i just wanted to say a little thank you to the new balance store on bloor street west in toronto. at the end of may it was time for me to get a new pair of shoes, and on the advice of my physiotherapist i went for a pair with less arch support in order to compensate for the orthotics that i run with.
i've been running in new balance shoes for about 10 years without ever encountering a problem and that whole time i've basically stuck with the same shoe. new balance is great because they have a line up of shoes that they're constantly improving while sticking with the things that work. i run in the 769, before that i ran in the 768, before that the 767, and so on. all i have to do when it's time for a new pair is go in to the store, ask for the latest in the seven-six series, check my fit and i'm out the door. i know what i'm getting every time.
after talking with one of the sales reps at the store on yonge street, explaining what i was told by my doc, i went with the 904s, a shoe with the same arch support system as the seven-six series but significantly lighter and with less all around support. after only a few weeks of running in the new shoes (i didn't start running in them until mid-june) and a couple of races, i developed some very painful shin splints. my physiotherapist and i determined that the shoes were the problem and she told me to go back to my old shoes, but i didn't want to switch so close to the big race of my year (the provincials). anyways, i worked through the shin splints, stretched and massaged them and dealt with them as best i could.
when i finally just recently had some time to go to the new balance store to get a new pair of shoes (a new pair of my old shoes) i explained my story to the sales rep. she told me that the 904s were not meant for every day, high mileage training. they're racing flats, designed to be used only on race day. i felt duped! i'd bought those shoes on the advice of one of their sales reps, the shoes' treads had completely worn out, they'd caused me shin splints, and now here i was forking out more money for another pair of shoes. brutal.
understanding the plight of an injured, broken new balance die hard, the woman at the store told me she would happily exchange my 904s for another pair of shoes or store credit, although it was more than two months after i'd bought them. i didn't have them with me and went back to the store a couple of days later, original receipt in hand, re-explained everything to another sales rep, and walked out of there with another pair of brand new 769s. so now i have two brand new pairs of the shoes that i love and trust, and am happy to say that i'll be sticking with new balance and can put a happy ending on this little incident. although i'm still working through the injury, things are improving with the new shoes and should be fine after a couple more weeks of lesser mileage training and less intense workouts.
so if you're looking for new shoes, new balance rules! and the peeps at the new balance store on bloor street west in toronto are pretty cool, too.