People who have followed me for a while know that last year in May I bought new workout shoes since my 7-year-old (!) Nike running shoes weren’t good enough anymore. They had outer soles coming loose, the inside mesh was getting holes and the leather was coming off in places. Time for new shoes, right?
I bought some new shoes. Another pair of Nike’s. But I didn’t buy actual running shoes, I bought overall training shoes (üldtreeningujalatsid). At that time it made a lot of sense to buy overall training not running shoes: I had been doing group workouts for 4 months and nothing else really. I didn’t have any plans to start running actively.
Overall training shoes are good if you practice a little bit of everything: a little bit of strength training, dancing, aerobics, running etc. If you practice 4–6 different sports once a week, they are great for you. But my training plan changed a lot during summer: no aerobics, mostly running, cycling and some Zumba. The shoes were OK for Zumba and cycling (since I’m not a pro) but not good for running. I thought since I only run short distances, I just don’t want to spend the money on decent running shoes.
And I didn’t.
Bad decision! During summer I had some pain in my ass (literally!) and occasionally also wore a knee support because in the past I have had problems with knees. I also remember my shins hurting really bad before Tartu Tudengimaraton 10K. This can all be associated with bad shoes.
During winter I started to wear my old Nike shoes running again. 7 years have really worn them out and I did get them fixed a little but still they have no support left in them. I mostly ran only once a week so I didn’t do too much damage to my joints.
But since the New Year I have had a clear understanding in my mind that I need to get proper gear to train for my half-marathon coming up in June. I can’t run in shoes that don’t have the right support. I don’t want to get injured like I have done many times in the past, especially during high school.
So until today I had no idea what my feet actually needed. I had never gotten a foot analysis test or anything. I always had just bought some sports’ shoes and never put too much attention in them. I knew that if I was going to spend 130+€ on shoes, I want professional advice and testing.
I searched long and hard find where you can get you feet tested AND buy shoes from. I only found Jooksuekspert. But they operate in Tallinn. I didn’t want to spend more time and money on travelling and then found that Rademar had FootBalance campaign going on. I e-mailed them, got no response. Then I went to an actual Rademar store in Tasku Center in Tartu but they didn’t have the analysis machine… I was getting hopeless. Fortunately the staff there knew that the store in Tartu Lõunakeskus has the service I was looking for.
So today I went to Lõunakeskus and actually bought a pair of good Asics running shoes! I also got excellent service there, I was really impressed. The guy who helped was named Aare and he really knew his job well. I got my feet photographed and analysed. He told me that my feet have normal to low arches which means I need support on the inside part of my foot and that my front arch (don’t know the exact term in English, in Estonian it ristvõlv) is lowered so I also need support around my toe area. So basically to sum up: I have pretty nasty feet 😀 and I’m an overpronator. He also said he would e-mail the results to me but I haven’t received it so something must have gotten wrong there 😦
Then he recommended shoes. I wanted Asics and there were 3 alternatives: GT 1000, GT 2000 and GEL-Kayano 20. The first two only have a gel pad on the heel but Kayano’s have it under your toe area as well. Also the material used on the soles and outer shell are all a little different.
I tried everything on, tried walking and running in them and unfortunately for my wallet liked the feel of the most expensive pair the best. The price difference between the least and most expensive pair was around 60€. I thought long and hard and almost cried when I paid for my Kayano’s. But I really do hope they are well worth it!
I said a HUGE thank you to Aare for doing my foot analysis and recommending shoes. He did a wonderful job and helped me out big time.
And if you’re looking for a place to buy running shoes in Tartu, definitely go to Rademar in Lõunakeskus. The FootBalance service in Rademar shops is also offered in Rocca al Mare and Järve Center in Tallinn and in Põhjakeskus in Rakvere. I don’t know how long the campaign will last so if you need something, better move quick 🙂 Or you could also go to Jooksuekspert in Tallinn, I have heard a lot of good words about them.
Let’s hope my new shoes serve me good. They should be good for around 1000 km. Bring it on! 🙂