A year ago I had one pair of runners for days when it wasn't raining, and a pair of boots for when it was. But the runners were cheap and just for casual wear and workouts. Today I have three pairs on the go at once, all explicitly for running. How did that happen?
When I started to get more serious about running early this year, I bought a pair of New Balance 1225s (pic below). They are very comfortable and have seen me though about 500k including my first half marathon. But I just walked into Rebel Sports, tried on about three pairs and bought them purely based on comfort.
Fast forward to about two months ago, and I had been having issues with my right knee. Unable to pin the cause down, I decided to get "properly" fitted in a running store, so I went to Athlete's Foot. They were quite helpful and watched me walking up and down the shop and said, "Yes, you are pronating with your right foot". On that basis, they persuaded me to buy a pair of Mizuno Wave Nexus 4s and insoles (the insoles alone were $50!). They felt pretty good walking up and down in the shop so I bought them and tried them out. I did a 5k run in them with the insoles and got a blister. The insoles were making my feet sweat so much that the front part of my feet were almost soaked. I stopped wearing the insoles. Then I started using the Mizuno's for runs up to 8-10k and found that I was slapping the ground as they are a size bigger than the New Balance ones and I found it uncomfortable to correct my footfall in them. They have been relegated to walking and short/relaxed runs only. They have about 60-80k on them now.
I think I spent almost 90 minutes in the store in total, trying on runners, running for the camera, discussing each runner, trying the next pair etc. It was then down to two pairs, Nike and Avia. I had a really tough decision, each was making any necessary corrections, and each felt good, but in different ways...
So I ended up going with the Avia's:
Footpoint Shoe Clinic and I found the staff very knowledgeable. I am a bit of a knowledge nerd when it comes to my hobbies, so I was asking a LOT of questions about shoe types etc, but they were able to satisfy all of my questions without hesitation - quite impressive!
The store also has a running club (free) that goes out every Thursday evening, so I'll be joining them this week and testing out the Avia's in the meantime - here's hoping!
For someone who isn't much into shoes, I'm getting quite a collection...