

He came back with two pairs of trainers.  Both Asics, but the shop sold different brands too.  The inner girlie inside me was thrilled - both pairs were cute!  Bonus.  He gave me some running socks to try on with the trainers and asked if I wore these type of socks usually (uurm, I believe I said yes, which was a fat lie - I used to wear normal socks and was quite skeptical about the running sock idea!)

He made sure that the sides of the trainer was not rubbing anywhere on my ankle and then the bit I was dreading/looking forward to.  He got me on a treadmill.  I obviously was not dressed for running at all so the mismatch of trainers and normal clothes and skinny jeans was quite ridiculous.  Whatever I thought.  He asked if I was comfortable on a treadmill, it was my first time ever, and this made him smile.  I got up to a slow jogging speed and then a camera starting filming my feet from behind to see how my feet hit the floor in the new trainers.  The idea was that my ankle was held in position at the point when my feet hit the floor and roll through without the ankle falling in (in my case).

We went through this with both pairs, retried the first pair to make sure, and I was told that for 'my style of running', the first pair was best!  I thought it was funny how he worded it because hoenstly, I don't have a style.  I run really lop sidedly and that will never change because of my dodgy legs!! Next I asked him to choose me some running socks (to add to my imaginary running sock collection) and I swear I would have bought anything. I was so numb that I just wanted someone to tell me what to do, to look after me, including the sales person in the running shop.

My new running shoes Asics GT 2170

I had a great experience in Moti, Bristol branch and I thank them so much!  J was also very impressed with the service and the care to get the correct running shoe for you.  He actually wants to go back and get a pair for himself too!!  I don't know if this type of service exists in France, it would be nice if someone could give me some info if there is.

We got back in the car and continued our sombre drive home to France but when I thought about what I had just done, a tiny smile came across me.  Things have changed for me I guess. I am how I am and I won't magically loose my dodgy legs. I've come along way this year and I don't count on stopping there.

ps:  my Dad is now home and okish.  He won't fully recover, I just hope they find a way to stabilise his problems to give him a good quality of life.

pps:  We're going back to the UK next weekend again to see him.  I won't talk about what we have planned because I just don't want to jinx it.


Ksam said...

Wow, that is some service! Please let us know if the shoes and socks really do make a difference.

And so glad to hear your father is doing better that you are able to go back home next weekend and be with family...

Crystal said...

Hey you,

Relieved to hear your dad is back home and doing ok. Wishing him all the best in his recovery.

And good for you for going into that shop! I'll admit that specialty shops often intimidate me too. And I doubt you'd find customer service like that in France. Excellent customer service is an anglophone world thing, I think ;)

P.S. The new running shoes are awesome!

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