• About Allison

    I am a 26-year-old married Michigan gal living in Sarasota, Florida. This blog is a chronicle of my journey toward a healthier lifestyle! I started running in January 2009 and began to change my eating habits in May 2009. Now, I am dedicated to training smart and eating right. Join me as I seek to balance running and eating healthy, local foods with my crazy work life and hilarious home life.

    Contact me: allisonisactive@gmail.com

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Grad School & New Shoes

I spent most of my day today at USF Sarasota for a “Gear up for Grad School” seminar.  I learned a lot of new stuff:

  • There are many ways to get scholarships and grants for graduate school
  • There are also student loans readily available for grad school
  • I like the Masters in Reading Education program at USF Sarasota; if I don’t get into or decide not to persue my top choice program for a Masters in English, I would seriously consider their reading program
  • The GRE is crazy hard!  It was unlike any other standardized test I have ever taken before.  This was just a practice GRE to see what I’ve gotten myself into; I should know my score by Friday!  I think I need to learn more about this test and do some practice before I take it for real.

Long story short, I am psyching myself up for graduate school to be the next step in my life.  I’m nervous about the whole thing, but it will be a good challenge.

After the workshop and practice GRE, I went straight to Fleet Feet Sarasota to try on new running shoes!

Original plan: try on the New Balance shoes I’ve been running in, make sure they still work for me, and then order them from a website where I get a discount.

However, I was more than willing to test out some other shoes.  In the end, I think I tried on ten pairs of shoes!  Pat at Fleet Feet had me walking all over the store, going on short jogs in the parking lot, and even videotaped my feet on the treadmill to analyze my stride in one pair!  It was a very cool and personalized fit process.

But, it turned out that the original plan wouldn’t work out for the following reasons:

  • Pat did all kinds of foot measurements and analysis, and it turns out that adding running distance has made my feet WIDE!  I ended up trying on running shoes in wide sizes, which is crazy.
  • The New Balance shoes pinched my feet even more than my current NB shoes do (there’s a spot between the footbed and the side of the shoe that gives me a huge blister, and I could tell the same thing would happen in a new pair).
  • After some analysis and shoe tests, it turned out that I needed more cushioning and stability.

I ended up with these:


They are Sauconi Omni 8’s, and they are actually size 9.5 wide!  Apparently, the reason for the pinching in my New Balance shoes is that the ball of my foot was actually slipping off the footbed.

I also tried these shoes on with some Superfeet Insoles.  Pat told me that these insoles are like custom orthotics only much, much less expensive.  She said that while they won’t increase the life span of your running shoes, they will increase the health of your feet when you are running.

Although I didn’t want to make the investment on Superfeet today, I really want to give them a try.  I’ll admit they felt strange at first, because I’ve never tried anything like them before, but I could tell they would be comfortable after some wearing in.

Obviously, I ended up buying at Fleet Feet.  They have a great customer reward program: when you spend $250, you get a $25 reward certificate!  I had already spent just over $100 at Fleet Feet in the past few months (hydration belt, hat, shirt on clearance, lots of GU), so the $100 I spent on these shoes puts me close to getting a reward certificate!  That makes the price about equal to what I would have paid online.

I hate to spend money and am feeling guilty about the cost.  The Husband has a hard time with the cost of running as a hobby, and frankly I do too.  However, good running shoes are a necessity, and there is no way I could run my planned 13–miler tomorrow in my current shoes!  There are ways to cut costs with running (stop paying for expensive Disney races and too many running skirts are the first things that come to mind!) but shoes are not a place to skimp, in my opinion.

A shoe review will be up tomorrow!  I am fully planning to love these shoes and can’t wait to break them in. 

Question of the Day:  Running readers, what kind of shoes do you run in?  Have you ever been through a fit process for running shoes?


4 Responses

  1. Alison,
    I trained with the Galloway group and they are awesome. I also spent a ton of money on shoes, gear, and even custom made orthotics. (sorry I spelled that wrong) One would think that running is inexpensive, put on a pair of shoes and go, but quite the contrary. I now wear Brooks and I love them , but Fleet Feet sounds like they treated you awesome and when I need a new pair I will them out that store. Good luck in your half marathon. I really enjoy reading your blog too!!!

  2. Alison,

    I just saw a picture of your new saucony tennis shoes and they are really cute.. I need some new running shoes but have always been afraid of saucony since I thought they were a little outdated looking.. After seeing your pictures, I may have to go find some..


  3. Hi Jennifer! Gosh, I miss you at school. đŸ™‚ I’m so glad you’re reading my blog! I am loving training with a Galloway group, and Fleet Feet is just the best. I really thought that running would be a free sport at first, but between shoes, gear, and race fees, I’ve racked up quite the bill!

  4. I’ve never worn Saucony running shoes before (the only running shoes I have bought after professional fittings have been New Balance) but I’m really happy with the Saucony shoes. It’s a bonus that they are cute, though!

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