When I initially decided to start running and take it up as a serious hobby in 2013, my old exercise shoes were thrown away as it became apparent they were doing more damage than good. The trainers were cheap pink Puma ones from Sports Direct and clearly weren’t suitable for long distance or high frequency running! So, I popped to the highly recommended Running Hub shop in Southborough, Tunbridge Wells. The Running Hub staff were very accommodating – they asked why I needed trainers, how often I would be running and how far, then asked my shoe size and found a pair in their stock room for me to pop on. There is a treadmill in the shop which I was asked to run on for a few minutes while my feet and ankles were videoed. This isn’t embarrassing as some might assume: the treadmill is partially hidden by clothing rails and running equipment, and after all, everyone in the shop – employees and customers – is there because they run!
Watching the video of my feet and ankles was fascinating. My right leg and foot run straight, but my left leg and foot turn inwards ever so slightly, which the male staff member said would have been a long-term habit. My feet were measured up and it became apparent that my left foot is also slightly bigger than the right. I had no idea! Another surprise was the advice that my feet are much more suited to a size 7 running trainer, but I had been wearing size 6 for as long as I can remember. The staff decided on a type of running shoe which would be suited to my requirements and would provide the adequate support for my running style. I was encouraged to try them on and jog up and down and around the shop to ensure that the shoe was comfortable. They were just perfect and I could instantly feel a difference when running. I paid £100 for my Brooks Ladies Ghost 5 trainers, which seemed to be a small price to pay for such quality shoes and top advice. The whole experience was just fascinating and very worthwhile: I would, along with many others, highly recommend the Running Hub. They even knocked 10% off the total price of the bill when I decided to treat myself to professional running socks. I left with leaflets on local running clubs, and lots of encouragement.
The trainers themselves have never caused any discomfort and I haven’t had so much as a rub or a blister since using them. 18 months on and they are still as good as new and very comfortable. I wear my Brook Ghosts for all 10K runs and am currently looking to ‘upgrade’ to the newest version!
The socks are 1000 Mile ones, which were nominated as ‘Best Sock Brand’ at Running Fitness awards. Prices can range from anywhere between £7 – £12 a pair and are so worth it; I personally think they make a massive difference and are the comfiest socks I have ever worn. I have quite a few pairs and see them as an investment. I find that standard trainer socks just aren’t supportive or thick enough!
Earlier this year, I was looking at purchasing another pair of trainers which would be suitable for ad-hoc boot-camps, occasional gym sessions (I’m not a member but sometimes take up offers of free sessions), walking events and the smaller runs. I’m a fan of all things pink and leopard print and stumbled across the perfect pair: Sketchers Flex Appeal Serengeti. I absolutely love them! They’re so light and comfortable, perfect for the smaller ‘jobs’, and personally I think they look awesome. I admit, it was the design which enticed me to pick them up and I’m not sure I would have initially considered a Sketchers brand shoe, but I’m so used to my ‘heavy’ Brook Ghosts that it felt refreshing to wear something so light, and I knew I had to have them as soon as I tried them on! Prices start from about £60.