I have been a very bad girl. Well, not really – just a bit extravant. Using my physiotherapist’s comment about having two pairs of shoes in use parallel to each other (so that when one needs to be replaced you won’t have to jump into new ones “cold”), I allowed myself to go out and get YET another pair of runners. I know, I know! I could have just gone and returned the Asics but I am convinced that I will be able to make them work… As “uncool” as it may be, it seems that I am a Nike girl at heart – or at foot more accurately. Seeing as I was so happy with the Structure 15s, I went out to the Nike Town Oxford Street** in search of another pair. Unfortunately the 15s have now been replaced by Structure 16. I am not going to go into the technical nitty-gritty of what is different as there are heaps of posts on this out there.
**Side note here about the Nike Town – this is supposedly their flagship store. And yes, it is big and extravant and just stepping in makes you feel sporty. But oh my god, would you PLEASE do something about the customer service. Every time I have been in, the staff is stroppy, lethargic and moody. And not only that but they don’t actually know their products – when you ask a question they quote what they have been taught but there is no actual knowledge or passion behind it. Is Nike not a good employer or why are they all so bloody miserable? Even a guy working at another Nike store commented that customer service at Nike Town “depends on what mood they happen to be in”.
Anyway, back to the shoes.
I tried the Structure 16s on (had to go 0.5 size smaller than current shoes as those were not really bought for running) and oh my – my feet were happy, happy, happy. I know a lot of people are moving away from the “bouncy” shoes and going towards the barefoot runner route but I like a bit of spring in my step.
I also tried on a pair of the Lunarglide 4 and though it wasn’t as comfortable, I was torn. They were sooo pretty! The Structure 16 came in black, white and brown but the Lunarglide had more (and better) colours. I fell in love with a pair of grey, purple laced ones. (I might as well come out of the closet now and confess – I am a girl!). I tried on one Lunarglide and one Structure 16 at the same time and the difference was clear. The 16 had my foot higher from the ground and it just felt more cushioned. So in the end my head won over my heart and I left the shop with a pair of brown Structure 16s. Out of the colours available this seemed the best, though I am still not 100% in love with it. I think there should be a law to make all shoes available in grey.
I bought the shoes on Wednesday and yesterday (Thursday) I headed out for a test run which ended up being a 21km / 2h outing. They felt so familiar and I didn’t have any of the side-of-the-foot pain that has become so common lately. Again the right shoe feels a bit loose around the heel (like every other shoe I have tried on lately – what is going on), but I think experimenting with lacing should fix this. I compared the 16 to the 15 and maybe it is due to the usage but the heel of the Structure 15 does seem to sit lower, allowing a more snug fit.
I did a 20km run in the Asics on Saturday and though I had niggles running, when I came home my feet were fine – no blisters etc. However, the 21km in the Nike Structure 16 left my feet feeling blistery (though there were none), red and hot. Very strange. This might be due to the fact that I wore different socks than normally so I will have to keep testing. Oh, and I also had knee pain after the run on Thursday. This could be completely due to the fact that I have been running a lot lately.
So there we have it – I have two pairs of running shoes. Doesn’t quite make me Imelda Marcos but I am struggling to justify this. I suppose at the end of the day it still makes running a relatively cheap sport, buying some shoes (and tops, tights, socks) every now and again. And am I strange in struggling to be able to let go of the trusty old Structure 15s? I won’t be running in them anymore but I just can’t bin them.