When I was young we didn’t have fancy trainers for each and every sport. We didn’t even have trainers, come to think of it. We had plimsolls. They came in white or black. Laced or with elastic gubbings at the side. Skinny soles. And the white ones got all grass stained and then you had to use that weird chalky stuff to re-white them (and now I can smell it!). And that was it. Oh, except that for hockey (shudder, wince) we had a more elongated version with rubber circles on the ankles. These were always black. Because of the mud I suppose.
Then one day my pal Jane Wright pitched up for Sports Day with running spikes. We all stared in stark amazement.
Funny, huh? Now there is a trainer for absolutely everything. Is it really necessary? Is it overkill? Is it just a canny marketing device? I seem to spend all the money I don't have on petrol, food and…trainers. Seriously. James is growing so fast I can watch him inching up, beanlike. He’s my height now and shows no sign of slowing down. His feet are three sizes bigger than me and he ‘needs’ different shoes for running, rugby, cricket, football and squash. Aaaaghh.
Mind you, it does make sense. According to my fitness instructor friends a large proportion of injuries occur because people are wearing the wrong shoes. When I started doing Zumba my knees soon got wrecked. Turned out I was wearing cross trainers with a heavy grip on the sole, so my foot was dragging on the floor, putting strain on the knees. I got myself a pair of dance shoes and – ta-da! – problem solved. And at my step class the other night, Debbie warned against using running shoes for step as there simply isn’t the lateral support – you need a good cross-trainer.
So. I am seriously looking forward to getting my new running shoes. After a lot of umming and aaahing, I asked my running coach Trisha for her advice on which to get and she had a look at the way I stand (knock-kneed, flat-footed) and said I’m an overpronator (who knew?) and need something with a fair amount of support. She suggested these…so these are exactly what I’m getting. Well, actually, since writing this it turns out that this particular one is out of stock but mine will be very similar (just, er, not black and pink but white and green).
Nice huh? Big thank-you to Sportsshoes.com. Now, if you don’t have a friendly Trisha, Sportsshoes have a pretty good advice section on their website. Click here to see their video on how to choose the right running shoes. It’s worth spending a bit to get a decent pair that do the right job. I’ve learned my lesson of hanging onto trainers until they fall to bits and now I do replace mine as often as I can. I'll report back on the running shoes once I've had a go.
And now I’m going off into a total trainer reverie, remembering the bloody huge great things we used to wear in the tail-end of the 80s, purely as a fashion statement. Bloody hell. Micro mini-skirt, black opaque tights and HUGE high-top trainers with massive tongues and big fat laces you kept undone. What the hell were they called? The brand, I mean. It's driving me potty. Not Nike, not Reebok, not Adidas... aaaaghhh. Someone put me out of my misery.
btw, have I spelled plimsoll correctly? It's looking weird. And now spelled is looking weird too. Spelled or spelt? I think I need a nap. :D