Sunday, July 31, 2011

Good For The Soles (Northampton, MA)

My last stop on my recent vacation was Good For The Soles in Northampton, MA.  The recommendation for the store came from someone who lives in Connecticut and drives all the way up to Northampton to shop there. For us, the store was only 20 minutes out of the way off route 90.

I had already bought my Tivas at City Sports, but was still curious enough to stop in.  The store is tiny, but it is packed wall to wall with good minimalist options.  The only noticeable hole was the Merrell Barefoot line, which the owner assured me they were working on getting.

What we purchased:

  • Zem Gear Playa Low, round toe - These were out of stock when I tried to order them from the manufacturer, but Good For The Soles still had a supply.
  • VivoBarefoot Dharma Leather - Hubby has been wearing moccasins full time for over a month now, and now finds it difficult to get back into dress shoes.  He picked these up for client site visits.
  • Injinji Lightweight No-Show Toesocks - I was actually looking for a lightweight crew, but took what was in stock.  My heavier tabi socks bother me when I try to wear them all day, and I wanted to try something lighter weight.
  • Compression Socks - hubby picked these up on a whim, but wasn't too happy with them.  After freeing your toes, it's no longer comfy to confine them.
Other things I looked at:
  • VivoBarefoot Evo & VivoBarefoot Aqua Terra Plana - These two models appeared to have a wider toebox than the other VivoBarefoot options.
  • Inov-8 roasx lite 155
  • Kigo Edge
  • Kigo Curv
The owner did not have in stock yet, but recommended to me the Altra Eve for my needs.

Overall, it was a good shopping experience, and I highly recommend the store.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

July Update

The calendar says that it is time to make an update, but my heart is not in it.  I've had the worst couple weeks since starting this journey.  After all my progress, I'm still too slow to hike with others.  I've had some personal issues too.  I'm upset and my fibromyalgia is having a field day.

I came home late yesterday and let the puppy out of her crate.  Mind you, I have a Great Dane, so we've got almost 100 lbs of puppy energy exploding out.  Normally I deal with this just fine, but the pain was so much when she bumped me for the 10th time and stepped on my foot that I became irrational.  I decided that crawling into the other dog's crate and shutting the door until my husband came was a viable alternative to killing the puppy.

I've had several setbacks, but I've always managed to come back.  I'll come back from this.  I am already benefiting from my drugged sleep and am able to do the tai chi stances I could not do on Wednesday.  Yeah.  I couldn't even take a slow measured step forward on Wednesday, anything is progress from there.  The puppy and I are also on much better terms today, perhaps tomorrow I will hobble around the corner with her.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

City Sports (Boston)

There are not a lot of opportunities to even go over to the ritzy side of my own town, but while on vacation I found the time to schedule in a visit to City Sports in Boston.  A recommendation had come with faint praise, that they had been an early sellers of Vibram Five Fingers, and therefore might have some of the newer minimal shoes available.  The place was near a restaurant we wanted to visit, so we made the stop.

The staff person I talked to was very friendly, familiar with VFFs and the other minimal shoes in the store, was interested in my homemade shoes, but didn't really have any information on shoes for hard to fit feet.

Shoes I looked at:

  • Saucony Hattori - This shoe looked promising, but given that I was looking for a wet/slushy conditions shoe, the sales person thought the sole would be unsuitable for me and didn't even bring out any to try.
  • New Balance Minimus - This was available, but looked like too much shoe for me to bother with.
  • Vibram Five Fingers - I confirmed in person that the toe pocket lengths are not the right ratios for me, just as pictures had led me to believe.
  • Merrell Trail Glove - The toebox allows more room than average for little toes, but had too much arch support for me.  The sole was more forgiving than the 
  • Teva Nilch - This had a toebox similar in shape to the Trail Glove, but a flat sole.  Overall they felt much like my cheap wal-mart water shoes, but of sturdier construction, and better fit.  They have what appears to be water resistant fabric up the sides of the bottom half of the shoe, so it might do better in wet conditions than the water shoes that have mesh all the way down in places.  I bought a pair of these (a size larger than I used to wear.)  My fourth and fifth toes still feel a bit cramped compared to custom shoes, but they seem serviceable for poor weather.