Shoes

[Update 9/13/2015] Bought two pair of shoes: Nike Revolution 2 (Grey/Orange) and Nike Flex Fury (Black/”Volt”). Total price: less than half of what one pair of my old New Balance 990v3 cost. Now, I’ll probably get nicer insoles for at least one of these, or maybe just a heel cup, but for now I like ’em! I went to five stores, only one of which even had more than 3 styles of size 14 shoes (that is, of course, where I bought these), much less running shoes that I felt comfortable in.

Quick rant here. Mostly about shoes. I need a new pair, but just found out that the local New Balance stores have been rolled into the local Heads stores. “Fine”, I thought, so Tammie and I went.

First point: shoe companies, even big ones, apparently think that long feet means wide feet, as a general rule. And that overpronation is more of a problem than underpronation. Both these might be true, but why do I (and others like me), with my 14B underpronating feet, get shafted?

They didn’t have a pair of the 990v3 shoes in my size in stock, but I was kind of hoping for a slightly newer version or a different color. These are apparently New Balance’s most popular model, so why wouldn’t they sell them in a different color? Apparently they make three standard colors, so I was going to have them order me a pair of the navy, rather than the grey that I have. But for my foot width? Only one color. Even their “NB1” customizer doesn’t allow that width. Their customer service told me to just order the women’s version, because they’re the same shoe and the women’s standard width is the men’s narrow width, but just to add 1.5 to the size. Cool, so I need to get a size 15.5 women’s shoe. No dice: women’s sizes only go up to 13.

What about other brands? I started surfing websites to check. Here’s what I found:

Nike: Three models available in 14B, and “infinite” styles in one of those models as it’s customizable. Probably worth checking out.

Asics: One model (GT-2000 3) sold in my size (length and width) in one style (standard widths of that model are available in seven styles). It’s designed for neutral or overpronation. Oh, and their website is absurdly slow.

I’ve looked at Spira, Mizuno, Merrell, K-Swiss, Brooks, Altra, Newton, North Face, Adidas, Reebok, Saucony, Fila, and Puma. Of those few sites which show support for pronation of any type, none cover underpronation. Of those few sites which show narrow widths, they have other issues.

After all this, I might go back to the boring grey New Balance 990v3s. Because they fit, and they’re comfortable.

“They” need to make a line of clothing for people like me: long torso (not necessarily fat), long sleeves, small(ish) neck, long legs (again, not fat), long feet, but not wide or extra wide, supination, etc. The few places I can shop I often still need to special order my clothes. The shirts I get off the rack, even the 2XLT shirt that I’m wearing now, if I stretch my arms, my belly shows (I can’t tuck it in, it’ll just come out again in five minutes). The ($180) shoes I wear are amazingly comfortable (with the $70 insoles), but I can’t get another color, so I’m left with two (or three) pair of identical-looking shoes, one of which I can use to mow the lawn and work on the car, and the other of which I wear to work, but telling them apart is difficult.

“They” need to make a theme park that can accommodate people of varying sizes. Tall and short and fat people like to ride roller coasters, octopi, etc., but we get shut out because our legs are too long or our shoulders are too high or our waists are too big around or we don’t quite reach the “you must be X tall to ride this” line and we just don’t fit the ride designer’s idea of a “normal” person.

“They” need to design cars for tall people. I went shopping for one, and couldn’t get behind the wheel of most of the cars I tried. My legs were just too long, even when the seat was all the way back. My own car, as it is, doesn’t quite provide the legroom I’d like, but the seat doesn’t go back any further, unless/until I modify the rails, and even then I can’t move it back much as the back “seat” is in the way.

I’d do it myself, but I don’t have the multiple millions of dollars it would cost to start any of the above ventures, and I’m guessing the few who have considered it find the markets in the more “normal” segments are far more lucrative, so we outliers get left out.