I love my shoes

7:11 PM

I said it recently, I got myself new sports shoes, and nearly 2 weeks into them I LOVE them. So much I thought I would write a review about them, because the more I walk (and I am close to 9km in 90 minutes these days) the more I bless my shoes for letting me do so without feeling any pain the way I did before.
But first a picture of my daily walking companion:

2013-04-04 18.17.04
The are Adidas, and the model’s name is Response 21 (had to look around this morning, because it’s not written anywhere that I remember). The brand claims are that they are flexible while giving optimal support for people having a neutral stride and those having a high arch foot which tend to “under pronate”, a scientific term that means your ankle doe not rotate much in a step and all the weight of your body remains on the outer side of the foot, one of the thing high arched feet people tend to do a lot and can lead to ligament strain and pain in the joints. It also claim to respond instantly to the unevenness of the terrain and help you keep proper balance without straining the joints, and like most shoes gives you a good impact cushioning of the sole.  
Now they are shoes that are suited for running, but do well for brisk walk as well. And let’s clarify one thing, I do brisk walk…a lot. The first 10 minutes of my morning walk is moderate, because I am dropping Ishita in school, the remaining 80 or so minutes is at brisk pace, my average pace these days is 6 kilometre and hour with many long intervals at 7-8 km an hour once I hit the park. So when I go for a walk, I mean business, I’m in there to get my heart pumping and get these emotional tensions out. With that kind of intensity over such a long period of time not every shoes will cut it. As I said before I killed an old pair of Reebok recently which had some ok-ish support but let me know I walked a long time even at the end of the day, I then killed my feet in a pair of synthetic leather shoes I bought for casual walking, blistered them silly actually, so much that I decided to walk in my Fila sandals, the sole was not too horrible, but the support on my feet inexistent and after 3 days my feet where screaming in pain.
Important to note too, I have high arch feet, and yes I under pronate big time. A thing I know I do since I was in my teens when my orthopedist raised the issue with my mom and urged her to get me some good supporting sport shoes for PE in school. I also have problem prone knees, even had surgery in one when I was 19 because I got into so much pain from it. My Orthopedist always advised I keep active but stay away from high impact activities, basically it means walking is more than fine, running however is a big no no, and of course to always wear quality shoes while doing some sporty things (which I obviously didn’t always follow and have been stupid not to).
For all the reasons cited above it made only sense to go for that particular model rather than a lower priced one (which felt fine on my feet at the store but not great). That pair I now have felt absolute bliss on my achy feet in the store itself, and I was eager to put them to the test on the track.
The first thing I noticed walking in these was that while all the other had me painfully remember for the rest of the day that I walked 7+ kilometre in one session, these didn’t, at the most I had the normal twinge of ache of well worked out muscle at bed time, not much more than that. I also noticed thanks to my fitness app that my pace had picked up, from an average 5 I went to an average 6-6.5 kilometre per hour with far more interval at a higher pace than before, without even feeling the increase in the way of pain. Clearly a sign that the sole does what it does cushioning the foot helping each steps being a fluid continuation from the precedent. I also noticed that my arch feels very supported and therefore the usual strain I tend to put in my ankle and knee went away immediately.
A part of my walk put me on slightly uneven terrain, thanks to the fact many roads in India are congested, and sidewalks full of potholes, bumps and obstacles. The road back home and to the jogging park has no sidewalks, many cars and goes uphill, I find myself often jumping out of the way of a speeding school bus, wiggling between parked cars, stepping on curbs and unevenly laid drain covers. This is where I put the claim of keeping the foot stable on uneven terrain that Adidas make…and it totally delivers, my feet and ankles do not even feel the unevenness, the shoe is flexible enough to absorb the impact of jumping on a curb or a tree root and still help me keep my stride fluid. I’ve done a lot of mountain hiking as a child and teen, none of my trekking shoes growing up ever did something that cool, I guess that says it all.
Another thing to point is that they are all mesh on top, so highly breathable, which in this climate is an absolute must. And with my having the tendency to sweat buckets and end up with soaked feet and socks after a good workout that is even more capital for me to have shoes that do not trap my tootsies in a pool of my own sweat, that’s actually how I ended up blistering my feet in my synthetic leather shoes. I still get wet socks with these shoes, but it’s not as dramatic as in my old Reeboks that also were made of breathable fabric, so it seems that whatever power is at work in my Adidas really does its work well enough to keep me comfy in the waterworks department as well.

All in all the shoe delivers all it’s promises, the only thing that could be a drawback for many is the price. At 6499 rupees they certainly aren’t cheap. However if you are like me with problem knees, arched feet and do work out at a high intensity everyday, they pay themselves up very fast, and always remember that surgery to fix a damaged knee or a thorn ligament will cost more than 6k and will likely leave you with underlying issues for the rest of your life. In this light 6 k on a pair of shoe doesn’t sound silly or even costly. Of course that doesn’t mean average shoes in any of the big sports brand around are bad, not at all, it’s just that some people have higher need from their pair of sports shoes than other. The mid-range shoes I tried there and were feeling ok would probably be awesome for people with no joints and feet problems or those walking less long or less often.
The fact does remain that when you plan on buying a pair of sport shoes, the price sadly can’t be the absolute determining factor if you care about your health, the factors determining your choice of shoes should go beyond that.
In my case I workout outdoor, the park is free, the road is free, I do not spend any money on Gym subscription, so the least I could do to myself is spend whatever is required on what stands between my foot and the concrete.
And I have a feeling that as I age I will end up thanking my shoes and the wisdom that led me to not go cheap on them more and more.

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  1. Beatrix8:42 PM

    I'm loving the fuchsia shoelaces!
    Seriously, here in Nepal anything other than trekking boots is destroyed in a month!

  2. I can only imagine! Mountain terrain really put your feet and shoes through a lot.

  3. It's great you found good shoes. That was one thing I never found in India. I brought shoes with me from the US that were great here but my legs still bothered me there. I'm sure part of my problem was not knowing how to walk on all that concrete. I'm not light on my feet and usually bounce around a lot which is really bad for you in India.

    I'm glad you get to go walking. It's such a great activity. The shoes are cute and I love the colors.

  4. Concrete is an uforgiving surface, I am used to walk on it because like most people in Switzerland I walked places instead of taking a car or even the bus if the distance was short, and we have wooden floor directly laid on the concrete slab in most flats, without any cushioning material in between so that's again a hard surface to deal with.
    To brisk walk on concrete means you need some high shock absorbing shoes, and these do not come cheap in India. I found that back in 2006 when I bought my old reeboks sales persons in general didn't seem to even know a thing about what they were selling, and nevermind there weren't shoes designed for women's specific needs when it comes to sport requirment, there were a few shoes that looked hip but were pretty much just meant for casual to medium pace walking. Adida already had some showrooms equiped with computer stride anyliser and staff knowledgeable about shoes, DH and I went to one of these one and he tried it without ending up buying anything because we were going there for sports wear.
    This time I went to an Adidas store, it was small so they didn't have the computer thingy (not sure if they still do it) but they had a lady that was there to assist women in their sports shoe shopping and clearly knew her job, not to mention they have a whole range of women's shoes too, something that wasn't really there in 2006.

    I actually thought of you while int he shop because the first pair I tried had a lot of pink and Ishita immediately disapprove wanting me to get some purple ones :)

  5. Ishi has great tastes! Purple is always better. :P


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