Jan’s 5K Challenge: Mamma’s Got a New Pair of Shoes

Jan Bresch | Published on August 19, 2010

Updated on November 4, 2019

A little late in this Prevent Cancer Foundation 5K challenge I know, but today I finally went and got fitted for a pair of running shoes.

Why did I wait so long?  Because I’m stubborn. With at least 5 pairs of running and/or walking shoes I “self-fitted” I truly believed being fitted made absolutely no difference, even though friends who are experienced runners have tried to pound into my head that it did.

What an experience! I did not feel like Cinderella with the handsome Prince placing the glass slipper on my dainty foot.

The experience started with a very sweet young girl asking if I needed help. No Prince. First things first, she had me walk up and down the store so she could see my gait. I felt a little like a horse being trotted out to see if I had racing potential. Outcome, I had a normal, even gait.  Yippee….or is that Neighhhh?

Next came measuring for my shoe size, which she insisted on doing even though I told her I was a perfect size 9. Wrong, her measurement came up 10 ½.Sure that she must be wrong, I asked her to measure again. 10 ½. No dainty.

Then out came several boxes of shoes — different brands — and wildly different neon colors offsetting the basic white. Back to feeling like a horse. With each pair of shoes I got to do a light jog on the sidewalk outside the store while she watched how the shoes affected my gait, along with anyone strolling by who wanted to watch and offer their opinion. I narrowed my selection down to two different pairs. After that, she had me put one of each pair on and jog to compare the two.

As each step unfolded, I thought it was odd, but then realized there was a method to the madness. In the end, I bought a pair with a little extra padding to cushion the impact on my knees and I felt great. As stubborn as I am, I’m not completely sold that it makes a difference….or that I was wrong. Let’s see how an actual run goes.

Now I just have to find that perfect little ensemble to wear with my new shoes. Share your running shoe purchase successes or challenges with me. Does it really make a difference?


Where did you go?? You post is making me rethink my new sneaks from DSW. I believe myself to be a perfect 8.5 — but who knows!


So – what shoe did you choose? I’m partial to New Balance 1200 series, for two reasons: the toe box fits my wide feet and they are THE LAST BRAND MADE IN THE USA. Comfort is everything, but it is really nice to know I am supporting the economy of the U.S. Well, Prince Charming may be elsewhere, but with two knee replacements, I know comfort!


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