August 31st, 2009 at 5:23 pm (Home)
Size 12. Yes that’s right. That’s the size of the shoes that I will be wearing in my Sahara Race.
Arguably the most important part of our body, our feet are also the most neglected. In the process of researching the right pair of shoes to fit my running gait and foot type, terms like overpronation, motion control and flat arches found their way into my lexicon and I developed a new found appreciation of my foot design and running manner. It is this understanding that is crucial in choosing our footwear model.
Ever since my first marathon two years ago I have been very conscious about selecting the appropriate shoe for my running needs, eschewing the fashionable streetwear brands in favour of those designed for the ‘serious runner’. Developing an affinity for ASICS shoes, I have used them assiduously and so you can imagine my astonishment when I discovered that I have been wearing shoes that are one size too small.
This is where going to the right place to get the correct advice is so vital. For as long as I can remember I have been wearing a size 7.5 and the occasional 8 for some dress shoes. My running shoes, meanwhile, were a size 9; seemingly a little large, but they fit snugly and the sales people in the stores were of the same opinion.
If you ever intend to take on a sport, regardless of whether you are serious about it or simply trying it out, your gear is of utmost importance. Wear or use the wrong things and you could end up with a lousy time or even worse, put your safety in jeopardy and get hurt. It pays to get expert advice and be kitted out appropriately, both for safety reasons and for an enjoyable experience.
The good news is that in Singapore there are more specialist shops with staff who actually play those sports and who can provide expert advice. If you need a trekking rucksack, speak with someone who treks. If you are looking for running shoes, speak to a runner. You will not find such experienced people in the general sports shop in the shopping malls. The sales assistants you see there are more likely to be part-timers with inactive lifestyles with little or no experience in your chosen sport.
For running, I find the folks at the Running Lab to be invaluable. Runners themselves, they provide foot diagnostics and are trained to advise you appropriately according to your needs. It was here that I was properly measured and discovered that my feet had grown in recent years (which is normal for those who run a lot) and that the correct size was actually a 10. I promptly bought a pair of new shoes and after several weeks of running, am happy to observe that I do not experience any of the shin splints that used to plague me.
Further research and recommendations have advised that I wear shoes that are 1-2 sizes larger as the combination of heat, pressure and taping in the Sahara Race will cause my feet to swell. I may look like Ronald MacDonald in my spanking new size 12’s but am willing to look like a clown to stay comfortable and protected in the desert. Or risk appearing in a Bangles video.