Thursday, August 16, 2007

New New Balance

Last night I finally made my decision. I've been researching what new shoes to get for the past month, and as the title suggests I went with the New Balance 767, the update of the shoes I'm retiring.

I'm a big fan of good customer service. Knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, but not pushy.

I did not get that at my first stop. I was all set to buy and the store would have even given me a discount because I ran a race it sponsored. The kid who helped me was nice enough, but he was clueless. All he could recommend were Saucony and Asics. And I think we know how I feel about Asics. I was interested in New Balance and Mizuno, of which he knew nothing. I wanted to talk shoes and this kid replied with vapid stares.

I took my business elsewhere. My second stop, a store called Second Sole, turned out much better.
I told the guy (Leo) what I wanted and he came back with an teetering armload. Now, we're talking. I tried the Mizuno Wave Inspire, Brooks Adrenaline, Nike Air Zoom Elite, Asics Gel 2120 and of course the New Balance 767.

The Mizunos were light as advertised, but Leo reinforced the knock on 'em: They don't last. I liked them, but they felt too snug for my tastes. The Nikes felt OK. The Asics 2120s felt like my 1120s. The Brooks were tough to rule out. However, the Akron Marathon is giving away Brooks to all the marathon finishers, so I went with my comfort zone with the New Balance and will wait until the marathon to try the Brooks. Leo reinforced my decision. He also told me something else.

It turns out I was mis-sized with my old New Balance. Which is funny because I bought them at a New Balance specialty store. You'd think they would know how to size their own product. But he was right. I didn't realize, but I was running in wide shoes (2E) and a half size too long. (Dumb rookie.)

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