Over the last few weeks I've visited a few running shoe stores keen to try out a few new shoes and hopefully find the right pair for me. I was keen to try out a several stores as a way of getting a second and third opinion from a suitably qualified (hopefully) running shoe expert.
At each store I've been sure to mention to the sales people that I have had about a year off running as I've tried to get over my foot and shin injuries so they were fully aware of my background and thus better informed to fit me with an appropriate shoe.
Of the three stores I had two good experiences but unfortunately my experience at Smiths Sports Shoes at Mt Eden was not so good. I'll get the bad out of the way first and write a post next time about the good.
Smith Sports Shoes is what I would call a bulk sports shoe discounter which tries to be a specialty running shoe store. They are all set up to provide running gait and video siliconcoach analysis but sadly none of this was offered to this customer and it didn't look like this technology used in the majority of cases while I was there.
I mentioned to the salesperson that I was interested in a shoe which was suited to a forefoot or mid sole striker as this was a style of running that I was interested in moving towards. The salesperson seem confused by this and looked at me like I had just escaped from a mental institution as if to say 'why would you consider such a thing?'
It seemed that he had never heard of such a running style and despite my explaining the potential benefits , IE more natural style of running in keeping with how we run when in bare feet, he still was very dismissive of the idea.
There was no offering to take a look at my stride and trying to match me to a shoe it was basically take your pick of a few models off the shelf and try them on and see how they feel.
I was fast losing interest by this point. This was the last store on my list to visit and I did all ready have an idea in mind of what shoes had felt good previously. I therefore was not particularly fussed about not being offered a video analysis. I quickly tried on a few pairs( Brooks, New Balance & Nike) before thanking the salesperson for his time.
Smiths is after all a 'sports shoe store', catering to many sports so, while they stocked all the main brands of running shoe, sadly for this potential buyer I didn't feel I got an inadequate level of professionalism or quality running shoe advice to enable me to make an informed decision on what shoes to buy.
I am pleased to say that I did get some much better service from two other specialty running shoe stores and I'll post about those stores next.